Lawmakers are scrambling to hold pace with the ever-altering landscape of the cannabis and hemp industries in Florida. As proponents of legalization lay the groundwork for a 2020 vote on adult use — much more generally identified as recreational marijuana — officials are nonetheless attempting to get a manage on the cannabis and hemp industries.
Some newly proposed bills would lay the foundation for legalization of recreational marijuana, and other folks indicate a much more lax strategy to drug sentencing. As it stands, lawmakers continue to grapple with their strategy to licensing healthcare marijuana facilities and regulating public smoking now that hemp is legal. With that in thoughts, here’s what state legislators have been functioning on lately.
1. Banning marijuana smoke in state parks (SB 670). The City of Miami Beach lately banned smoking marijuana in public, which includes parks and beaches. Now 1 lawmaker is hunting to make an expanded version of that law apply statewide.
SB 670 was introduced by Republican state Sen. Joe Gruters. The bill would ban each smoking and vaping of all sorts inside state parks. Gruters unsuccessfully introduced a related bill earlier this year — SB 218 would have forced violators to either spend a $25 fine or commit to ten hours of neighborhood service, according to the Tampa Bay Occasions.
If passed, this new bill would take impact subsequent summer season.
two. Relaxing minimum sentences for marijuana crimes (HB 339). This Home bill would permit judges to depart from minimum sentencing suggestions in the state for crimes involving the sale and trafficking of cannabis. Whilst the law would nonetheless include things like suggestions, it would give judges much more agency to establish sentences on a case-by-case basis.
The bill also modifications the variety of grams of cannabis in many trafficking charges, mainly upping the thresholds for every enhanced charge.
According to Florida Politics, backers of the bill say it is meant to empower judges to make their personal choices when it comes to sentencing. If authorized, it would mark a big shift in the state’s difficult-on-crime strategy of the final couple of decades.
Supporters say shorter sentences for minor drug offenses will save the state dollars and can enable hold households collectively.
three. Redefining which organizations can develop and sell cannabis (HB 149). This bill defines healthcare marijuana remedy centers and governs how the Florida Division of Wellness would dole out licenses to growers and dispensaries. This bill would also lift existing limits on the quantity of applicants who can be licensed and take away the cap of 25 facilities per license granted.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini lately tweeted that the higher price of healthcare marijuana licenses in the state is “just incorrect.”
Sabatini has also mentioned he supports complete legalization of marijuana, according to the Each day Industrial, which tends to make him stand out amongst his Republican counterparts in the Home.
four. Amending criminal penalties for marijuana crimes (HB 25). Below this bill, criminal penalties for the possession of cannabis and THC merchandise would be lowered. Juveniles would also be eligible for civil citations or diversion applications for these crimes.
These in favor of the bill hope it will minimize the quantity of minorities at present incarcerated below charges of marijuana possession. That is for the reason that the bill would decriminalize marijuana possession for up to 20 grams of marijuana.
Everyone arrested on possession charges could also face lesser sentences and smaller sized fines. HB 25 would make possession of marijuana below 20 grams a noncriminal violation as an alternative of a misdemeanor, according to ABC Action News WFTS Tampa Bay.
Democratic state Rep. Shevrin Jones of Broward County filed the bill. He lately tweeted: “Creating our communities equitable and safer begins with making sure that men and women have a fair shot. Floridians want reform of cannabis laws, and we will make confident we finish the injustice of overcriminalization.”
Content to introduce my 1st bill of the 2020 legislative session! Creating our communities equitable and safer begins with making sure that men and women have a fair shot. Floridians want reform of cannabis laws, and we will make confident we finish the injustice of overcriminalization. #WEthePEOPLE pic.twitter.com/0L79ENpRhH
— Shevrin Jones (@ShevrinJones) August 5, 2019
five. Permitting much more corporations to sell healthcare marijuana and edibles (SB 212). This Florida Senate bill would revise the state’s definition of edibles and low-THC cannabis merchandise, as properly as marijuana and marijuana delivery devices. In most instances, the definitions have merely been expanded to include things like healthcare marijuana retail facilities alongside healthcare marijuana remedy centers as genuine locations to get mentioned merchandise.
The bill would also make it illegal for certified physicians and caregivers to have an financial interest in a healthcare marijuana retail facility.
SB 212 would have the most influence on healthcare marijuana retail facilities, authorizing them to dispense marijuana, marijuana delivery devices, and edibles below a new set of specifications. If passed, the state would commence issuing licenses to healthcare marijuana retail facilities in August 2020.
Authorized facilities would have to function with a single remedy center to get and sell their merchandise. The facilities would not be permitted to create the merchandise themselves.