Florida Lawmakers Approve THC Cap Bill Ahead Of Marijuana Ballot

Florida Lawmakers Approve THC Cap Bill Ahead Of Marijuana Ballot

Florida GOP Senate lawmakers have approved legislation to cap the THC level on adult-use marijuana even though it is still illegal in the state.

The move has been made as a preemptive measure to regulate a future ballot initiative ahead of the vote in November, when Floridians will be asked whether they want to legalize adult-use marijuana in the state.

The proposal to cap THC, as outlined in SPB 7050, received approval from the state Senate Health Policy Committee on February 6.

The measure stipulates that smokeable products may contain a maximum of 30% of THC. Concentrates and vaporizers would be limited to 60 % of THC, and edibles for personal use would be restricted to 200 milligrams of THC. Additionally, a single serving of an edible must not exceed a potency of 10 milligrams of THC.

Initially, a House bill suggested a 10% cap, but this was later replaced in favor of a 30% limit during committee discussions. Lawmakers in the committee voiced concerns about the potential health effects of high-potency THC.

If signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the state would become the third in the U.S. to enforce a market-wide potency cap on adult-use marijuana, pending the unlocking of marijuana legalization on November's ballot, joining Connecticut and Vermont in imposing restrictions on THC levels in smokable flowers.

Florida lawmakers are formulating these regulations in anticipation of voters' potential "yes" vote, especially with a pending state Supreme Court decision on a challenge to the measure. Governor DeSantis recently predicted a favorable legal outcome in the Supreme Court amidst a challenge from the attorney general seeking to block the vote.

The bill aims to establish a distinct regulatory framework for recreational marijuana in anticipation of potential ballot placement and approval of the amendment. The proposed potency restrictions would specifically apply to products intended for adult use, not those for medical purposes.

A similar bill (HB 1269) endorsed by a House committee last week would enforce identical potency limits for adult recreational use, contingent upon the amendment's inclusion on the ballot and subsequent legalization.

November's ballot proposal would authorize adult personal use of marijuana for individuals aged 21 and older and would allow the state's licensed medical marijuana operators and other licensed entities to participate in the adult-use marijuana industry.

Although the proposed caps could lead to a significant disparity in potency levels between recreational and medicinal pot programs, the proponents of the bill expressed concerns regarding the potency and effects of marijuana, arguing that it is essential for lawmakers to implement precautionary measures early on so that voters can have a better understanding when making their decision at the ballot box.

On the other hand, opponents fear that imposing caps could have negative consequences, potentially driving certain individuals towards illicit markets that are not subjected to the THC cap measures.

This proposed legislation will come into effect 30 days after the approval of an amendment to the State Constitution allowing adult use of marijuana.

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Region: Florida


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