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420 with CNW — Poll Suggests Florida Cannabis Legalization Measure Will Narrowly Miss Voter Approval

Cannabis News Wire, Media Partners

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A recent survey by a group opposing the legalization of marijuana in Florida reveals that while a majority of voters support the initiative, support falls short of the required 60% threshold for approval. Conducted by Cherry Communications for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the poll indicates that 58% of Florida’s probable voters favor legalization while 37% oppose it, with 5% undecided.

On the other hand, an alternative ballot item related to abortion rights has 61% of the vote, which means it will probably pass.

This marks the third survey indicating insufficient support for the marijuana initiative since Florida’s Supreme Court greenlighted its inclusion on the ballot, rejecting a challenge from Ashley Moody, the state’s attorney general.

The survey, which involved 609 voters who are likely to vote, was conducted between April 28–May 7, 2024, with a margin of error of 4%.

A recent Ipsos/USA Today poll indicated that 56% of registered voters in Florida and 49% of adults statewide support marijuana legalization. Similarly, only 47% of voters in a Mainstreet Research and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) poll were in favor, with 35% against and 18% undecided.

Notably, Kim Rivers, Trulieve’s CEO, contested the recent polls, asserting that the internal survey suggests strong support for the initiative, potentially exceeding 70%. Trulieve, a major financial contributor to the campaign, has invested close to $50 million.

Although the campaign has not disclosed internal survey data, previous surveys have shown a more positive image. November 2023 saw approximately 70% of respondents to a University of North Florida (UNF) poll in favor of legalization.

Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, anticipates a rejection of the measure in November, citing concerns over its potential impact on the quality of life.

Despite DeSantis’s position, he accurately predicted the Supreme Court’s decision to include the initiative on the ballot. Additionally, he has weighed in on federal marijuana policy, asserting that the federal ban on gun ownership for state-legal cannabis users may be unconstitutional. However, he did not intervene in a lawsuit filed by Florida’s former agriculture commissioner against the Biden administration over this issue.

Economic projections suggest legalization could generate significant tax revenue, estimated between $195 million and $431 million annually. If passed, the initiative would amend Florida’s Constitution to permit existing medical marijuana companies, such as Trulieve, to sell cannabis to adults 21 years of age and older. Notably, the proposal lacks provisions for home cultivation, expungement of past records or social-equity measures. The specifics of the survey questions were not disclosed publicly.

Industry actors such as Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) will be watching the developments in Florida to see if it becomes the latest U.S. state to end marijuana prohibition.

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