Cannabis legalization is coming through the Sunshine State like a freight train. Today I received a call from Liberty Health Sciences to confirm that Regulate Florida petitions will be in all of their retail dispensary locations. This was the phone call I had been waiting on after some discussions over the weekend. Liberty Health Sciences has agreed to become the third Florida medical marijuana treatment center to support the cannabis legalization petition.
Liberty Health Sciences is one of the 13 licensed medical marijuana treatment centers in Florida and one of the handful that have retail dispensaries around the state. They provide medical cannabis to qualified patients in Florida, and now their patients will be able to sign a Regulate Florida petition when they fill their next order.
Trulieve, Florida’s pioneer, was the first medical marijuana treatment center to become a petitioning partner with Regulate Florida. This latest round of news comes on the heels of Surterra Wellness and Evio Labs Florida, CannaMD, and MarijuanaDoctor.com all endorsing the Regulate Florida cannabis legalization movement in the span of a couple weeks. The Florida medical marijuana industry is continuing to line up behind Regulate Florida’s cannabis legalization movement at an increasing pace.
Liberty Health Sciences coming on board as a petitioning partner will increase the statewide reach that Regulate Florida has with licensed medical marijuana treatment centers. It is assumed that Trulieve, Surterra and Liberty Health Sciences will have the full 30 retail stores allowed under law opened in 2019. This is huge news for cannabis legalization advocates around the state and something that everyone can work together on going forward. The number of stores that each MMTC is allowed to open is open to change pending a lawsuit by Truileve
When Trulieve became the first to show their support for Regulate Florida in November of 2017, some skeptics that said it was only a marketing stunt. Trulieve has followed that up with over $20,000 in donations as well. Trulieve has done a tremendous job educating their colleagues on the benefits of a regulated adult use market. Since Trulieve became the first MMTC petitioning partner, the medical marijuana industry has shown an increased commitment to Regulate Florida’s cannabis legalization in Florida. I hope to see Surterra and Liberty Health do the same, and so far all signs points to this being the case.
In the last couple of months industry support has come from companies such as Trulieve, Florigrown(Joe Redners company), Sunshine Cannabis, Relief Resources, Conscious Communications, MarijuanaDoctor.com, Nugtopia, The Marijuana Solution, Green Roads World, CR World, CBD Essence, SMRT Collective, R3Trees, Norml of Florida, Minardi Law, We Are Rare, Evio Labs Florida, The Silver Tour, 420 Foundation, Sibannacal Life, The Game of Zonk, Lettuce, Florida Cannabis Coalition, Green Peak Media, Career Extracts and many other brands that I forgot to mention. The support of medical marijuana companies has been a turning point in most states transition from medical to regulated adult use. The average timeframe for states to go from a medical market to a regulated adult use market is around ten years. Regulate Florida is well positioned to get this done much faster with the widespread support of its initiative.
The rapidly increasing support from the biggest brands in Florida cannabis has made the path forward in Florida crystal clear. Regulate Florida is gaining momentum faster than the organization that got medical marijuana on the ballot. The organization that got medical marijuana on the ballot in 2014 and 2016 was led by “The People’s Champ” John Morgan. John Morgan recently said that he would be looking into starting a fund for people to donate to for cannabis legalization in Florida. Since Mr. Morgan spoke about his intentions, Regulate Florida has secured more endorsements than it did in the previous two months. Endorsements aren’t the only thing coming in increasing numbers and frequency. Petitions have been increasing in numbers each week as well. The increase in petitions is in large part to the growing number of pickup and drop off locations around the Sunshine State.
In the last two months Regulate Florida has more than tripled the number of retail locations that have the petition to legalize cannabis available for signing or dropping off. This past weekend Regulate Florida held a petition sorting party in Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale. Dozens of volunteers showed up to sort signed petitions and turn into the state to be verified. The petitioning organization is closing in on enough validated petitions to get to Supreme Court review. The political analysts that we spoke with expect the Supreme Court to review and certify the petition before the end of the year. It takes around 90 days for the high court to certify the petition once the proper amount have been turned in and verified.
We will continue to call on ALL MMTCs to support the Regulate Florida cannabis legalization petition. The Regulate Florida petition will allow all adults 21 years of age and older the ability to cultivate cannabis at their home. The amendment provides a minimum limit of six mature flowering plants, but does not prevent counties from adopting higher plant limits. Unlike other states there is no canopy limit to the plants, and the limit on number of plants is only for mature flowering plants. This is very important because patients that need a lot of biomass for juicing will still be able to cultivate plenty in a vegetative state. Patients like Joe Redner, who is suing the state for his right to grow, depend on biomass from plants to be able to juice. This is just one of the many reasons the petition is the way forward in Florida. Instead of leaving the regulations up to the legislature, the Regulate Florida petition clearly defines them. Some issues that arose from the Florida medical marijuana program are dispensary bans at the local level. The way Florida law is currently set up, city and county councils can collude to ban dispensaries. Regulate Florida prevents this by ensuring that any bans be voted on in an even numbered election year. Not all ballot initiatives have protections like this in the proposed amendment. Regulate Florida will continue to gain momentum and support from the cannabis industry on its way to the 2020 ballot.
Stay tuned for more great announcements like this from Regulate Florida.