TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising the state will move quickly to open access to smokable medical marijuana.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis says law expands access to care for patients
- Dept. of Health to put rules in place for dispensaries first
- Some say legal way to buy marijuana expensive
- RELATED: DeSantis Signs Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill into Law
- LINK: Read the bill here
- FLORIDA GOVERNMENT GUIDE:
On Monday, the governor signed his first bill signed into law and it is expected to not only expand business for dispensaries across the state, but DeSantis says this move will expand access to care for some 200,000 patients in Florida.
It will also end costly litigation.
DeSantis and the Legislature are now reversing a long-standing ban put in place by former Gov. Rick Scott.
In 2016, 70 percent of voters approved medical marijuana, but Scott said that would stop when it comes to any smoking form, which led to a series of lawsuits.
"Our Department of Health is going to implement it. When it I was running for governor, I said clearly they had been dragging their feet, but I think it was intentional. But we're going to do a good-faith effort to implement the law, just like I asked the Legislature to do a good-faith effort to codify the amendment that was passed," DeSantis said.
Patients will not be able to light right up just yet. The Department of Health will have to put rules in place allowing dispensaries to start putting smokable products on shelves and that could take weeks if not more than a month.
This move is winning praise from people on both sides of the political aisle. However, those like Democrat State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando says one issue that remains is cost.
He tweeted that some patients are still buying weed illegally on the streets because "the legal way is too expensive".