Every year, we see additional states legalizing medical marijuana. In some states and the District of Columbia, we have actually had votes for full legalization of marijuana, even for recreational purposes. This definitely seems the way things are going. However, for the most part, the states along the eastern seaboard have been more reluctant to legalize medical marijuana than western states like California. Even in NY, which has recently allowed for the first dispensary to be opened, it is very difficult to get a medical marijuana license to purchase medical cannabis unless you have a terminal illness or severe neurological disease.
However, the residents of Florida to a large extent are trying to buck this trend and get medical marijuana legalization on the ballot for the upcoming election. According to a recent report from the Sun Times, advocates for legal medical marijuana have just obtained more than 500,000 signatures on the petition for the ballot initiative.
Under local law, in order for the initiative to legalize medical marijuana to get on the ballot for the upcoming election, the group needs to have at least 683,168 signatures no later than the first of February 2016. With the People United for Medical Marijuana organization having turned over approximately 523,000 signatures this week, there are still over a hundred thousand signatures left to get, but the group believes they are on track to get the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot.
This is not the first time medical marijuana advocates have attempted to get an initiative on the ballot and get enough votes to pass the proposed law. In 2014, an advocacy group got the measure on the ballot and got 57 percent approval from the state’s voters. While that was obviously a numerical majority, it was not the 60 percent supermajority that is necessary to pass a ballot initiative. The group hopes that this time they can get those extra few percentage points and then some to get the medical marijuana initiative passed into law. It should be noted that if the law were to pass this time, it would make Florida the largest state in southern United States to have legal medical marijuana.
As of now, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, as well as the District of Columbia, and have some form of medical marijuana. Another 15 states will allow a pill containing a form of cannabis oil for patients, and others are working toward full legalization or have already done so.
However, it was California that first took the progressive step of legalizing medical marijuana in 1996, and it has become the epicenter for a very lucrative medical cannabis business industry. Today there are app-based delivery services that one can use to get medical marijuana, similar to calling an Uber, as well as dispensaries that sell hundreds of different kinds of products to patients who are in need of their medicine but are unable or unwilling to smoke marijuana.
If you planning on going into business yourself or are already in business, you want to make sure you are cognizant of all of the new statewide regulations recently enacted, and the best way to do that is to speak with an experienced Los Angeles medical marijuana attorney.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
More Blog Entries:
Blue Ribbon Commission Report Offers Road Map to Legal Marijuana, July 31, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog