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Lawmakers kill THC cap for medical marijuana

After being stripped out of a larger healthcare bill in the Florida Senate on Friday afternoon, the House unanimously passed a version of the bill without the controversial cap.
Members of the Florida Senate fill the chamber, Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Members of the Florida Senate fill the chamber, Thursday, March 12, 2020. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Mar. 14, 2020

TALLAHASSEE — In the waning hours of the 2020 legislative session, a contentious provision that would have established a potency cap of 10% THC for medical marijuana patients under 21 has died.

After being stripped out of a larger healthcare bill in the Florida Senate on Friday afternoon, the House unanimously passed a version of the bill without the controversial cap.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and can be found in whole-flower marijuana, tinctures, oils, vaporizers and edibles. Smokable cannabis now being sold by the state’s medical marijuana treatment centers has potency as high as 30%.

Capping THC was a priority of House Speaker José Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, who has said on several occasions that the chemical in medical marijuana could “possibly be detrimental to a young brain.”

The idea was not so well-received in the more moderate Senate, however. Some Republicans, like Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, even spoke out against the idea, warning that capping THC levels would make life worse for many veterans who use medical marijuana to cope with issues like like post-traumatic stress disorder.