A new campaign to legalize recreational marijuana is mailing petitions to Florida residents, attempting to add cannabis legalization to the November 2020 ballot. Sounds good right? Well some activists are not supporting the campaign.
Under the Make It Legal Florida campaign, cannabis will be legal for adults 21 and over, however, they will not be able to grow their own plants. This has caused an uproar since most legal states allow the growing and cultivation of a small number of plants.
The campaign is backed by 2 large cannabis companies, Surterra Wellness and MedMen, who have invested over 1 million dollars into the campaign. Some activists are concerned this could turn the industry into a Monopoly.
"It will make these companies billions, and it will crush the industry for the next ten years," says Brett Puffenbarger, a hemp and cannabis consultant and partner at Native Hemp Solutions. "I'd rather crush the industry for two years and come back with a real petition in 2022."
Under the campaign adults would only be able to purchase from current medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries are owned by state-approved corporate conglomerates who are in charge of all aspects of cannabis, from seed to sale, according to Miami New Times.
The campaign needs a little over 76,600 signatures before it can undergo a review by the Florida Supreme Court. Following that, 766,200 copies of the petition must be signed by February for it to make its way onto the 2020 ballot.
Nick Hansen, director of government affairs at MedMen for the Florida region, explained they did consider adding home-grow provisions to the petition but didn't think it would pass the Supreme Court review nor the 60 percent voter approval needed.
"We looked at home grow, and I think it's something probably for the next chapter of the movement [in] Florida, but at this point, I don't think it's something we can get across the finish line at 60-plus [percent]," Hansen says.
Regulate Florida, another campaign for recreational cannabis legalization, already has 91,000 signed petitions. Hansen doesn't believe this campaign will pass.
Under Regulate Florida, adults 21 and over can possess, use and cultivate cannabis. A third campaign, Floridians for Freedom follows the same basis as Under Regulate Florida.
With 3 different campaigns collecting signatures, it looks like recreational marijuana may end up on the November 2020 ballot. Florida may become the 12th state to legalize recreational marijuana!