Just two days after the end of the Florida Medical Cannabis Conference in Orlando, Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith has filed some monumental legislation. In an attempt to comply with Governor Ron DeSantis’ legislative deadline of March 15th to implement smokable cannabis, Rep. Smith has taken the initiative one step further.
A major presence at the FMCC this past weekend at the Orlando World Center Marriott was Regulate Florida. Regulate Florida is an organization that has a simple mission, as stated on their distributed literature:
“The mission of Sensible Florida is to create a practical and enforceable framework for adult use of marijuana. Through a program of regulation and education, we will limit access to minors, prevent abuse and curtail driving while impaired. We will enable the creation of jobs and allow consenting and informed adults to choose to use cannabis responsibly rather than be labeled as criminals, while reducing the use of limited law enforcement resources.”
Essentially, Regulate Florida wants to open Florida’s marketplace to responsible adult use cannabis much like many other “recreational” states.
Also listed on their literature is a list of principles of responsible marijuana regulation, as follows:
- To prevent access by minors
- To prevent impaired driving
- To be educated about the different uses and forms of marijuana
- To license legitimate businesses to enter the marijuana marketplace
- To permit limited home cultivation
- To encourage responsible growing principles by minimizing power, water, and environmental impact
- To create options for the state to establish reasonable fees and taxes to minimize a black market for marijuana
- To allow responsible, educated choices by adults
- To prevent criminal records for people using marijuana responsibly
- To limit that sales be only by licensed growers, manufacturers, and retail establishments
- To require that only individuals with sufficient moral character be permitted to run marijuana businesses
- To prevent the involvement of criminal enterprises through REGULATION
While these seem like common sense guidelines, these are major hurdles that still stand in the way of a regulated adult use market in Florida. Several representatives at the FMCC mentioned that these guidelines do not seem to be a priority for the current legislative session, regardless of popularity.
Regulate Florida has been circulating a petition to get legislative attention and are only a few thousand signatures away from their goal. However, this movement caught Rep. Smith’s eye and he made an initiative to submit a proposal very similar to the Regulate Florida guidelines.
Rep. Smith sat down with Robert Roundtree on the Marijuana Solution podcast to further discuss his initiative.
A link to the Marijuana Solution podcast available HERE
A link to the full text of the submitted bill available HERE
This is another major move in the fight for adult use cannabis in Florida and it is a great sign of positive progress. Whether it was the pressure from the Governor or the huge support shown by constituents, cannabis advocates everywhere are celebrating a minor step in the right direction. Patients and responsible adults may have access to cannabis sooner than previously imagined.