Pot business hazy over impacts from legalized medical marijuana in Florida – Florida Times-Union
While over 70 percent of Florida voters approved constitutional Amendment 2 on Nov. 8 to legalize medicinal marijuana, the economic impact of the measure will remain hazy for at least months if not years
The modification to the state’s constitution officially doesn’t take hold until Jan. 3. But there are already six marijuana cultivation operations designated for the different geographic areas of Florida — the closest for the First Coast is in Gainesville — that will handle the growth of the marijuana initially.
State Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said the state legislature has been preparing for the eventuality of legalized medical marijuana ever since it failed in the 2014 ballot referendum. Bradley was responsible for drafting much of the legislation that provided an interim solution called Charlotte’s Web — or low potency pot — used to provide relief of afflictions suffered mainly by children who have epilepsy or similar conditions.
After passing a legislative act in 2014, the Florida Department of Health in 2015 granted the licenses for the six growing operations for Charlotte’s Web. But Bradley said there have been legislative maneuvers since then to brace the eventual approval of stronger medicinal marijuana.
“As a state, we are prepared to implement Amendment 2,” Bradley said.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said the agency declined to comment for this report.
Bradley said that during the last legislative session, state lawmakers approved a measure for people with terminal illnesses to legally purchase higher potency medicinal marijuana, which also meant the six cultivation sites in the state could grow it. Within that legislative action, there’s also a stipulation that allows the state to expand the number of growing operations if the number of registered patients demanding the drug exceeds 250,000.
“What I see Amendment 2 doing is expanding the scope of