Earlier this week, Governor Ron DeSantis made a groundbreaking announcement revealing that he believes the Marijuana Legalization Initiative is on track to reach the November ballot. DeSantis anticipates approval from the Florida Supreme Court, marking a significant milestone in allowing Floridians to decide on the issue of recreational marijuana legalization.
The proposed Florida Marijuana Initiative seeks to legalize recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older for personal use, possession, and transport of marijuana and marijuana accessories. If approved, the Florida Constitution will allow existing medical cannabis companies, MMTCs, to expand their operations to cater to all adults over 21 years old. The initiative permits adults to purchase and possess up to three (3) ounces of cannabis and five (5) grams of marijuana concentrate products. Under this proposal, home cultivation by consumers is prohibited. This initiative is a notable expansion from the 2015 SB 8A that was signed into law by Rick Scott and the 2016 Amendment 2, extending beyond purely medicinal purposes.
To secure legalization, the initiative must first be approved by the Florida Supreme Court and subsequently gather support from Floridian voters, requiring a minimum of 60% approval. Recent polling by the University of Florida indicated 67% of voters supported the marijuana reform. Currently facing a legal challenge led by Attorney General, Ashley Moody, the progress of the initiative hangs in the balance pending the court’s decision. The Florida Supreme Court is expected to rule by April 1 after hearing oral arguments last November. Despite this legal challenge, DeSantis anticipates the Florida Supreme Court’s approval to allow Floridians to vote on the issue.
If successful, Florida would join the other 24 states that have already legalized marijuana for adult recreational purposes. Florida economic analysts predict that the reform proposal would generate between $195.6 million and $431.3 million in sales tax revenue annually, underlining the potential economic benefits associated with the initiative.
For those operating in the cannabis industry, it is important to understand the potential impact of the marijuana legalization initiative. If you would like to discuss how the marijuana legalization initiative may affect your cannabis business operations, contact our Team today!