A new campaign launched on Monday seeks to legalize cannabis for adult use in Florida. The effort is backed by the state’s largest medical cannabis company, WJCT News reports. The first ad published by Smart and Safe Florida featured country music stars the Bellamy Brothers.
The proposed constitutional amendment petition language reads:
“Allows 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. Applies to Florida law; does not change, or immunize violations of, federal law. Establishes possession limits for personal use. Allows consistent legislation. Defines terms. Provides effective date.”
Medical cannabis company Trulieve is contributing $5 million toward the effort to put the measure on 2024 ballots. Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers told the News Service of Florida that the amendment is “all about improving access.”
“We came into this with a mission to provide access to high-quality products that are safe and have an appropriate value proposition to give folks control over their – in the original days – medical journey. I don’t think that changes here. I mean, in effect we are at our core about expanding the opportunity for access to safe legal product, which is what this would allow us to continue to do.” — Rivers to the News Service of Florida via WJCT
Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for medical use in 2016 with 71% of the vote. Past attempts to legalize cannabis for adult use in Florida have failed legal challenges with the state Supreme Court but Rivers said the proposal was crafted with the state’s single-subject rule for initiatives in mind.
“Any amendment in the state of Florida has to be very careful in terms of single subjects with this court,” she told WJCT, “and so I do know, speaking with the lawyers, that there was a very high focus on keeping this really focused around authorizing adult use and then allowing the Legislature to develop policy.”
The petition would need 900,000 valid signatures in order to make the ballot.