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 — a lot more typically identified as recreational marijuana — officials are nonetheless attempting to get a deal with on the cannabis and hemp industries.
Some newly proposed bills would lay the foundation for legalization of recreational marijuana, and other folks indicate a a lot more lax method to drug sentencing. As it stands, lawmakers continue to grapple with their method 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 operating 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 one particular lawmaker is searching to make an expanded version of that law statewide.
SB 670 was introduced by Republican state Sen. Joe Gruters. The bill would ban each smoking and vaping of all types inside state parks. Gruters unsuccessfully introduced a comparable bill earlier this year: SB 218 would have forced violators to spend a $25 fine or commit to ten hours of neighborhood service, according to the Tampa Bay Instances.
If SB 670 became law, it would take impact subsequent summer time.
two. Relaxing minimum sentences for marijuana crimes (HB 339). This Property bill would let judges to deviate from minimum sentencing recommendations in the state for crimes involving the sale and trafficking of cannabis. Although the law would nonetheless include things like recommendations, it would give judges a lot more agency to figure out sentences on a case-by-case basis.
The bill would also alter the variety of grams of cannabis in various trafficking charges, largely upping the thresholds for every single 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. The bill’s approval would mark a key shift in the state’s challenging-on-crime method of the previous couple of decades.
Supporters say shorter sentences for minor drug offenses will save the state income and can aid hold households with each other.
three. Redefining which firms can develop and sell cannabis (HB 149). This bill defines healthcare marijuana therapy centers and governs how the Florida Division of Wellness would dole out licenses to growers and dispensaries. The bill would also lift present 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 expense of healthcare marijuana licenses in the state is “just incorrect.”
Sabatini has also stated he supports complete legalization of marijuana, according to the Day-to-day Industrial, which sets him apart from his Republican colleagues in the Property.
four. Amending criminal penalties for marijuana crimes (HB 25). Beneath this bill, criminal penalties for the possession of cannabis and THC solutions would be decreased. 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 incarcerated below charges of marijuana possession. That is for the reason that the bill would decriminalize marijuana possession for up to 20 grams.
Any individual 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 alternatively 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, “Generating our communities equitable and safer begins with making sure that men and women have a fair shot. Floridians require reform of cannabis laws, and we will make positive we finish the injustice of overcriminalization.”
Delighted to introduce my initially bill of the 2020 legislative session! Generating our communities equitable and safer begins with making sure that men and women have a fair shot. Floridians require reform of cannabis laws, and we will make positive we finish the injustice of overcriminalization. #WEthePEOPLE pic.twitter.com/0L79ENpRhH
— Shevrin Jones (@ShevrinJones) August 5, 2019
five. Enabling a lot more firms to sell healthcare marijuana and edibles (SB 212). This Florida Senate bill would revise the state’s definition of edibles and low-THC cannabis solutions, as nicely 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 therapy centers, as reputable areas to receive these solutions.
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 by authorizing them to sell marijuana, marijuana delivery devices, and edibles below a new set of specifications. If the bill became law, the state would commence issuing licenses to healthcare marijuana retail facilities in August 2020.
Authorized facilities would have to operate with a single therapy center to receive and sell their solutions. The facilities themselves would not be permitted to create the solutions.