cannabis

Justices Weigh Recreational Marijuana Proposal

May 6, 2020
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE --- With Attorney General Ashley Moody, lawmakers and groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce trying to block the measure, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments about a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow people to use recreational marijuana.

The political committee Make It Legal Florida is seeking to put the proposal on the 2022 ballot but needs the Supreme Court to sign off on the ballot title and summary --- the wording that voters would see when they go to the polls.

Associated Press

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EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD

A marijuana lobbyist became the only statewide Democrat sworn into office. Smoking medical marijuana became legal in Florida. A new hemp program gave farmers statewide the optimism for a new cash crop. On the whole, 2019 proved to be a monumental year for cannabis in the state.

In February, The state hired its first “cannabis czar,” in August the Miami-Dade State Attorney announced it will no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases and in October, two associates of Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani’s sought pot licenses in the state.

About 57 Tons Of Smokable Medical Marijuana Ordered For Florida Patients In A Span Of 6 Months

Nov 21, 2019
Emily MICHOT / Miami Herald

More than 1.82 million ounces of smokable medical marijuana were ordered for 128,040 patients over a six-month period, a new state report shows. That translates to 113,922 pounds, or 57 tons, of flower marijuana.

The report, compiled on behalf of the state Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, shows that 44 percent of 291,865 patients certified to use medical marijuana as of Sept. 30 are smoking it.

A poll from the advocacy group National Consumers League shows that 86 % of Floridians think cannabidiol products “should be safe, backed by proven science and work as advertised.”

A new guideline from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to stay away from marijuana as cannabis use during pregnancy is on the rise.

Jennifer had a rough start to her pregnancy. "I had really intense food aversion and really intense nausea," says the 28-year-old mother of a five-month-old girl. "I wasn't eating at all."

She was losing weight instead of gaining it, she says, and couldn't even keep down her prenatal vitamins or iron pills, which she needed to deal with anemia. (NPR is only using her first name to protect her privacy.)

The alcohol Breathalyzer came to life slowly, over the course of decades.

It's still a mystery — what's causing the cluster of severe respiratory illnesses among people who've used e-cigarettes? The FDA says there have been at least 215 reported cases in 25 states.

Nearly three dozen of those cases are in New York state, and investigators there say they are now zeroing in on vitamin E as a possible culprit. Health officials say state lab tests detected high levels of vitamin E in cartridges of cannabis vaping products used by people who vaped and suffered serious lung damage.

Split Court Refuses To Revisit Major Pot Case

Aug 27, 2019

A split appeals court on Tuesday refused to grant the state’s request to revisit a decision that could revolutionize the way medical marijuana operators do business in Florida.

Instead, the 1st District Court of Appeal asked the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether the state’s “vertical integration” system of requiring licensed operators to grow, process and distribute cannabis and derivative products runs afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in Florida.

Court Says Pot Law Clashes With Constitutional Amendment

Jul 9, 2019
News Service Of Florida

Florida’s law requiring pot operators to grow, process and distribute cannabis and related products created an “oligopoly” and runs afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, an appellate court ruled Tuesday.

The 1st District Court of Appeal’s decision sent shockwaves through the state’s highly restricted but rapidly growing medical marijuana industry, in which licenses are routinely selling for upwards of $50 million.

Shea Castleberry works in a time capsule of sorts. He walks through the aisles of the Family Video store he manages in Murray, Ky., a small city surrounded by rolling farmland about two hours north of Nashville.

Next to the movies and popcorn, there's a new addition to his store that surprises some of his regulars.

"A lot of people are like 'a video store selling CBD?' But it really does tie into our values. Which is, we're here for the community," Castleberry said.

Florida’s Director of Cannabis has only been on the newly-created job a few months, but is already helping architect the foundation for a state hemp program.

Jose Iglesias / Miami Herald

Kim Rivers' dad was a Jacksonville Sheriff's deputy while she was growing up. For a time, he was working with an undercover narcotics unit.

Today, Rivers leads the largest seller of legal marijuana in Florida, as the CEO of Trulieve.

The company was the first to have medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and now has the most. Revenues grew 400 percent last year to more than $100 million and sales are expected to more than double this year. It has bought dispensaries in California and Massachusetts, and announced the purchase of a Connecticut dispensary this month.

Danny Rivero

Business from cannabis is growing fast in Florida; some of it regulated tightly, and some of it without rules. But all of it comes with cash that the banking industry is reluctant to touch. 

 

The first legal industrial hemp seeds in decades are growing now in South Florida soil.

CBD is showing up in ice cream, gummy bears and cocktails, but the state says the products are illegal.

And millions of dollars are being generated by the medical marijuana industry in Florida, but few banks want the money.

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