Why Florida medical marijuana companies are pushing so hard for recreational pot – Tampa Bay Times

As legal marijuana dispensaries hope Floridians vote in November to allow recreational weed, they face a troubling trend: Right now, their flow of new customers is drying up.

The state’s medical marijuana industry is stagnating, data shows. Experts say a slowdown in new patients means the success of the largest marijuana companies in the state could depend on the proposed amendment.

“This is really their only opportunity for growth,” said former Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, who supports the legalization effort.

Amendment 3 would allow Floridians 21 and older to buy and possess up to three ounces of marijuana. At least 60% of voters need to support the measure for it to pass.

So far, the largest donor to the effort has been cannabis behemoth Trulieve, which has provided nearly $50 million of the $55 million raised by the amendment’s sponsor.

Today, cannabis companies are limited to selling to the almost 900,000 Florida residents who have been referred by a doctor for a medical marijuana card. Allowing recreational use would mean the same firms could sell to anyone of age.

That growth would be explosive. In an April filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers wrote that recreational

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