Breaking News: Florida Bill Would Permit Medical Cannabis Telehealth
Breaking news: The state of Florida may soon permit discreet certifications for medical cannabis through telehealth visits.
House Bill 387, sponsored by Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers), seeks to allow practitioners to certify patients for medical cannabis through virtual visits such as FaceTime and Skype, rather than in-person consultations.
The bill aims to regulate the practice that is already being done by some doctors in Florida, and it could serve as a cost-saving and safe measure for patients, especially those who are debilitated and in need of medical cannabis.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that over 2,500 doctors in Florida have completed the necessary training to order medical cannabis for patients, while almost 800,000 patients have already been certified for its use.
Presently, doctors must conduct physical examinations while in the same room as the patient before ordering medical cannabis. However, if the proposed bill passes, it could provide an additional tool for the Department of Health to enforce rules and regulations regarding medical cannabis, especially in cases where physicians violate such laws.
Nevertheless, the proposed bill has a provision that allows the Department of Health to suspend a physician's ability to order medical cannabis for up to two years if they provide, advertise, or market telehealth services before July 1, 2023. Additionally, Senator Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) has filed a similar bill for consideration during the 60-day legislative session.
It is worth noting that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had suspended the state's face-to-face requirement for medical cannabis due to COVID-19, but it only applied to patients who were renewing medical cannabis certifications. Individuals who needed to see new doctors were still required to have in-person consultations.
The governor's executive order expired in 2021.
Stay tuned Florida medical cannabis patients, the proposed bill could benefit patients by providing discreet prescription refills of medical cannabis via virtual consultations, a safe and cost-saving measure, especially for those who are most in need.
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Read HB 387: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/387/BillText/Filed/PDF