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Florida CBD-only Bill Passes First Hurdle

A large black pot indicates that the four plants within are Charlotte's Web.


Florida CBD-only Bill Passes First Hurdle

Florida’s CBD-only bill, HB 843, cleared its first hurdle by passing the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in an 11-1 vote yesterday.

The bill must now pass through three more committees before it can be considered by the entire house. If HB 843 is signed into law it will take effect in July and redefine the term “cannabis” to mean only marijuana strains with less than 0.5 percent THC and more than 15 percent CBD. Medical cannabis under these parameters will then be legalized in the state.

High-CBD medicines in states where medical marijuana is legal usually test with significant percentages of THC, although the THC levels are lower in comparison to other strains. For instance, the strain “Harlequin” a well known high-CBD strain found in legal dispensaries tests at 6 percent THC and 4 percent CBD.

Charlotte’s Web, a strain popularized on the CNN documentary “Weed” hosted by Sanjay Gupta, tests at 0.5 percent THC and 17 percent CBD. Other high-CBD cannabis strains that also contain significant levels of THC are available for sale in medical marijuana states. At 0.5 percent THC, Charlotte’s Web is non-psychoactive.

CNN will air a follow up “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness” on Tuesday, March 11 at 10pm EST/7pm PST.

Also known as Alepsia, Charlotte’s Web is produced by the Stanley brothers of Realm of Caring in Boulder, Colo., and is named for Charlotte Figi, the epileptic toddler featured in the first CNN special. The strain received so much attention from the special; there is now an international waiting list for access to the medicine.

CBD-only legislation has been introduced this session not just in Florida, but also Utah, Wisconsin, Alabama and Georgia. The perception is that in conservative states, the promise of a non-psychoactive medical marijuana is a viable alternative to admitting prior policies were unscientific and socioeconomically devastating.

“[Alepsia] is as legal as other hemp products already sold in stores across Utah, including other oils, clothing and hand creams, but is illegal, federally, to take across state lines,” Josh Stanley said to a group of parents and politicians gathered to discuss the legislation in Salt Lake City last November.

The appeal to conservative legislators of these CBD-only bills is due to the messengers, whom the Washington Post dubbed “The Mommy Lobby.” More women have gotten involved in medical marijuana lobbying, bringing children’s medical use of cannabis to the forefront and making it an issue so powerful, hundreds of families are packing up and leaving their home states to get safe access.

In Florida, it’s the Moseley family. Holley Moseley is the mother of an 11-year-old girl with epilepsy and co-founder of Caring 4 Florida, the group that lobbied for the bill. Holley and husband Peyton, of Gulf Breeze Fla., adopted their daughter RayAnn, who suffers 300 seizures a week. The Moseleys believe they will be able to control the seizures with safe access to medical cannabis, but are worried their daughter would be removed from their care if they use it.

“She’s already been removed from one set of parents that she knew to be her parents. There’s no way that we would consider doing something like that to her again,” Holley Moseley told “We’re going to fight for her no matter what, from the beginning to making her ours to now seeing she gets the treatment she needs.”

Tell us in the comments below, do you believe parents should have the right to treat their children with medical cannabis?

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