An effort to limit the amount of THC in medical cannabis prescriptions for patients under the age of 21 went down in flames on Friday in Florida’s state legislature.
As this year’s legislative session wound down, lawmakers in the Sunshine State passed a healthcare bill that did not include a provision that would have place a 10% THC cap for such young patients.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the provision was “stripped out of a larger healthcare bill in the Florida Senate on Friday afternoon” before the state House of Representatives passed its own version of the bill that did not include the cap.
The proposal was the brainchild of Republican state Sen. Gayle Harrell, who late last month filed an amendment banning medical marijuana with THC levels exceeding 10 percent potency for patients under the age of 21. According to the Miami Herald, Florida’s medical cannabis law currently “places a limit on the amount of THC in edible products only, which may only contain 10 mg of THC per serving and 200 mg in total,” levels that are “much higher than what most patients would normally consume.”
“I have been very concerned about this,” Harrell told the Miami Herald. “You’re seeing increasing percentages of THC in marijuana. This is not your granddaddy’s marijuana from the ‘60s.”
The proposal was also favored by Republican House Speaker José Oliva, according to the Tampa Bay Times, who had said that medical cannabis could “possibly be detrimental to a young brain.”
Criticism of Limitations
But the proposal had plenty of critics, both in the legislature and among medical marijuana advocates.
John Morgan, a Florida attorney who helped finance the 2016 campaign to legalize medical marijuana, said last month that the cap was a sweetheart deal for the pharmaceutical industry.
“Are they banning Oxycontin levels to people 21 and under? Are they banning Percocet or Xanax?” Morgan told the Miami Herald. “The opioid epidemic was created on the backs of our children.”
More than 70 percent of Florida voters approved a measure in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana.
A recent survey from Quinnipiac University in June found that 65 percent of Florida voters supported allowing adults to possess small amounts of pot for personal use—an all-time high in the state.