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 — much more typically identified as recreational marijuana — officials are nevertheless 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 much more lax method to drug sentencing. As it stands, lawmakers continue to grapple with their method to licensing health-related 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 seeking 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 related 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 season.
two. Relaxing minimum sentences for marijuana crimes (HB 339). This Property bill would permit judges to deviate from minimum sentencing suggestions in the state for crimes involving the sale and trafficking of cannabis. Even though the law would nevertheless involve suggestions, it would give judges much more agency to ascertain sentences on a case-by-case basis.
The bill would also adjust the variety of grams of cannabis in various trafficking charges, largely upping the thresholds for every 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 significant shift in the state’s difficult-on-crime method of the previous handful of decades.
Supporters say shorter sentences for minor drug offenses will save the state income and can assistance hold households collectively.
three. Redefining which businesses can develop and sell cannabis (HB 149). This bill defines health-related 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 existing limits on the quantity of applicants who can be licensed and eliminate the cap of 25 facilities per license granted.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, lately tweeted that the higher price of health-related marijuana licenses in the state is “just incorrect.”
Sabatini has also mentioned he supports complete legalization of marijuana, according to the Every day Industrial, which sets him apart from his Republican colleagues in the Property.
four. Amending criminal penalties for marijuana crimes (HB 25). Below 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 simply because 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, “Creating our communities equitable and safer begins with making sure that people today have a fair shot. Floridians will need reform of cannabis laws, and we will make positive we finish the injustice of overcriminalization.”
Content to introduce my initially bill of the 2020 legislative session! Creating our communities equitable and safer begins with making sure that people today have a fair shot. Floridians will need 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. Permitting much more enterprises to sell health-related marijuana and edibles (SB 212). This Florida Senate bill would revise the state’s definition of edibles and low-THC cannabis items, as properly as marijuana and marijuana delivery devices. In most situations, the definitions have merely been expanded to involve health-related marijuana retail facilities, alongside health-related marijuana therapy centers, as genuine areas to acquire these items.
The bill would also make it illegal for certified physicians and caregivers to have an financial interest in a health-related marijuana retail facility.
SB 212 would have the most influence on health-related 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 health-related marijuana retail facilities in August 2020.
Authorized facilities would have to function with a single therapy center to acquire and sell their items. The facilities themselves would not be permitted to generate the items.