Activists who have been working to put a recreational cannabis measure on the 2024 ballot in Florida have scored a major victory. The state’s department of health has announced that the initiative had tendered the required number of voter signatures to qualify the measure for next year’s ballot.
The measure, aimed at amending the state’s constitution in order to legalize adult-use marijuana, submitted 967,528 verified voter signatures. This number of signatures exceeds the minimum required by at least 70,000 voter signatures. Smart & Safe Florida spearheaded this campaign. However, it isn’t all done and dusted for the advocates. The measure still has the hurdle of clearing a review by the state’s Supreme Court, and the attorney general is expected to mount a spirited challenge to the ballot measure.
The campaigners revealed in April that they had so far injected $38.4 million into the push to let voters decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized in the state next year. Trulieve Inc., a multistate cannabis company, bankrolled this effort. CEO Kim Rivers observed that the company was pleased to see the campaign had passed the signature requirement. She added that company officials looked forward to having the measure on the upcoming ballot in 2024.
Under this proposal, adults who are at least 21 years of age or older would be free to possess a maximum of 85 grams of cannabis for recreational use. In addition, companies that have licenses to sell medical cannabis would be allowed to be licensed to trade in recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis has been legal in the state since 2016 after a referendum approved this change to the existing drug laws.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sent the measure to the highest court in the state for review. She has in the past opposed recreational cannabis legalization and is expected to maintain her stance once the matter comes up for review by the Supreme Court. The AG’s letter to the Supreme Court accompanying the measure indicates that she has reservations about the initiative’s compliance with state law. She points out that in the opinion of her office, this measure doesn’t adhere to the requirement stipulating that any ballot measure must be unambiguous and clear.
Both sides of the petition are expected to turn in their briefs to the Supreme Court by July 12, 2023. Thereafter, the court will schedule hearings to determine whether or not the proposed ballot measure should get the nod and be added to 2024’s ballot.
If this measure lands on the ballot, the turnout for the polls is expected to be boosted, especially among the younger voter demographic, because marijuana legalization has been a hot topic in the state. The matter could also be one of the major talking points during the entire campaign, possibly influencing the elections for all the positions available in the state.
Medical marijuana has had a fairly long history not only in Florida but in many other states that have legalized its use. It is not surprising that we are seeing plenty of enterprises such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) looking to commercialize FDA-approved treatments from the cannabis plant.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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