Florida’s medical cannabis industry, already boasting a valuation at over $1.4 billion, continues to grow. And with potential recreational legalization this upcoming election season, the space will likely see some hefty deals. “Florida has already established itself with a sizeable medical market,” Pablo Zuanic, lead analyst at Zuanic & Associates, wrote in a report Friday. Altogether, the state’s medical cannabis sales growth has accelerated recently, with sales topping $92 million in August and $480 million for the three months ending on Aug.… Read more.
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During a presidential campaign event in Iowa on Saturday, Ron DeSantis reaffirmed his stance against the legalisation of marijuana. He expressed worries about the potential for young children to access cannabis contaminated with fentanyl. DeSantis underscored that he sees this issue as a pressing modern concern, differing greatly from substances used decades ago. He thinks that such substances' usage among the youth leads to a myriad of problems. Additionally, he highlighted the severe toll drugs are taking on the nation. The… Read more.
Arguably the most important woman in the cannabis industry, holding the position of chief executive officer at Florida-based cannabis behemoth Trulieve Cannabis Corp., a nationwide multi-state operator currently valued at $1.14B, Kim Rivers joined Trulieve at its inception and has since played a pivotal role in advancing the company’s customer-centric strategy, strong growth, strategic development and market-beating profitability. To assure quality, operational integrity and financial success, Rivers insists on supervising every step of the cannabis production process, from seed to… Read more.
Believe it or not, Ron DeSantis used to be one of the coolest Republicans when it came to weed. Unfortunately, spineless Ron DeSantis has capitulated and fallen in line with the majority of his fellow career-politician Republican prohibitionists. The facts show he is now squarely opposed to the super-majority of Americans (including a majority of Republican voters) who support legalization. This is yet another reason why he must not be elected president. To be fair, before I continue to trash him,… Read more.
Multistate operators are busy expanding their retail footprints in Florida’s nearly $2 billion medical marijuana market, in some cases betting that adult-use legalization is on the horizon and jostling into position to capitalize on that possibility. But investing in Florida marijuana retail could be a gamble. Medical cannabis dispensaries are already offering deep discounts to the more than 800,000 registered medical consumers in the increasingly competitive Florida market, and some companies reported flat sales in the state for the quarter… Read more.
The governor of Florida signed a little-noticed bill that took effect last month, expanding medical marijuana advertising and manufacturing restrictions to prohibit any products or messages that promote “recreational” cannabis use, while adding more stringent eligibility requirements for workers in the industry. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, approved the large-scale health legislation in May, making significant changes to the state’s existing medical cannabis law that could significantly impact the market, especially if an adult-use legalization measure makes… Read more.
A Florida beach became the location of an enigmatic discovery – a lost treasure. Neptune Beach, situated in the northeastern part of the state near Jacksonville, witnessed an intriguing incident. The local police reported that on Saturday morning, they responded to the presence of a considerable quantity of marijuana that had washed ashore. According to the Neptune Beach Police Department's Facebook post, a significant stash of marijuana likely ruptured at sea and scattered before reaching the beach. In response to this… Read more.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a Republican 2024 presidential candidate, has appointed six new members to his state’s Drug Policy Advisory Council—and it includes an eclectic mix of stakeholders, like a sheriff who campaigned against a medical cannabis ballot initiative that voters approved and another sheriff who supports marijuana decriminalization. The panel also features yet another sheriff who went viral for warning heroin sellers while wearing a ski mask and a pastor who thinks his fellow Southern Baptists should “take a… Read more.
Florida officials on Tuesday completed “Operation Kandy Krush,” uncovering nearly 70,000 packages of edible hemp products with packaging that target children due to their likeness to common, branded, candies such as Air Heads, Skittles, Trolli gummy candies, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, and Life Savers. The products were outlawed by a measure passed during the 2023 legislative session. The bill defined the term “attractive to children” to mean manufactured in the shape of humans, cartoons, or animals; manufactured in a form that… Read more.
The judge based the amount on tobacco case settlements. Grow, LLC also known as KD Inc. and The Kratom Distro, and Sean Michael Harder were ordered to pay $4.6 million in economic and $7 million in non-economic damages to the family of Krystal Talavera, who died in 2021 after ingesting kratom. Law360 reported that the judge felt the original request of $20 million was too high and instead based his decision on previous tobacco cases. “There is no doubt that this… Read more.
Two Black farmers in Florida have been awarded medical marijuana business licenses under a bill that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law last month. The state’s legalization law that was implemented in 2017 stipulated that one medical cannabis business license needed to go to a Black farmer who is covered by the historic “Pigford” class action litigation against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleging discriminatory lending practices. But it was only last year that the Florida Department of Health… Read more.
Green Thumb Industries' CEO expressed confidence in an interview that regulators in Florida will ultimately approve the company's groundbreaking deal to establish medical cannabis dispensaries alongside Circle K gas stations throughout the state. The partnership between the multistate operator and Circle K would allow medical marijuana patients to purchase snacks and fuel up at Circle K convenience stores while also having access to cannabis products at adjacent Rise dispensaries. Since its announcement in October, the agreement has garnered national attention and regulatory scrutiny. However,… Read more.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has signed a bill banning sales of any consumable hemp products—including cannabis “chewing gum”—to people under 21, an expansion of an existing prohibition on young people being able to purchase smokable hemp. The legislation, SB 1676 from Sen. Colleen Burton (R), was signed into law last week and took effect on Saturday. It also creates penalties for businesses that market hemp in a way that’s appealing to children and bans… Read more.
The Attorney General of Florida has presented a document to the state Supreme Court outlining her justifications for preventing a marijuana legalization proposal from appearing on the 2024 ballot. Alongside her, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and an anti-drug organization have also filed documents opposing the initiative. Notably, most of this measure's funding is provided by Trulieve, a cannabis company operating in multiple states. Attorney General Argues Ballot Summary of Cannabis Measure is Misleading to Voters Following a court-granted extension of two… Read more.
Provisions under the new law could more than double the number of licensees in the state. In the span of just four days, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis both nixed the possibility of federal marijuana decriminalization if he wins the U.S. presidency and also gave a significant boost to his home state’s medical marijuana market by signing a pro-cannabis legislative bill into law. DeSantis on Monday signed House Bill 387, which both makes permanent the option of renewing medical marijuana patient registrations via remote… Read more.
A Florida appeals court on Wednesday upheld the firing of a Department of Corrections officer for using medical cannabis, WOKV reports. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court cited federal law and a job requirement that officers are able to use firearms. The case was brought by Samuel Velez Ortiz, a former sergeant for the Department of Corrections who was approved by a physician to use medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder related to previous military service. Velez Ortiz had… Read more.
Brandon Girod, Pensacola News Journal Tue, June 6, 2023 at 10:50 PM GMT+7·7 min read Florida voters will finally have the opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana usage after a proposed initiative received almost one million verified signatures, allowing it to officially qualify for the 2024 general election ballot. The measure has received more than 967,000 valid signatures, according to Smart & Safe Florida, the campaign pushing the measure and backed by Trulieve, one of Florida’s biggest medical marijuana providers. The petition needed 891,523 valid… Read more.
The company said it plans to open five more stores in Florida. Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (OTC: RWBYF) posted its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2023. The company posted revenues that ticked down over the year and opened newly re-branded stores in Florida, as it tries to stave off losses. The Toronto-based firm reported revenues of $27 million, down from last year’s $28 million, with a gross profit of $9.4 million. Operating expenses amounted to $10.9 million, and the… Read more.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has officially announced that he’s running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The candidate’s marijuana policy record is fairly mixed. While he opposes cannabis legalization, he supported several pieces of reform legislation during his time in Congress and has taken steps to build on Florida’s medical marijuana program as governor. As a general theme, DeSantis seems to support the right of states to set their own cannabis policies, even if he personally draws the line… Read more.
Cannabis industry earnings calls have been a little quieter this year. Fewer research analysts are covering the U.S. marijuana industry, which experts say reflects the challenging economic headwinds facing the industry, including high taxes, high interest rates, rock-bottom stock prices and the slow pace of federal MJ reform. New York-based Cantor Fitzgerald and Cowen are among the more notable financial-services firms that have dropped coverage of U.S. plant-touching cannabis companies. “It speaks to the unhealthy state of our industry,” Jesse… Read more.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Florida this week, arguing that the Adult Personal Use of Marijuana ballot initiative is unconstitutional. Text of the proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by the state Supreme Court. As of last month, Florida cannabis advocates had collected more than 600,000 valid signatures in support of the constitutional amendment to legalize adult-use marijuana. In an advisory opinion filed Monday, Moody said the measure, which would put recreational marijuana before… Read more.
The Florida legislature signaled a move toward increased access and inclusivity in Florida's medical marijuana market. Florida’s medical marijuana market is poised for expansion following the passage of a bill that extends the renewal of marijuana prescriptions over telehealth and authorizes nearly a dozen additional licenses for Black farmers to enter the cannabis industry. The bill, HB 387, passed with bipartisan support in the House with a 105-8 vote. It had previously cleared the Senate with strong support. The move is… Read more.
The Florida campaign seeking to put a cannabis legalization question to voters has collected 94% of the signatures required to get the question on ballots, Ballotpedia News reports. Smart & Safe Florida has collected 841,130 valid signatures of the 891,523 valid signatures required to put the issue on 2024 ballots. The campaign began signature gathering in August 2022 and has collected an average of 23,360 valid signatures each week since the approval, the report says. Smart & Safe Florida has raised $30.5 million… Read more.
Florida marijuana advocates have collected 841,130 signatures for a marijuana legalization ballot initiative as of the end of April—about 94 percent of what’s required to put the issue before voters next year. Based on monthly signature data reported by the Florida Division of Elections, which updates petition counts on the measure at the end of each month, it seems that the legalization campaign is well positioned to reach the 891,523 signature mandate by the end of this month. At the… Read more.
Trulieve Cannabis has settled a lawsuit with a Black former middle manager who accused the Florida-based medical marijuana multistate operator in a complaint filed last month of paying her and other Black employees less than whites. According to records filed April 13 in the 2nd Judicial Court in Tallahassee, where Trulieve is headquartered, the company reached a settlement with Brooke Bennett, who worked as a manager in the company’s 200-person St. Petersburg call center from August 2018 to 2022. Terms weren’t… Read more.
Florida House Committee OKs Hemp Product Restriction Bill Following the approval of a bill related to regulating for hemp-derived products, entrepreneurs are concerned that the bill could put them out of business. The proposed bill, HB 1475, sponsored by Republican Will Robinson Jr. of Manatee County, aims to limit the amount of THC in retail hemp products. This move is in response to the growing popularity of Delta-8, a legal product that has led to proposed hemp regulations in over 20 states in the past two years.… Read more.
Dr. Greenthumb’s brand, headed by rapper B Real, has just launched a new cannabis strain in Florida. Known as “Latin Lingo,” the strain pays homage to Cypress Hill’s 1992 single of the same name. It is described as a mix of sweet fruit and old-school gas, featuring Jet Fuel Gelato and a lemon cherry cross. The launch represents B Real’s first foray into the Florida cannabis market, highlighting his roots and close ties to the state’s large Hispanic and Latino population. The… Read more.
A medical cannabis physician in Florida is suing the state Department of Health and two investigators who posed as patients in a sting operation during which officials tried to strip him of his medical license, WUSF News reports. Dr. Joseph Dorn was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in March 2022. The Health Department had alleged Dorn violated state law by not performing physicals on the undercover agents who posed as patients seeking medical cannabis cards, which agency officials called employing a “trick or scheme” in the… Read more.
A state’s cannabis regulations can run hundreds of pages and contain even more rules. But the regulators who create these rules and law enforcement officials who enforce them care the most about three things: Preventing diversion to the illicit market. The physical security of cannabis operations. A potential drain on law enforcement and community resources. To stay compliant and maintain good relations with regulators and law enforcement, cannabis businesses should focus their security efforts around these three goals. “In terms of… Read more.
A novel deal unveiled more than five months ago by Green Thumb Industries (GTI) to lease space and open medical marijuana dispensaries adjacent to Circle K convenience stores in Florida has yet to win approval from state regulators and is now in litigation. The plan – which would allow motorists to pump gasoline at select Circle K convenience stores and purchase MMJ from an adjacent Rise Express dispensary – drew national news coverage last October. At the time, GTI founder and CEO… Read more.
Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Another Senate Hurdle Minnesota is close to legalizing marijuana after a Senate committee approved a bill by Sen. Lindsey Port (D). The bill has only two more committees to pass before it can be taken to the full chamber. The House companion bill, sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) has already passed through 14 committees, reported Marijuana Moment. Want Some Great Weed In Michigan? Join the ultimate marijuana showdown at Michigan's 4th Annual Cannabis Cup. The competition is back and bigger than ever. With… Read more.
An industry-backed marijuana reform campaign has so far collected more than 70 percent of the signatures it needs to put a legalization initiative before voters on the 2024 ballot. The Florida Division of Elections updates petition counts on the measure at the end of each month, and at the close of March the campaign had netted 635,961 valid signatures, a development first noted by News Service Florida. At the end of January, the measure cleared a major hurdle, getting enough signatures to initiate a state… Read more.
Discreet prescription refills via telehealth visits are already the norm for medications like hair loss and erectile dysfunction medication for men, which is easier to do when it’s not in-person. The same methods could be used to be discreet and quietly get prescriptions for medical cannabis under a new Florida bill. House Bill 387 is sponsored by Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers) and would allow practitioners to certify patients for medical cannabis via FaceTime, Skype, etc. visits rather than in-person visits.… Read more.
Nasdaq-traded marijuana company Bright Green Corp. is again attracting scrutiny and questions, this time for its audacious plan to raise $500 million through a federal investment program that targets immigrant investors. The company announced in a February news release it would use the money generated through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to build out its “world-class production and drug manufacturing facilities” in the small New Mexico town of Grants. Florida-based Bright Green also plans to use the money to bankroll research and… Read more.