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How will law enforcement handle medical marijuana?

Florida Senate committee to hold first workshop next week

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida voters spoke loud and clear on medical marijuana when they approved it with 71 percent of the vote.

Now that Amendment 2 passed and expanded medical marijuana will be allowed in the state, how will law enforcement handle it?

The Florida Sheriff's Association, a group that didn't back the measure, said it still has concerns and hopes the Legislature hears them.

"We didn't think it was appropriate for that to be in the state's constitution," said FSA president Jerry Demings, sheriff of Orange County. "We want to make certain that as the rules are put in place that the packaging of the different products, marijuana byproducts for medical purposes, look like medicine so that if it falls in the hands of unsuspecting individuals, children, that it doesn't look like it's something that it's not."

Supporters agree that law enforcement should have a seat at the table while Amendment 2 is implemented.

Medical Marijuana Business Association founders Jeff Sharkey and Taylor Biehl believe the sheriffs' voices will be heard.

"Absolutely. Public safety, educators need to have involvement," Sharkey said. "Substance abuse and training folks need to be involved, and I think that conversation's been going on, and I think it will continue."

Lawmakers aren't waiting around. A Florida Senate committee will hold its first workshop on Amendment 2 implementation next week.

Recent studies indicate that medical marijuana sales in Florida could top the $1 billion mark in the next three years.