Earlier this week, the 2022 session for Florida’s legislature kicked off. Although this year is a short session that ends in just three months, lawmakers have already filed several cannabis-related proposals, and many remain pending from the 2021 session.
While Florida voters enacted a medical cannabis program in 2014, Florida remains one of only 19 states that imposes jail time for simple possession.
Action: Let’s make this the year Florida enacts sensible cannabis reform!
In October 2021, Minority Leader Sen. Bobby Powell (D) sponsored S 470, which would reduce the penalty for possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis to a $100 fine plus court costs. The following month, Rep. Dotie Joseph (D) filed H 725, which reduces the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis to a $50 fine. And in December 2021, Rep. Mike Caruso (R) filed H 957, which decriminalizes possession up to 20 grams. Each of these bills has been refiled for the 2022 legislative session.
Earlier this week, Sen. Gary Farmer (D) filed three measures that collectively propose a legal adult-use cannabis market in the Sunshine State. S 1658 would impose a 15% sales tax on cannabis sold at retail stores and tax sales of food or beverages containing cannabis sold by a cannabis consumption site at a rate of 19 cents per milligram of THC. The bill also provides that counties and municipalities can establish additional sales taxes of up to 3.75% of the sales price of cannabis sold at retail stores. Counties and municipalities would be allowed to impose an additional tax of up to four cents per milligram of THC on sales of food or beverages containing cannabis sold by consumption sites.
Action: Tell your legislator it’s time to support legalization!
On the other side of the aisle, S 776 was sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) in the 2021 session. The proposal would legalize possession of up to four ounces and has also been reintroduced for the 2022 session.
Separately, there are three additional legalization measures that remain pending in the House that were introduced during the 2021 session.
Be sure to reach out to your lawmakers to let them know you want them to legalize cannabis for adult use this session! After you reach out, please urge your friends and family in Florida to do the same.