The Florida attorney general has received two extra weeks to come up with a brief challenging the addition of a proposed cannabis legalization measure to the 2024 ballot. State Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office originally had until June 5, 2022, to provide the briefs, but it filed a motion to push the deadline. The office stated that it had limited staff and was currently dealing with multiple deadlines that made it unable to meet last Monday’s deadline for the cannabis ballot initiative challenge.
The court motion met no challenges from the cannabis ballot campaign’s lawyers, and the state Supreme Court granted the attorney general’s office a fortnight to complete the briefs. However, the court cautioned the attorney general against seeking further extensions and noted that without any extenuating circumstances, the court may deny further requests for delays.
A week ago, Florida state officials announced that the Smart & Safe Florida campaign that is behind the ballot initiative had gathered enough valid signatures to qualify the measure for next year’s ballot. In fact, the Florida Division of Elections reported that the campaign had collected 967,528 verified signatures, more than 70,000 more votes than the signature threshold for ballot initiatives in Florida.
The measure cleared one of its first challenges to land on the 2024 ballot, receiving enough signatures to qualify for a court review of its language. This review is meant to ensure that none of the language in the cannabis legalization ballot misleads voters and is in violation of the state’s constitution.
Several prior attempts at placing recreational cannabis measures on the ballot have failed at this stage.
Attorney general Moody also took action against the cannabis legalization measure at this stage, filing a court brief that argued that the measure violated Florida’s constitutional rule of having a single subject in ballot measures and stating that she would flesh out her position in a future briefing. Moody also attempted to block a legalization measure based on the same argument in 2022, but a court threw out her file.
If the legalization measure is approved by voters, it would amend Florida’s constitution and allow existing medical marijuana companies to begin selling recreational cannabis to adults aged 21 years and older. The measure would also “allow but not require” that legislators take extra steps to approve and legalize additional recreational cannabis retailers in the state.
Adults aged 21 and older would be allowed to buy and own up to one ounce of cannabis with only a maximum of five grams being cannabis concentrate products. The ballot measure also includes provisions for the expungement of past cannabis offenses and would not allow home cultivation.
As the possibility of marijuana legalization becomes a reality in different states around the country, market opportunities will keep opening up for businesses such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) as more growers come aboard the state-legal cannabis industry.
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