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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Florida’s latest legalization effort receives $5M in support

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Smart & Safe Florida’s legalization campaign recently got the support of the medical cannabis company Truelife and Grammy-nominated country music group, Bellamy brothers. Trulieve has donated $5 million to efforts that could lead to action on the 2024 ballot.

according to Kim Rivers, CEO of TrulieveLegalization is all about access. “We came to this with a mission to provide access to high-quality products that are safe and have an appropriate value proposition to give people control of their medical journey — in the original days —,” Rivers told the Florida News Service. “I don’t think that’s changing here. I mean, in fact, we’re at the heart of our business in terms of expanding access to a safe legal product, which is what this will allow us to continue to do.”

If passed, the amendment would legalize recreational cannabis use for anyone 21 years of age or older. This includes “possession, purchase, or use of marijuana and marijuana supplements for personal, non-medical consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.”

It would also change the state’s existing “medical marijuana treatment centers” to “obtain, grow, process, manufacture, sell and distribute these products and accessories.” As of 2016, Florida requires that these businesses be vertically integrated, which means they must control everything from farming to retail sales. according to WJCT NewsThis prevents small business owners from entering the industry.

Finally, if voters approve this measure, it will still allow lawmakers to participate in the drafting of the bylaws. “Any amendment in the state of Florida would have to be very careful about individual issues with this court, and so I know, in my conversation with attorneys, that there has been a very high focus on keeping this really focused on allowing adult use then,” Rivers said.

This action also has support from the Smart & Safe Florida Political Committee Chair and Musician David BellamyFrom the music duo Bellamy brothers. Members of the Country Group are Native Florida who previously partnered with Trulieve to create a line of cannabis products.

“As we travel the country, we see the benefits of adult use, and as Florida residents, we love the nickname ‘Freedom State’ and believe that Florida needs to join the millions of Americans who are free to use cannabis without fear of imprisonment,” the duo said. WJCT News in an email.

A different legalization initiative from the Sensible Florida Political Committee, which proposed regulating cannabis like alcohol, was rejected in June 2021 by the Florida Supreme Court. Another initiative was rejected in April 2021.

Despite these obstacles, Rivers is confident Truelev’s attorneys have analyzed these past attempts to learn from the past. “Each initiative provided a certain level of learning,” Rivers said. With this initiative, the authors took a closer look at the Supreme Court rulings surrounding previous efforts and took this into account. We believe it is a very appropriate, precisely focused, and appropriately subject to the legislature.”

Compared to previous attempts to legalize cannabis in Florida, Rivers believes Trulieve’s strong support for medical cannabis patients can help spread the word about this new initiative. “One of the interesting aspects here is that we have (a) a market for medical cannabis and we have hundreds of thousands of patients in Florida who use medical cannabis regularly. So our ability to reach out and have more direct contacts… is a little bit unique from an identification perspective. sites,”

But according to Rivers, Florida is home to many passionate advocates willing to help. “While we are pleased to make the investment, we also think there are a lot of people who are very excited about this and I expect to have great engagement across the community,” she added.

Advocates like The Bellamy Brothers, who believe legalization in Florida is a step toward ending nonviolent cannabis convictions. “We see it every day and hear it from everyone we talk to, that the idea of ​​putting adults in prison and having their lives ruined for cannabis use is crazy. We’ve also read polls and have seen consistent and strong support for efforts to allow adults to use cannabis,” wrote The Bellamy Brothers.


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