There are 21 million people in Florida, millions of whom will eventually qualify for the medical-grade marijuana that voters approved in November. Very soon, a hell of a lot of weed will be legally sold in the Sunshine State. And so far, lawmakers have given exactly seven companies the right to grow and sell all of that pot.
Florida’s mostly Republican legislators can barely pass basic laws like tax cuts or budget plans without tripping over themselves or spiraling into intra-party screaming matches. They’re so bad at writing their own laws that, as the Miami Herald astutely pointed out last week, gigantic companies like Florida Power & Light have to write laws for them. The current Legislature is a Stygian pit of bad ideas.
So, naturally, Florida voters in 2016 chose to give all of those people drugs.
In November, more than seven in ten Floridians at the polls checked yes on Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Considering Floridians would probably split 50-50 if asked whether they’d like a free delicious cupcake, that’s an amazing result.
Florida’s United for Care campaign spent two full election cycles — 2014 and 2016 — drafting, fighting, and pushing Floridians to legalize medicinal cannabis for demonstrably sick people. Last year, 72 percent of Floridians voted to amend the state constitution to legalize medical weed for people with diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Now it’s up to the Florida Legislature to adopt medical marijuana rules.
Yesterday, Fort Myers Rep. Ray Rodrigues finally unveiled the first medical weed regulations — and they would ban people from smoking marijuana or using edibles. Patients would also be prohibited from vaporizing weed if they aren’t terminally ill.
More Arizonans than ever hold medical-marijuana cards, boosting state-legal cannabis sales — and the tax revenue from them — to a new record.
Arizona patients bought 29 tons of cannabis products in 2016, according to records published today by the state Department of Health Services.
Included in the total are about 27 tons of buds and another couple of tons of edibles and concentrates like wax, shatter, and hash oil.
That’s a 53 percent increase over last year’s 19 tons of cannabis products sold.
If the latest crop of polls is correct, medical marijuana will be legally available to sick people in Florida tomorrow. As of late October, close to 80 percent of Floridians supported Amendment 2, which would legalize weed statewide for medical purposes, such as helping cancer or Alzheimer’s patients. Sixty percent of the electorate needs to approve the measure for it to pass.
But even assuming it passes, many Florida residents might need to travel pretty far to get their hands on medicinal cannabis. That’s because multiple cities are already gearing up to pass six-month “moratoriums” on medical marijuana — including Miami Beach.
Florida might finally vote to legalize medical marijuana November 8.
But beginning last Monday, a few South Floridians became able to use a strain of low-THC cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope. The oil contains high quantities of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, which calms epilepsy patients. However, it does not contain marijuana’s psychoactive chemicals.
In May 2014, Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss placed a slightly controversial item on that month’s agenda. He wanted to investigate how the medical marijuana industry might affect agriculture in the county.
“This is an item that’s causing a lot of arguments in our society. I think we have enough problems,” Souto said at the time. “It’s premature to jump into things like this.”
He was wrong, though. Just one month later, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a measure allowing patients with cancer or seizures to use low-THC marijuana. And earlier this year, the law was expanded to give people with terminal illnesses access to high-THC marijuana as well.
Now, with two months left until full-fledged medical marijuana is back on the ballot in Florida, the county has released the results of that study initiated by Moss in 2014. Considering the laws currently on the books, officials believe the total sales generated each year could be as high as $124 million in Miami-Dade.
High above the ocean in Malibu at the Sanctuary, a select few gathered for L.A.’s first Emerald Exchange. With a ticket, and a medical MJ card, guests were whisked up in style to a Mary Jane wet dream. After browsing the wares from all over California, guests were treated to an amazing meal prepared by chef Joshua Fisher and given several choices of infusions for their meal if they wished. A dance floor and DJ Greenseer finished off the night for those who wanted to keep the party going. Want to see more? Check out this slideshow from LA Weekly.
When Miami New Times sat down with Florida medical-marijuana advocate and political consultant Ben Pollara earlier this month, Pollara said he wasn’t concerned that Carol Jenkins Barnett, daughter of Publix supermarket-chain founder George Jenkins, had donated $800,000 to a group trying to keep medicinal weed illegal.
But it turns out tens of thousands of people don’t quite agree with one of the loudest medical-marijuana advocates in the state. As of Monday morning, more than 41,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that Jenkins Barnett stop using the chain’s profits to “fund [her]political beliefs.”