On Monday, January 13, Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) introduced a bill, SB 1860, to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. A House companion bill, HB 1389, was also introduced.
Meanwhile, it was announced this week that marijuana legalization will not make it to the ballot for voters to decide on in 2020. However, the state legislature could still legalize cannabis for adult use.
Here are a few things the proposed legislation would do:
- Allow adults to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in a form for smoking from a licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC);
- Eliminate the requirement that MMTCs be vertically integrated — meaning businesses would not have to grow, sell, and process cannabis — they could just perform one of the functions;
- Direct the Department of Health to develop procedures to issue and renew licenses for the cultivation, processing, retail sale, and transportation of cannabis;
- Provide for expungement of criminal records for past cannabis convictions; and
- Direct the Department of Agriculture to issue a study on the effects of home cultivation.
By legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and older, Florida can reduce the number of cannabis-related arrests, displace the illicit market, and free up law enforcement resources to focus on serious crimes.
Ask your lawmakers to follow the will of the majority of Floridians to end prohibition and replace it with a system of regulation. Then, forward this message to your networks and encourage them to do the same.
The Florida Department of Health has proposed regulations to establish the procedure to apply for Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) licenses and to outline the evaluation process for applicants. The application is posted on the Office of Compassionate Use website, and applicants may begin completing applications for submission.
In order to become a licensed MMTC, each applicant is required to submit financial statements and to pass a background check. The law regulating Amendment 2 provides for 10 new licenses to be granted to growers in the state in addition to the seven that already exist and would require another four licenses to be issued for every 100,000 patients added to the state’s medical marijuana registry.