Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs smokable medical marijuana bill into law

TALLAHASSEE — Patients who receive medical marijuana from their doctors will be able to smoke the substance legally, under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.

The bill (SB 182) is the first of DeSantis’ short tenure and an early legislative victory. DeSantis insisted that lawmakers repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana by last Friday, or he would drop the state’s appeal of an ongoing lawsuit over the ban.

More than 70 percent of voters approved a ballot measure in 2016 legalizing marijuana for medical use, but the Legislature passed a bill a year later that nevertheless banned it in smokable forms.

Orlando attorney John Morgan, who bankrolled the push to put the measure on the ballot, filed suit, saying the intent of the amendment allowed for smokable marijuana. A lower court agreed but Gov. Rick Scott, DeSantis’ predecessor, appealed the ruling last year.