One of the most frequent questions we hear in my clinic these days is when will qualified Floridians be able to get gummies and other edibles?
As many of you know, oral ingestion of CBD and THC is one of the most common ways to administer medical cannabis. Florida laws were never intended to limit oral administration to oils, tinctures, and capsules. In most other states where medical marijuana is legal, a patient can consume gummies, baked goods, and a variety of candies. So what’s the reason for the delay in Florida?
The problem in the State of Florida stems from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), which is run by the Department of Health. The OMMU has not set the governing rules for the dispensaries, known as Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC), to follow. At statewide meetings I attended back in 2017, we discussed some of the safety issues related. Some include not allowing child-friendly packaging and not using food coloring that would draw the eye of a child. Still, nothing has been formally announced.
Until the OMMU takes action on this, we are in a complete holding pattern, with Florida citizens suffering due to the ineptitude of the bureaucracy.
There are many advantages to food-based cannabis products. For one, they are easy to transport and are a good way to ensure precise dosing. More importantly, though, disguising cannabis in food may be the only way some patients are able to comply with their treatment. Due to dietary restrictions, many of my medical cannabis patients are unable to consume baked goods because they contain gluten, dairy, or eggs. Until the MMTCs are able to offer cannabis baked goods free of these common allergens, candies such as gummies can be very helpful. Most people will eat and tolerate gummies even if they are on a restricted diet.
I presume no changes will occur in the regulations surrounding food-based cannabis products until 2019. After the next administration is in place and there are new people overseeing the Department of Health, I expect more options to become available.
In fact, once the new OMMU leadership is in place, we may need to mount a campaign encouraging the State to move things forward to finally meet the needs of patients in Florida!
About Wholistic ReLeaf
Wholistic ReLeaf, founded in 2016 by Dr. David Berger of Wholistic Pediatric and Family Care, empowers families and patients to choose the best treatment approach available for their medical condition. The mission of Wholistic ReLeaf is to evaluate and certify qualified patients who meet the State of Florida legal requirements for receiving medical cannabis, and provide medical cannabis management and dosing consultations to patients certified by other Florida physicians. Wholistic ReLeaf is committed to providing patients with the best possible care, while also complying with the ever-shifting legal landscape of medical cannabis in the State of Florida.
For more information, or to find out if you or a patient you know may be eligible to use medical cannabis as part of a customized treatment plan, visit www.WholisticReLeaf.com.