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 — far more generally recognized 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 individuals indicate a far 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, like parks and beaches. Now 1 lawmaker is hunting 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 sorts inside state parks. Gruters unsuccessfully introduced a equivalent 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 Occasions.
If SB 670 became law, it would take impact subsequent summer time.
two. Relaxing minimum sentences for marijuana crimes (HB 339). This Home bill would enable judges to deviate from minimum sentencing suggestions in the state for crimes involving the sale and trafficking of cannabis. Even though the law would nonetheless involve suggestions, it would give judges far more agency to identify sentences on a case-by-case basis.
The bill would also transform the variety of grams of cannabis in many trafficking charges, largely upping the thresholds for every single improved charge.
According to Florida Politics, backers of the bill say it really is meant to empower judges to make their personal choices when it comes to sentencing. The bill’s approval would mark a important shift in the state’s challenging-on-crime strategy of the previous couple of decades.
Supporters say shorter sentences for minor drug offenses will save the state funds and can support hold households collectively.
three. Redefining which corporations can develop and sell cannabis (HB 149). This bill defines healthcare marijuana therapy centers and governs how the Florida Division of Overall health 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 get rid of 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 Day-to-day Industrial, which sets him apart from his Republican colleagues in the Home.
four. Amending criminal penalties for marijuana crimes (HB 25). Beneath this bill, criminal penalties for the possession of cannabis and THC items 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 decrease 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.
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 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, “Producing our communities equitable and safer begins with guaranteeing that folks have a fair shot. Floridians need to have reform of cannabis laws, and we will make certain we finish the injustice of overcriminalization.”
Delighted to introduce my initially bill of the 2020 legislative session! Producing our communities equitable and safer begins with guaranteeing that folks have a fair shot. Floridians need to have reform of cannabis laws, and we will make certain we finish the injustice of overcriminalization. #WEthePEOPLE pic.twitter.com/0L79ENpRhH
— Shevrin Jones (@ShevrinJones) August 5, 2019
five. Enabling far more enterprises to sell healthcare marijuana and edibles (SB 212). This Florida Senate bill would revise the state’s definition of edibles and low-THC cannabis items, as effectively as marijuana and marijuana delivery devices. In most circumstances, the definitions have merely been expanded to involve healthcare marijuana retail facilities, alongside healthcare marijuana therapy centers, as genuine areas to receive these items.
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 effect on healthcare marijuana retail facilities by authorizing them to sell marijuana, marijuana delivery devices, and edibles below a new set of needs. 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 items. The facilities themselves would not be permitted to create the items.