Florida gov OKs Black farmer medical marijuana licenses, MMJ telehealth

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a medical marijuana bill into law that grants MMJ licenses to a group of Black farmers and allows patients to renew authorizations via telehealth.

After the MMJ bill passed the Legislature in May, there was speculation DeSantis might veto it because of the Black farmer licensing component, which was added later, according to Florida Politics.

The governor has worked to end diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the state.

His signing of the bill brings an end to a long dispute involving Black farmers who weren’t awarded licenses in 2022. The issue dates to 1981.

As for telehealth, as of July 1, the state’s 828,000 registered MMJ consumers won’t have to renew with their doctors in person every 210 days, Tampa TV station WFLA reported.

However, new MMJ registrations still must be conducted in person.

Meanwhile, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is trying once again to block an adult-use legalization effort in the market by taking the issue to the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys from Moody’s office on Monday filed a 49-page brief that contends the Smart & Safe Florida campaign’s wording on the adult-use ballot measure “would mislead voters,” according to The News Service of Florida.

The Florida Supreme Court must approve the proposed wording before the measure can be placed on the ballot, the news service reported.

In May, the AG’s office filed a petition with the state Supreme Court arguing that Smart & Safe Florida’s ballot initiative is unconstitutional.

Smart & Safe Florida, heavily funded by marijuana multistate operator Trulieve Cannabis, has collected enough signatures to get adult use on the 2024 state ballot.