Florida Recreational Cannabis Update

Florida Recreational Cannabis Update

Sabrina
MARCH 21ST, 2024

Not only is the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use expected to announce the winners of 22 MMTC licenses by the first week of April, which would nearly double the number of existing permits, but the Florida Supreme Court must rule on whether or not recreational cannabis will make it onto the 2024 ballot by April 1. Language in the November adult-use ballot initiative explicitly allows MMTC license holders to operate in the recreational marijuana market as soon as the measure is passed.

Source: MJBizDaily

Smart and Safe Florida collected over a million petition signatures to put adult personal use of marijuana legalization on the 2024 ballot. The state is arguing before the Supreme Court that the amendment fails to accurately inform voters that marijuana would still be illegal under federal law. If the Florida Supreme Court rules the referendum’s language is legal by April 1, recreational marijuana will likely make it to the November ballot.

Source: Florida Today

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll in January 2024, showing that a marijuana legalization initiative that may appear on the November ballot enjoys majority support from likely voters—but not enough to meet the state’s steep threshold for passage. However, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is on the record opposing the marijuana reform measure, which is currently under review in the Florida Supreme Court following a legal challenge from state Attorney General Ashley Moody (R).

SourceMarijuana Moment

After months of will-it-or-won’t-it battles over whether recreational marijuana will go before Florida voters this November, one prominent Floridian predicted that it probably will.

“I think the court is going to approve that,” Gov. Ron DeSantis told cannabis lobbyist Don Murphy at his last New Hampshire campaign stop, according to cannabis media site Marijuana Moment. “So it’ll be on the ballot.”

It wasn’t clear if DeSantis, who dropped out of the 2024 Republican presidential race days later, was speaking from a sense of how the Florida Supreme Court will rule over the challenge to the proposed constitutional amendment or if he was just making his best guess.

Source: News Journal Online

The state of Florida legalized medical cannabis in 2016 through a Ballot initiative, Amendment 2, which provided a legal way for qualifying patients in the state to access and utilize medical cannabis as a form of treatment for their ailment. Access to medical cannabis is through state-licensed businesses allowed to grow, manufacture and sell medical cannabis. A proposed bill will Allow adults 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise; allows Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, and other state licensed entities, to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute such products and accessories.

Florida Marijuana Business Types

Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) – means an entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their caregivers and is registered by the Department

  • MMTC’s will be licensed to sell and distribute medical and recreational marijuana. The legislature may provide for the licensure of entities that are not Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to acquire, cultivate, possess, process, transfer, transport, sell, and distribute marijuana products and marijuana accessories for personal use by adults. If it goes to ballot and is voted in, the legislature may adopt rules & regs for other licenses to be made available to sustain an adult market.

Florida Marijuana Program Timeline

2014 – Florida legalized low-THC, high-CBD medical cannabis.

2015 – first Florida low-THC, high-CBD business opened.

2016 – Florida expanded their medical cannabis program allowing for higher THC within medical cannabis products.

2019 – Florida issued an additional 8 MMTCs.

July 2022 – OMMU planned to issue 19 new licenses.

April 24, 2023 – Application portal opened for 22 new MMTC applications.

April 28, 2023 – Application portal closed.

April 1, 2024 – The Supreme Court must rule on whether the proposal will be on the 2024 ballot.

April, 2024 – Winners from the 2023 application process expected to be announced in the first week of April.

November, 2024 – Bill will be placed on Ballot if the proposal overcomes a Florida Supreme Court review and legal challenge from state Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Spring 2025 – Six Months after the passage of the ballot rules and regulations must be adopted. Within 9 months of approval new MMTC’s must be registered.

 

For more information on Florida cannabis programs, including details on upcoming available licenses- visit our State Page.

The Cannabis Business Advisors has successfully secured licenses for clients in over 20 markets across the United States. Call our office at (602)-290-9424 or email (info@thecannabisbusinessadvisors.com) to get started.

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