Florida’s Medical Cannabis Market Eager For Research

Earlier this month in Tallahassee, Florida, $409 million in projects were vetoed by Governor Rick Scott.  Three items on the budget would have given $3 million to the Moffitt Cancer Center and University of Florida.  The petition for the state budget was calling for the money to be used for studying the effects of medical marijuana.  Research on cannabis is still limited to its classification of a dangerous drug by federal law.

Back in May of this year, Senator Bill Galvano pushed for lawmakers to change marijuana’s classification so that they could get some answers to some very important questions.

“I want to know the real effects.  What are the negative effects? What are the downsides?” said Senator Galvano.  

Lawmakers proposed two million to the University of Florida and around one million for Moffitt Cancer center to answer questions like these, which can only be answered with further research, which would be possible with state funding.

However, Gov. Scott vetoed the funding.

The Governor’s reasoning on the subject was that both the University of Florida and the Moffit Cancer Center had plenty of funds to research cannabis on their own dime.

Lobbyist Jeff Sharkey believes that the vetoes are ill timed; and further remarked that “Research allows doctors and physicians to understand the impact of medical marijuana on these various conditions.  This was a start to move this process forward.”

Lawmakers will be returned the following Wednesday on July 12th, 2017. for a special session.  However, medical marijuana was not supposed to be a part of the discussion.  It was highly unlikely that lawmakers were going to attempt to repeat the process by reviving the research funding discussion.

However, the Florida Senate voted to override Gov. Rick Scott’s vetoes of roughly $75 million in higher-education projects.  Research projects at the University of Florida and the Moffitt Cancer Center of medical marijuana were included in the override votes.

“Gov. Scott vetoes funding for marijuana research”. M. Vasilinda; Capitol News Service. Posted: Mon 4:58 PM, Jun 05, 2017. Updated: Mon 7:06 PM, Jun 05, 2017. [Accessed 4:00 PM Sat Jul 22nd, 2017]

“Florida Senate overrides Rick Scott on $75 million vetoes in higher education”. L. Dunkelberger, News Service of Florida. Thu, Jun 8, 2017. [Accessed 4:15 PM Sat Jul 22nd, 2017]