FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Florida legislators consider severely limiting pediatric access to medical marijuana.
Tampa Pediatrician leads parent advocates and colleagues to fight the bill.
TAMPA, Fla. March 9, 2021 — Despite overwhelming public support for medical cannabis, Florida legislators have put forth a bill (HB1455) to drastically restrict access for pediatric patients.
Under current law, qualified pediatric patients may be certified if two doctors concur the child is eligible and the risks outweigh the benefits. Neither of these doctors must be a pediatrician; however, families often seek one of the state’s few pediatric medical cannabis specialists because of unique concerns of children ingesting marijuana.
Under the proposed law, even if the certifying physician is a board-certified pediatrician, the concurring physician must also be a board-certified pediatrician. This would make it significantly more difficult for parents and caregivers to access their child’s medicine.
According to Dr. David Berger, a board-certified Tampa pediatrician specializing in pediatric medical cannabis:
There are very few Florida pediatricians experienced in treating pediatric medical cannabis patients or willing
to confirm a child’s eligibility. If the certifying doctor is a board-certified pediatrician, there is no reason the
second physician needs to also be a board-certified pediatrician. Not all families have access to a
board-certified pediatrician, which means children will not get the medication they need.
Dr. Berger is the Founder and Medical Director of Wholistic ReLeaf, one of Florida’s only clinics specializing in pediatric medical cannabis.
The proposed law would also drastically reduce the level of THC permitted in concentrated inhaled oils If enacted, children would need to vaporize larger, more frequent quantities of oil to effectively treat their conditions. This could be detrimental to both physical and behavioral health, especially for children who have seizures or are on the neuro-developmental spectrum.
Legislators will meet Tuesday, March 9, 9:30 am ET. Dr. Berger is working with concerned parents and colleagues to lead the fight against the bill. He encourages all concerned Floridians to contact their state legislators.
Dr. Berger will be available for comment beginning 5:00 pm, March 9th, after the committee meeting.
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