Florida Legislators Say No To Smoking Medical Marijuana

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Medical marijuana is still a hot topic in Tallahassee as state legislators spend their second day of a special session wrangling over money for public schools and economic development.

House Democrats on Thursday wanted to allow the smoking of medical marijuana, saying that’s what voters wanted when they approved an amendment last November.

But House Republicans rejected the push and pointed out they are poised to approve a bill that allows vaping of marijuana.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered legislators back to town to boost money for public schools and to set aside more money for his top priorities. But Scott and legislative leaders expanded the agenda of the session to pass a bill that would implement the medical marijuana amendment.

Wednesday night, leaders did strike a deal to allow medical marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses.

Under the compromise measure (HB 5A) approved by the House Health & Human Services Committee, marijuana operators each could run up to 25 retail outlets.

The state currently has seven licensed marijuana vendors, and the agreement between House and Senate leaders would require health officials to approve 10 new operators by Oct. 3.

The Legislature in 2014 passed a law that allowed non-euphoric cannabis for some patients and passed a 2016 law that made marijuana available to people with terminal illnesses.

The House and Senate are still at odds over key budget provisions.

They have until Friday night to reach a deal.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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