marijuana

David Zalubowski / AP

A new petition drive to legalize recreational marijuana has gathered 100,000 signatures in its first 20 days, giving supporters high hopes that Florida could be on its way to joining other states in ending the prohibition of cannabis.

The goal is to put the legalization question before Florida voters in next year’s election, said Nick Hansen, chairman of Make It Legal Florida, the group circulating the petition.

hemp vs marijuana
Image by TechPhotoGal on Pixabay

Now that smoking hemp is legal across Florida, it's causing problems for local governments who want to prohibit smoking illegal marijuana. 

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

At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Northern District said he’s willing to step in and prosecute marijuana offenses that the state attorney will not. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe offered more specifics.

C.M. GUERRERO / MIAMI HERALD

In a significant policy change spurred by new Florida law, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office announced it will no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases. And for amounts large enough for felony charges, police will now be required to get lab tests to confirm that marijuana is, well, actually marijuana.

Wikimedia Commons

Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida got a big boost this week from Orlando attorney John Morgan. He's credited with helping to legalize medical marijuana by advocating for Amendment 2 in 2016. 

Morgan backs the inclusion of a question about the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state's 2020 ballot. The proposed initiative would require nearly 800,000 signatures of registered voters and a review by Florida's Supreme Court to make it to the voters. The proposed amendment would require 60 percent of  approval to become law.

State officials have heralded hemp as a new wonder crop.  But the plant’s recent legalization is complicating efforts to prosecute marijuana-related charges, and has left police and prosecutors alike scrambling for a solution.

One Florida lawmaker says the legislature could get a do-over on implementing the state’s 2016 medical marijuana amendment after the First Discrict Court of Appeal handed down an opinion Tuesday calling the current setup unconstitutional.

Medical Marijuana Firm Seeks OK To Expand

Jun 5, 2019

One of the state’s largest medical-marijuana firms wants to grow bigger. Alpha Foliage filed a petition last week with the state Office of Medical Marijuana Use seeking to increase its number of storefronts. 

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.

NIKKI FRIED CAMPAIGN

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried ran on a platform of what she called 'the three W’s': weapons, water and weed. Within months of her swearing in, it’s that last W that’s already generating a buzz around the state. 

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

Gummy bears, oils, cocktails, ice cream ... Products with CBD in them have practically become ubiquitous in South Florida. The chemical CBD comes from the cannabis plant and that fact is leaving business owners in a kind of gray zone. But increasingly the federal government is taking notice, while regulations from the state are forthcoming.

Normally, a chief financial officer's job involves poring over balance sheets and bank statements. But in the pot business, the job still bears a lot of similarities to the illicit trade — transporting loads of cash under the watchful eye of big guys carrying lots of guns.

Just ask Tom DiGiovanni.

This chief financial officer and former Ernst & Young accountant leans into an unmarked armored van where there's a metal cage to protect the revenues for his company, Canndescent, from would-be thieves.

TheNewsHerald/Flickr

A House committee wants to limit the strength of smokable medical marijuana less than a month after Florida lifted a ban on smokable forms of the plant.

The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would limit the strength of marijuana flowers to 10% THC over the objection of patient advocates.

The 12-5 vote was along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against.

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