Despite only getting medicinal marijuana legalized in the Sunshine State back in 2016, the great state of Florida has been making a hard push for recreational since 2012. When Colorado and Washington voted for recreational marijuana, many Floridians saw that as a boom waiting to happen. Since then, pro-marijuana groups have been lobbying elected officials to make it happen.
Part of making it go through is having enough signatures. Currently, with 70% of the signatures required for the 2024 ballot, they had 635,961 per end-of-March reports. Considering they crossed the celebratory number of 420,000 back in February, this is a tremendous campaign, and they have some serious strength behind their cause. To make the ballot they will need 891,589 signatures, as well as surpassing the court’s standards to ensure it’s not a misleading bill.
Despite this success, the involvement of multi-state organization (MSO) Trulieve to the Smart & Safe Florida who filed the initiative last summer. While providing the initial seed money, they have also kicked in $25 million at this point. For this investment, they have structured the verbiage to go their way.
If passed as currently written, medical companies like Trulieve would be able to sell to anyone over the age of 21. It contains a provision allowing but not requiring lawmakers to approve more businesses setting up shop in Florida. This ensures the MSOs that have been dominating the market now get a multi-million dollar boom in sales simply from tourism alone. It ensures that they get to saturate and pilfer the market.
Adding insult to injury, the current provisions of this bill will not allow for small or home grows to sprout. This means not legally going to a small farm to get outdoor grown, natural, and healthy flower. For anyone who has visited Humboldt California, or rural Colorado can tell you, an outdoor all-natural flower is some of the best cannabis ever. Florida is ripe for this outdoor craft growth, just like they have been with oranges.
With purchase and possession limits of one ounce, and 5 grams of that being concentrates, this would be one of the most restrictive recreational bills to date. While Floridians have been waiting to get recreational marijuana for what seems like ages, they don’t need to follow the mistakes of NY or OR.