Legalizing Marijuana Would Boost Florida’s Economy By $190 Million

A new report commissioned by the state found marijuana legalization to be “slightly positive” for Florida.

Thanks to its white beaches and theme parks, Florida already ranks high as a travel destination for most Americans. But if the state wants to pull more money into its economy, it should legalize marijuana. If voters agree in the 2020 election, legal marijuana would pump $190 million into the state’s economy from taxes and tourism.


Florida lawmakers want to give veterans medical marijuana cards for free

With data continuing to roll in that underscores the health benefits of cannabis, two Florida legislators aren't waiting for clarity in the national policy debates and are sponsoring bills designed to give medical marijuana cards to military veterans free of charge.

Last week, the Journal of Psychopharmacology added yet another study to the growing body of evidence pointing to the linkage between marijuana use and the alleviation of post-traumatic stress disorder. In a cross-section survey of Canadians, the authors reported depressive episodes and suicidal ideation was not a factor among cannabis users; consequently, they cited "an emerging need for high-quality experimental investigation" of cannabis in treating PTSD.


New Florida Bill would prohibit discrimination against medical cannabis patients

A Florida lawmaker has introduced a bill that would protect employees from discrimination in the workplace due to their status as a medical marijuana patient or for the use of cannabis while off the job. The measure was pre-filed in the legislature by Democratic Rep. Tina Polsky of Boca Raton.


Florida petition to put cannabis on 2020 ballot has gathered enough signatures

While there are still a number of big hurdles to clear before recreational weed becomes legal in Florida, that possibility is looking more and more likely.

Currently, there are three proposals calling for legalization.

One of them, being proposed by Make it Legal Florida, has just hit its first big milestone. Now, the proposal must clear judicial and financial reviews. Following that, there are a couple final steps before the ballot.

But if the group meets all of these requirements, the proposal would finally make it in front of voters in 2020.


Florida medical marijuana use doubles in just one year

Since this time last year, the number of medical marijuana patients in Florida has more than doubled.

In fact, the state of Florida is the second-fastest-growing medical marijuana market in the country, according to a recent study done by Marijuana Business Daily.

In November 2016, medical marijuana became legal for Florida residents, but, despite the obvious upward trend, many in the industry say there is still a lot of misinformation about it.

CBS4’s Karli Barnett breaks down the facts and learned the process of accessing medical marijuana.


Florida's recreational marijuana ballot initiative gains momentum

Racing to try to get on the November 2020 ballot, a political committee backing a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana had submitted more than 57,000 petition signatures to the state Division of Elections as of Wednesday, records show.

The committee Make It Legal Florida registered with the state in August and had spent more than $1 million as of Sept. 30 as it gathers petition signatures.

he proposed amendment, if approved by voters, would allow adults 21 or older to “possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.”


Florida University developing program to teach school kids about medical marijuana

It would go to figure, with the growing number of states where cannabis is legal, that educators are grappling with how to talk about marijuana with students in school. After all, the transition from the era of “Just Say No” messaging about how drugs are bad to this brave new world where cannabis products are available in the mall and corner pharmacies takes some explaining, even for the grown.


University of Florida’s secret hemp fields grow marijuana

Florida is likely just months away from officially allowing farmers to plant hemp in the Sunshine State. It would be the first time it’s allowed since the 1950s.

The hemp and CBD oil craze has swept the nation over the last few years, with claims the plant can be used for thousands of products and also help everything from anxiety to pain. As many as 8,000 farmers are expected to apply for a Florida hemp license. But for as popular as hemp is, early tests show it may be a big gamble.


Florida patients hard-pressed to find smokable medical pot as demand increases

When Robin Boggs walks into her local medical marijuana dispensary, she knows she’s better off than she was a few years ago.

After four failed neck surgeries and a recommendation for a morphine pump, the 63-year-old retired police officer has found that smoking medical marijuana works to help manage her chronic pain in a way that doesn’t leave her “zombified.”

But lately, she’s been leaving disappointed.

“They are having a hard time keeping flower in stock,” said Boggs, of Volusia County. “Many times when I visit a dispensary, I leave heartbroken.”

Boggs is not alone.


Five Bills that would change Florida's marijuana laws

Lawmakers are scrambling to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of the cannabis and hemp industries in Florida. As proponents of legalization lay the groundwork for a 2020 vote on adult use — more commonly known as recreational marijuana — officials are still trying to get a handle on the cannabis and hemp industries.

Some newly proposed bills would lay the foundation for legalization of recreational marijuana, and others indicate a more lax approach to drug sentencing. As it stands, lawmakers continue to grapple with their approach to licensing medical marijuana facilities and regulating public smoking now that hemp is legal. With that in mind, here's what state legislators have been working on lately.


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