TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Edible medical marijuana could become more available in Florida, as the state's new agriculture commissioner wades into the department's control over the drug.

Technically, edible medical cannabis is allowed under state law. The problem is the Dept. of Health has yet to finalize any regulations regarding edible products.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, however, says her department can formulate rules, since packaged food products would fall under her department. 

Fried, a former medical marijuana lobbyist, says her agency is expected to begin drafting rules over the next few weeks that would allow for greater access to medical marijuana edibles.

Some Florida medical cannabis companies are already moving ahead with developing those products.

Trulieve has been working with companies to bring marijuana chocolate bars and fruit leather to Florida. Trulieve is one of Florida's largest providers of medical cannabis.

Fried is also creating a new "director of cannabis" position in her department to get involved in cannabis regulation, with the hope of expanding access to patients and get more growers are out there.

The news comes as Gov. DeSantis announced Thursday that he has told the legislature it has until mid-March to rewrite controversial medical marijuana rules on smokable medical marijuana and on the license system. Both issues are currently under litigation. 

DeSantis said if the legislature doesn't meet his deadline, he will drop the government's opposition to those lawsuits. 

Fried issued a statement after the announcement, saying that every day the drug is unavailable to patients, Floridians continue to suffer.

"My mother was recently diagnosed with cancer, and she is struggling to find medicine that relieves her suffering," Fried said.

"The state needs to increase the number of licensed medical marijuana growers to create a more open market, greater competition, more affordable prices, and a greater level of access to medicine for Florida's patients," Fried said.



Current Florida Law Regarding Medical Marijuana Edibles

From the Florida Statutes:

  • Edibles must be made from marijuana oil
  • A center that produces edibles must have a permit to operate as a food establishment
  • Edibles can't be attractive to children
  • They can't be made in a form that resembles candy
  • The Health Dept. is supposed to set rules for acceptable forms, ingredients
  • Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers are not supposed to process or dispense edibles until these rules are set
  • Edibles must be sealed in plain, opaque wrapping, and marked with a universal marijuana symbol

Spectrum News reporter Greg Angel contributed to this story.