Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Florida’s medical marijuana industry continues to surge, with sales remaining well above pre-pandemic levels....
Read more @
State Dispensaries show 30% Increase in Sales
By Adam WalserRead more
THC cap for medical marijuana patients under 21 dies in Florida House
Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/marijuana/article241175681.html#storylink=cpy
From Miami Herald’s Samantha GrossRead more
THC cap? Jose Oliva wants one on all forms of medical cannabis
Flower and concentrates would be affected.
In a case that could create a major upheaval in the state’s pot industry, health officials on Thursday asked the Florida Supreme Court to uphold a 2017 law that carried out a constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana.
Lawyers for the Department of Health argued that, in creating and passing the law, the Florida Legislature carried out its “constitutional prerogative to serve as the state policymaker and to protect the welfare of the citizenry.”
The state agency urged the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal that said a key part of the law conflicted with the 2016 constitutional amendment, approved by 71 percent of Florida voters.
The controversy is centered on a key component of the law that established a “vertical integration system” in which a limited number of companies that receive medical marijuana licenses must handle all aspects of the business, including growing, processing and distributing products. The alternative to vertical integration would be to allow companies to play different roles, potentially leading to more players in the industry.
Read more HERE.
As the Legislature reaches the halfway point of the 2020 session, no committee has yet to hear any of the wide range of bills filed to address a list of issues in Florida’s medical marijuana program.
Marijuana advocates are frustrated and people in the industry are left scratching their heads.
2019 was an eventful year for cannabis, but without a constitutional amendment to be implemented or the prodding of Gov. Ron DeSantis to make moves, there is little motivation for leadership to take up marijuana bills.
▪ Bill to waive the $75 medical card fee for patients who are veterans.
This bill would exempt veterans from having to pay fees to attain, replace or renew a medical marijuana card. The idea was brought up by Broward Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer as an amendment to an existing marijuana bill during the 2019 legislative session but failed to make it onto the bill.
This year, the bill was filed in the Senate by Tampa Democrat Janet Cruz and in the House by Riverview Democrat Adam Hattersley, who is a Navy veteran.
Neither version of the bill has been heard in committee.
▪ Bill to eliminate the vertically integrated business model in Florida’s medical marijuana law, undo the cap on the number of licenses and legalize marijuana for adult use.
This jam-packed set of bills filed by St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes and Orlando Democrat Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, includes a variety of policies that would reshape the marijuana industry.
The bill would legalize adult use of marijuana for people over 21, order the courts to expunge criminal records of people with certain marijuana-related offenses and open up the current medical marijuana business model.
The current model maintains that a license holder must grow, process, test and sell their product without any subcontractors or middle men.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, also has a bill that addresses the medical marijuana business model and lifts the cap on licenses the state can issue.
None of the bills have been heard.
Read more at the Miami Herald
After more than five years, Boca Raton decided to join the growing number of South Florida communities that allow medical marijuana dispensaries.
Boca had banned the dispensaries in 2014. In a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, the City Council approved repealing the ban and allowing the businesses within the city. Companies can start applying for permits immediately.Fullscreen
Councilman Andy Thomson introduced the bill. He, Councilwoman Monica Mayotte and Mayor Scott Singer voted in favor, while Councilwoman Andrew Levine O’Rourke and Councilman Jeremy Rodgers were opposed.
“This is medicine for people who need it, and need it badly,” Thomson said.
The vote came after about two hours of public discussion and council discussion.
Rodgers wanted to wait until after next year’s Florida Legislature session, perhaps until June 2021. He said he was more comfortable waiting a while, citing the federal prohibition on marijuana. The council decided move forward right away.
Read More at Sun Sentinel
Backers of a recreational-marijuana legalization effort announced Monday their proposal will not be on Florida’s 2020 ballot -- though a separate legalization drive continues.
In an email to supporters Monday, leaders of the “Regulate Florida” ballot initiative, which called for the state to regulate marijuana in the same way as alcohol, acknowledged they would not collect the necessary petition signatures before a Feb. 1 deadline.
Because the signatures have to be verified by elections officials prior to the deadline, petitions need to be submitted by Jan. 1, Regulate Florida’s board of directors said in the email.
“The sad reality is that we are not going to be able to meet that deadline,” Michael Minardi, the chairman of the political committee behind the proposal, and other board members said in the message.
The group announced it isn’t giving up on legalizing pot and is turning its attention to the legislative session that begins Jan. 14.
“We will continue to advocate for adult use for all Floridians and pursue an agenda that includes home cultivation, employee protections, social consumption, expungement of criminal records pertaining to marijuana offenses and more,” the board said.
Meanwhile, supporters of “Make It Legal Florida,” a separate measure to legalize recreational pot in the Sunshine State, continue racing to beat the deadline to get on the 2020 ballot. According to the Florida Division of Elections website, the political committee behind that proposal had submitted 159,250 valid signatures to the state as of Monday morning.
Initiatives require 766,200 signatures and need Florida Supreme Court approval of the proposed ballot wording to go before voters.
Two of the state’s largest medical marijuana operators have poured money into Make It Legal Florida since the effort was launched this year. Surterra Holdings, which operates under the name Parallel, and MM Enterprises USA, LLC, which operates as MedMen, have almost totally funded the political committee behind the effort.
The committee had raised -- and spent -- more than $3.7 million as of Nov. 30, according to the state elections website.
The Make It Legal Florida proposal would allow adults 21 or older to “possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.”