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Florida approves smoking of medical marijuana

by
OWCA
| Mar 25, 2019

The newly-elected Governor of Florida has paved the way for Florida residents in the medical marijuana program to smoke the product. This new option is available following the governor signing Senate Bill 182 into law on March 18, 2019.

Florida voters approved the use of medical marijuana for certain medical conditions during the November 2016 General Election. However, since that approval, the Florida legislature continued to restrict the route of administration to methods such as vaping, liquid form or consumables. In passing Senate Bill 182, the legislature made the move to modify the existing laws and include the option of smoking medical marijuana as a treatment method. The new law permits a qualified physician prescribing medical marijuana for a program-approved patient to determine the route of administration, which may now include smoking.

Effect on workers’ compensation
It is important to note that changes in SB 182 only apply to utilization of medical marijuana by patients registered and approved by the state medical marijuana program. The law does not change any statutory or regulatory provisions which currently do not permit reimbursement for medical marijuana as a treatment for a work-related injury.

The Optum Workers’ Comp and Auto No-fault Government Affairs team continues to track these public policy developments and will provide updates to our stakeholders. Text of SB 182 can be found here.

Should you have questions on this or any other public policy developments, please contact our Government Affairs team at AskGovtAffairs@optum.com.


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