RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA [All You Need To Know in 2021]
Updated: Feb 10
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA
If there is one question most people want to know, it is when will recreational marijuana in Florida become legal? According to recent polls, 67% of Floridians support legalizing marijuana for use by adults 21 and over. The facts are that states have legalized marijuana for adult use in recent years, at record rates, and it is time Florida joined those recreational legal states.
The national push for legalization, which would probably have a trickle-down effect for full Florida legalization, is represented in the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 or the MORE Act of 2019. If passed, this legislation would expunge certain marijuana convictions for people charged and convicted of small marijuana-related offenses. Moreover, the MORE Act would decriminalize marijuana and would reclassify marijuana, taking off the schedule 1 rating it currently shares with heroin, cocaine, and other dangerous drugs.
STRUGGLES FACING FLORIDA RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
There have been many struggles facing recreational legalization in Florida since marijuana has been considered taboo in the Sunshine State. Many people who were opposed to the legalization of medical marijuana had made claims that legalizing it in Florida would increase crime rates, bring property values down around dispensaries, and undermine the failed war on drugs in America.
However, Florida has seen the opposite effects from legalizing medical marijuana since 2017, when legislation was passed, allowing patients with qualifying conditions to access marijuana through a certified doctor.
More than 200 medical marijuana dispensaries exist and operate throughout Florida today, and residential property values are through the roof, statewide. In fact, 2020 was considered a housing boom year in the Sunshine State, and the forecast is that it will continue into 2021.
Crime rates did not increase due to medical marijuana legalization in Florida either.
WHAT TYPE OF MARIJUANA IS LEGAL IN FLORIDA?
In 2021, only medical marijuana is legal in Florida. This means that anyone who thinks they will medically benefit from using marijuana products can obtain a medical marijuana use card, provided they are qualified and get certified by a medical marijuana doctor in Florida.
Currently, around 500,000 patients have MMJ cards and can legally buy and use medical marijuana. The qualifying conditions were expanded to include cancer, pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as other qualifying conditions.
WHAT ABOUT RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA 2021?
Since 2019, there have been several bills introduced that would legalize marijuana in Florida, but none have passed through the legislative process successfully.
However, Nick Hanson from Make It Legal Florida, is leading a petition to get a constitutional amendment for recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot for 2022.
The overwhelming support for Adult Use of Marijuana (recreational) in Florida, makes it seem like it has good odds of passing. The amendment would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess, transport, and use up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana legally.
Legalizing recreational marijuana through the amendment would allow existing dispensaries to sell marijuana, and marijuana-related products, to adults over 21 with the appropriate ID.
It would prohibit advertising to people under the age of 21 or allow the use of marijuana in public places.
We will all have to wait and see if 2022 brings recreational marijuana to Florida.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA?
The obvious benefits of allowing recreational marijuana in Florida for 2022 are plentiful. Besides the fact that 67% of people polled are in favor of legalizing marijuana, the money Florida would generate will be staggering.
A 2015 study by Duke University found that Florida would increase its yearly tax revenue by at least $120,000,000 and would reduce the amount spent on prosecuting marijuana criminal cases by $25.5 Million.
The amount of marijuana being sold by medical marijuana dispensaries these days is quite substantial, and the state could end up with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the first couple of years of recreational marijuana in Florida.
WRAPPING IT UP!
With such a fluid situation, the marijuana landscape is always changing as new issues get hammered out in court systems around the state. Having marijuana federally decriminalized, and even legalized, would drastically change the way Floridians can access it forever. Making it easier for adults 21 and over to have marijuana on their person, and purchase it legally, would supercharge the local economy, and take marijuana back from the criminal underground for good.
With the increase in the tax revenue and yearly fees for dispensaries and resellers, the state could fund meaningful projects that ultimately benefit the Sunshine State.