Florida Recreational Cannabis Gets Closer to a Reality
Advocates of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Florida have cleared a significant hurdle in their quest to get the measure on the 2024 ballot. The “Smart & Safe Florida” political committee, backed by the state’s top medical marijuana company, Trulieve, has submitted many valid petition signatures, triggering a review by the Florida Supreme Court. The court will examine the proposal’s wording to ensure it is clear and does not deceive voters. Trulieve has donated nearly all of the $20 million raised so far, with the majority of the funds going towards the gathering and verifying petition signatures. This comes after two previous attempts to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida were rejected by the Supreme Court in 2021.
Trulieve, Florida’s Biggest Provider
However, getting a measure on the ballot in Florida has become more complex and expensive in recent years due to changes in the law, such as the ban on paying petition gatherers by the signature and the need for workers to register with the state. The cost of putting the proposal on the ballot has more than doubled compared to a similar measure in 2016, with supporters spending over $19 million . Nevertheless, Trulieve spokesman, Steve Vancore, says that the mission has been accomplished for those who sought to make the process more challenging.
Smart & Safe Florida committee
Should the Smart & Safe Florida committee receive the green light from the Supreme Court, they would still need to collect a minimum of 891,589 signatures from at least half of the state’s congressional districts to get the “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana” proposal on the 2024 ballot. The proposal would allow individuals 21 or older to purchase, possess, and use marijuana products for personal consumption through smoking, ingestion, or other means. The state’s licensed medical marijuana operators would also be permitted to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute these products. However, personal cultivation of marijuana plants would not be authorized. The proposed amendment would need the support of 60% of voters to be added to the Florida Constitution.
Despite the challenges, the journey to getting a proposal on the ballot in Florida has become increasingly complex and costly in recent years, owing to changes in the law. For example, the ban on paying petition gatherers per signature and the requirement for workers to register with the state has made the process more difficult. The cost of putting the proposal on the ballot has skyrocketed, with supporters already spending over $19 million , more than double the amount spent on a similar measure in 2016. Despite these challenges, Trulieve spokesman Steve Vancore believes the mission has been accomplished for those who aimed to make the process more difficult.