Florida Medical Marijuana Edibles Regulations

Background to Florida’s Medical Marijuana Edibles

The Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as, Amendment 2 was approved by a 71% of Florida voters on November 8, 2016. The ballot initiatives language amended the state constitution, mandating an expansion to the states medical cannabis program. Although medical marijuana edibles were included in the initiatives language, Floridians have just received access to this form of care. After the Amendment was approved, the Florida Legislature drafted the initial implementation bill for the states medical cannabis program.
SB 8-A: Medical Use of Marijuana became effective on June 23, 2017. The bill provided the initial parameters for the implementation of the medical marijuana constitutional amendment including:
  • Qualifying medical conditions;
  • Qualified Physicians and Physicians “Certifications”;
  • Medical Marijuana Use Registry;
  • Medial Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC’s);
  • Medical Marijuana Dispensing Facilities;
  • Packaging, Labeling, and Advertising Requirements;
  • Location of Facilities;
  • Protections for Employers

A Long Road For Medical Marijuana Edibles

As it relates to edibles, SB 8-A required medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC) to comply with certain standards in the production and distribution of edibles. However, under the bill, the various department(s) were tasked with determining by rule, any shapes, forms, and ingredients allowed and prohibited for edibles. MMTC’s were thereby prohibited from processing or dispensing edibles until after the effective date such additional rules were developed.
Despite clearly delineated time requirements, the rule making development process for edibles didn’t begin until March 2018. A final rule from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were submitted to the Florida Administrative Code, and became effective March 16, 2020.

OMMU Issues Final Guidelines For Edibles

Since March 16, 2020, Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) have waited for the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) to issue further guidelines for medical marijuana edibles. After nearly three years, the OMMU finally released the long-awaited production standards on August 26, 2020 (64ER20-33). Effectively immediately, Emergency Rule 64ER20-33 describes the standards for production of edibles by medical marijuana treatment centers. The standards include the shapes and forms of permissible edibles, prohibited ingredients, and sanitation requirements.
You can view the official production standards for edibles issued by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana here: 64ER20-33 Standards for Production of Edibles

According to the regulations, medical marijuana edibles:

  • Must not resemble commercially available candy.
  • Must be in geometric shapes (not animal shapes).
  • Can include baked goods, chocolate, drink powders, lozenges and gelatins.
Products will still require approval from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees food safety, including edible medical marijuana products. Florida medical marijuana patients may need to wait a bit longer before they start seeing marijuana edible products available for sale in their local dispensaries. Since the passage of Amendment 2, medical marijuana patients have faced an uphill battle to receive the care for which a supermajority of Florida voters approved. Finally Florida’s 404,780 qualified patients will have access to another alternative care option.

Future Impact

According to Marijuana Business Factbook, retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States are set to surpass $15 billion by the end of 2020, an approx. 40% increase from 2019. Florida medical cannabis sales are projected to hit $775 – $950 million in 2020, compared with $475 – $575 million in 2019. Some analyst believe the addition of edibles to the Florida medical marijuana market could boost projected sales by 20 percent. When Florida removed the ban on the sale of flower less than 18 months ago, cannabis sales nearly doubled.
[NOTE: To legally purchase edibles, a person must first qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation from a state-certified Medical Marijuana Doctor.]

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