In 2016, Florida residence passed the medical marijuana initiative by 71%. In 2019, the medical marijuana industry is booming with almost unlimited growth potential.
It is not yet legal recreationally, but the governor of Florida is pushing to have it added to the upcoming presidential election ballot.
This can mean huge shakeups in the near future for those people that need to use cannabis products as well as those that want to use them.
At this point in time, a resident who has qualified for a medical marijuana card is eligible to purchase cannabis products such as oils, sprays, edibles, and vaping products.
It is still not legal to buy products to smoke such as cannabis flowers because the Florida lawmakers believe them to be dangerous and a potential risk to the public health. They are also worried that allowing cannabis flowers to be smoked by medically approved patients could lead to the legalization of other smokable cannabis products which would lead to a greater demand for recreational legalization.
This prohibition was repealed in March of this year and Florida resident that use marijuana for medical purposes are expecting smokable products to be on the dispensary shelves by this summer.
It is still illegal for anyone without a medical marijuana card to consume marijuana products. Possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis is a misdemeanor that can send you to prison for 1 year and a fine of $1000.
Possession of more is a felony charge that can land you in jail for 5 years and a $5000 fine. These fines are not limited to the possession of marijuana by parties that are not legally authorized.
Possession of drug paraphernalia such as bongs or pipes is illegal as well and is a first-degree misdemeanor that can also result in a prison sentence of 1 year and a fine of $1000.
This all can be changing in the near future. The upcoming presidential election is finding a lot of Democrats and republican within the State of Florida stepping forward to through their hats in the arena for small and large positions.
Most of them are friendlier to the idea of legalizing marijuana for the entire state. It is not just Florida that is seeing this shift in political thought. Similar steps are being taken in states around the country.
What makes Florida unique among most of them is the high numbers of more elderly voters that are stepping forward to vote for legalization. Florida is a state that sees a lot of people retire to its warmer climate and many of those retiring have preexisting conditions that can have medical marijuana prescribed for them. They are pushing for more marijuana freedoms so that they and their friends will be able to take care of themselves easier.
On May 22, 2019, House Bill 7117 failed to pass. Had this bill passed, it would have made Florida the first state to regulate THC levels in medical marijuana. The reasoning behind this bill was to attempt to put a cap of 10% on the THC in all medical marijuana products because higher levels of THC can lead to psychosis.
This fact was taken from a survey where patients were already dealing with mental health issues before the use of cannabis was introduced. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando opinioned that the governing bodies in Florida want to implement medal and legal marijuana regulations without being aided by the voters.
The May 22, 2019, vote also had some debating about full marijuana legalization for personal use in Florida. The debate centered on the interest of making it easier for enforcement and enhancing revenue levels within the state.
It would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess the products if legalized and it would give people the individual freedom to choose whether or not they want to use the products. The proposal that was submitted to the house had 64,560 signatures on it. It is one step closer to the Florida Supreme Court after this review. The legalization of marijuana vote could end up on a ballot as early as the presidential election ballot next year. If this happens there is a good chance will pass because of the support by the people already using medical marijuana as well as those that want to use marijuana recreationally.
There are some parties that are pushing for Florida to legalize by the end of 2019. There is enough support by the retired community as well as people that want to enjoy marijuana recreationally. It will be up to the people to vote in large number to get it legalized by the end of the year. It will also be up to lawmakers to make sure the people have their say in what is done legally.