Lawmakers are scrambling to maintain 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 — extra frequently recognized as recreational marijuana — officials are nevertheless attempting to get a manage on the cannabis and hemp industries.
Some newly proposed bills would lay the foundation for legalization of recreational marijuana, and other individuals indicate a extra lax strategy to drug sentencing. As it stands, lawmakers continue to grapple with their strategy 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 not too long ago banned smoking marijuana in public, such as parks and beaches. Now one particular lawmaker is searching 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 types inside state parks. Gruters unsuccessfully introduced a equivalent 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 Instances.
If SB 670 became law, it would take impact subsequent summer season.
two. Relaxing minimum sentences for marijuana crimes (HB 339). This Residence bill would enable judges to deviate from minimum sentencing recommendations in the state for crimes involving the sale and trafficking of cannabis. Although the law would nevertheless contain recommendations, it would give judges extra agency to figure out sentences on a case-by-case basis.
The bill would also transform the variety of grams of cannabis in various trafficking charges, mainly upping the thresholds for every single elevated 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 strategy of the previous couple of decades.
Supporters say shorter sentences for minor drug offenses will save the state revenue and can assist maintain households collectively.
three. Redefining which organizations can develop and sell cannabis (HB 149). This bill defines health-related marijuana therapy centers and governs how the Florida Division of Wellness 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 take away the cap of 25 facilities per license granted.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, not too long ago 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 Residence.
four. Amending criminal penalties for marijuana crimes (HB 25). Beneath this bill, criminal penalties for the possession of cannabis and THC goods 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 lessen the quantity of minorities incarcerated beneath charges of marijuana possession. That is simply because the bill would decriminalize marijuana possession for up to 20 grams.
Any person arrested on possession charges could also face lesser sentences and smaller sized fines. HB 25 would make possession of marijuana beneath 20 grams a noncriminal violation as an alternative of a misdemeanor, according to ABC Action News WFTS Tampa Bay.
Democratic state Rep. Shevrin Jones of Broward County filed the bill. He not too long ago tweeted, “Creating our communities equitable and safer begins with making certain that folks have a fair shot. Floridians require reform of cannabis laws, and we will make confident we finish the injustice of overcriminalization.”
Content to introduce my 1st bill of the 2020 legislative session! Creating our communities equitable and safer begins with making certain that folks have a fair shot. Floridians require reform of cannabis laws, and we will make confident we finish the injustice of overcriminalization. #WEthePEOPLE pic.twitter.com/0L79ENpRhH
— Shevrin Jones (@ShevrinJones) August 5, 2019
five. Permitting extra corporations 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 goods, as nicely as marijuana and marijuana delivery devices. In most situations, the definitions have merely been expanded to contain health-related marijuana retail facilities, alongside health-related marijuana therapy centers, as reputable locations to get these goods.
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 beneath 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 perform with a single therapy center to get and sell their goods. The facilities themselves would not be permitted to create the goods.