Medical Marijuana Sees Progress In Florida, Connecticut, New Hampshire

Dustin Murrell

While Florida has yet to settle on laws allowing even extremely low-level medical marijuana to be dispensed to seizure patients, Connecticut and New Hampshire are already a part of the 23 states that have legalized the use of medical cannabis within their borders. While Connecticut continues to deal with a rapidly growing list of eligible patients, New Hampshire is still working out the details of starting their first medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

While still doing more than a lot of other states, Florida struggles to implement medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, as it continues to run into political obstacles. As the Sun Sentinel reports, the five dispensing organizations selected by a panel last year have until February 7 to submit requests for authorization of cultivating medical marijuana for the state of Florida. Unlike many other states that have already legalized medical marijuana, the laws in Florida would only allow for marijuana with very low levels of THC, the chemical that causes euphoria when marijuana is consumed in its natural state.

The use of medicinal cannabis in the state of Florida is restricted to patients who suffer from severe muscle spasms or have been diagnosed with cancer. Even if the authorization is given to the five dispensaries, the licenses are already scheduled to be challenged at least thirteen times in front of five different judges between March and July. It is not expected, however, that anyone will try to push back the February 7 date or further delay the availability of the drug to Florida residents who are eligible. While the market in Florida is very narrow with these strict regulations regarding which patients are eligible, those involved hope that a broader law will be introduced to the ballot and passed come November.

A few steps behind their fellow New England friends from Connecticut, the state of New Hampshire just recently approved the first three locations for medicinal marijuana in the state. Overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, New Hampshire Public Radio reports that the state of New Hampshire has already mailed out medical marijuana identification cards to 176 residents of the Granite State who will be eligible once the product is made available. It is expected that the patients will be able to access the drug through the dispensaries by this Spring.

[Image credit Alex Barak/Getty Images]

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