Sunday, April 14

How recreational marijuana would change Florida cannabis industry if approved by voters

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday ruled that an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana can appear on the November ballot.

Right now, there are 24 states where recreational marijuana is legal, 15 states where it’s medically legal, which includes Florida, and 11 states where marijuana with THC is not legal. Some of those states only sell products with CBD.

That is according to research from the Pew Research Center.

Now, voters in Florida will decide on their November ballots if they support legalizing recreational marijuana in the Sunshine State.

The proposed amendment would allow people 21 years or older “to possess, purchase or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion or otherwise,” and it would permit medical marijuana treatment centers and other state licensed entities “to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell and distribute such products and accessories.”

The measure requires 60% approval in order to pass.

“We’re very hopeful it’s going to happen. The polls that have been done previously show that it’s rather in the high 60s,” David Goubert, president and CEO of Ayr Wellness, told WPTV. “But we know we’re going to have a lot of work to do, all of us together, to make sure that it continues to be over 60% and it gets over 60% at the time of the vote.”

People in the industry tell WPTV if the measure passes, there will be big changes in how the product is sold.

“What will happen once a ballot initiative passes in November is there will be rules put in place,” Jason Erkes with Cresco Labs, which owns Sunnyside dispensaries in Florida, said. “I can speak to how, in other states, the medical dispensaries have transitioned to dual-use dispensaries where they’re serving both medical patients and adult-use consumers at the same time, with slightly different rules in place.”

Erkes said in other states, there are lower tax rates for medical patients, but it’s too soon to tell if that would happen here if passed.

“I can only speak to what we’ve seen in other states, but having a medical cannabis card will still provide a great benefit,” Erkes said. “I’m sure there will be a lower tax rate for medical patients and also they’ll be prioritized in the dispensary to make sure that they’re getting their medicine before any adult use consumers are sold product.”

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