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Florida Supreme Court Green Lights Marijuana Legalization Initiative for November Ballot

By April 1, 2024April 3rd, 2024No Comments
medical marijuana ruling

Florida’s Supreme Court has given the green light for a marijuana legalization initiative to go on the November ballot marking a win for advocates of cannabis reform in the state. At Fort Lauderdale- and Aspen-based public relations and marketing agency Durée & Company, we have been anxiously awaiting the news, and here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know.

The Background

The Smart and Safe Florida campaign has been at the forefront of pushing for cannabis legalization investing heavily in a million-dollar effort to include Amendment 3 on the upcoming ballot. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody had challenged the proposed initiative for various reasons, arguing the ballot summary would mislead voters because it says that marijuana would be legal when it is illegal federally. This left it up to Florida’s Supreme Court to decide whether to allow the initiative to be on the ballot. The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments over the initiative last November, and they had to issue its ruling no later than April 1.

The Results

On April 1, 2024, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that voters in November will be able to determine if Florida will become the 25th state to legalize recreational marijuana, placing it on the 2024 ballot in November. At least 60% of Florida voters will have to vote in favor of the measure for it to pass. If passed, the initiative would allow adults 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 medical marijuana treatment centers and other state-licensed entities to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute such products and accessories. The measure would go into effect in May 2025.

What’s Next?

With the November 5th Election Day looming, residents of Florida have a chance to influence the direction of cannabis regulations in their state. As Amendment 3 hangs in uncertainty voters possess the ability to unlock opportunities for a controlled and accountable cannabis industry.

The regulation landscape is ever-changing in the cannabis industry, both on the state and federal levels. In separate Florida legislation news, Florida lawmakers recently signed off again on expanding the number of medical-marijuana licenses earmarked for Black farmers, opening the door for three applicants who were previously denied licenses. The provision was tacked onto a broader health bill, SB 1582, in the last week of the session. The effort ties back to the Pigford/Black Farmers Litigation (BFL), which addressed racial discrimination against Black farmers by the USDA, such as discriminatory lending. The bill introduces a 90-day period to identify any application problems and includes provisions to ensure that the heirs of deceased applicants can inherit the license. The measure also removes a provision requiring five years of business registration in the state, an obstacle for some elderly Black farmers.

On the federal level, there are high hopes that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recent ask of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ease restrictions on cannabis will happen soon. The recommendation is for the DEA to move marijuana from its current status in Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. This means, that if changed, marijuana would be considered to have moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependence.

At Durée & Company, we understand the importance of these milestones. We are dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating the complexities of this changing landscape.

If you’re interested in learning more about this moment or have questions about the impact of cannabis legalization in Florida, contact us today. Our experienced team is available to offer insights, advice and personalized strategic guidance. For more information about Durée & Company’s cannabis practice, visit our cannabismarketingpr.com microsite, dedicated to our practice providing PR and marketing for clients in the cannabis, CBD and hemp space.

 

About Durée & Company, Inc.

Founded in 1999, Durée & Company is a full-service, well-respected and highly creative public relations and marketing agency serving a diverse client base of local, national and international consumer brands, landmark industries, business leaders and philanthropists from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Practice areas include nonprofit, hospitality, business, lifestyle, health and wellness, legal, real estate, yacht and marine as well as cannabis, psychedelics, and other emerging industries. Durée & Company is a member of some of the nation’s most elite professional organizations including PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), The Cannabis Marketing Association and is a corporate partner of Cannabis LAB. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.comcannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on FacebookInstagramXYouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.

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