Cannabis Jobs in Florida

By JOE REEDY, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida legislators are back on a path to passing a bill for enacting the state’s constitutional amendment expanding the use of medical marijuana.

Gov. Rick Scott added medical marijuana to the agenda for the special legislative session that began Wednesday after lawmakers reached a compromise on key elements. The House’s Health & Human Services Committee passed it on Wednesday night. The Senate’s Health Policy Committee will meet Thursday morning, with both chambers likely to review it later in the day.

“Both sides made significant concessions and were able to come together,” said Rep. Ray Rodrigues, who sponsored the House’s bill. “Neither one of us got everything we wanted, but we both got something we could live with.”

The amendment, approved by 71 percent of voters in November, expands legal use beyond the limited prescriptions for low-strength marijuana allowed under a 2014 law. It also expands the eligible ailments beyond the current list of cancer, epilepsy and chronic muscle spasms to include HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions.

When the bill implementing the amendment fell apart late in the session, the Senate wanted to limit each treatment center to 15 locations with no sunset provisions and make medical marijuana subject to sales tax. The House wanted no caps and no sales tax.

Under the agreement, there will be a limit of 25 retail dispensaries per medical marijuana treatment center, which can increase by five for every 100,000 patients added to the registry. The cap would expire on April 1, 2020. The legislation also adds 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers, meaning there would be 17 statewide by October. Four additional centers would be added for every 100,000 patients.

According to the Department of Health, the state registry now has 16,614 patients. A recent state revenue impact study projects that by 2022 there will be 472,000 medical cannabis patients and $542 million in sales.

Sen. Rob Bradley, the Senate’s main sponsor of the bill, said marijuana would not be taxed because it is considered to be medicine.

Patients and caregivers say the proposed rules remain too restrictive. The bill allows patients to receive an order for three 70-day supplies during a doctor’s visit that they could then take to a medical marijuana treatment center, but it bans smoking. The smoking ban is likely to be challenged in the courts. Training for doctors would drop from eight hours to two but they would still have to stringently document patients’ conditions before prescribing marijuana.

“There’s that saying about having something done is better than perfect. People are counting on something getting done,” said John Morgan, who played a key role in getting the amendment on the ballot and passed.

Morgan has said he will sue the state for not allowing smoking, but Rodrigues said there aren’t any scientific studies to show that smoking is effective.

“If he wants to sue us, that it is his prerogative. I am confident it can be defended in front of a judge,” Rodrigues said.

For the past month, medical marijuana supporters have said it would be easier for the Legislature to establish the framework of rules instead of the Department of Health, which went through several rounds of litigation when trying to determine who would be licensed to produce and distribute pot.

The amendment requires new laws to be in place by July 3 and enacted by October. Rodrigues said he is optimistic the bill will pass, despite an ongoing feud over the state budget.

“If they were going to have an impact, I believe we would not have to an agreement in the first place,” Rodrigues said.


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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments Off on Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

Posted by | April 26, 2017 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Medical Marijuana Bill Headed to Senate Floor

It’s officially “go” time for the Florida Legislature to finally reach an agreement over the future of medical marijuana in Florida.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Senate’s proposal to regulate medical cannabis, green-lighting the bill with only one “no” vote, from Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for approval.

SB 406, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, is the Senate’s idea of how Florida will regulate the state’s newly expanded medical marijuana industry after nearly 72 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment last fall.

Senators heard several amendments to Bradley’s bill on Tuesday. One of the amendments, pushed by Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach and former Sen. Frank Artiles, would add minority and veterans diversity plans for medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs).

Another amendment would require doctors to check the Compassionate Use Registry to verify patients weren’t “doctor shopping,” or seeing multiple doctors to get several prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Bradley’s bill, seen as the less restrictive measure moving through the state legislature, would grandfather in the seven current MMTCs and increase the cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries, expanding the number of businesses by five more when the state has 250,000 patients, 350,000 patients, 400,000 patients and then every 100,000 thereafter.

SB 406 would also allow eliminate the three-month waiting period and would also allow patients to increase their prescription cannabis supply from 45 to 90 days or even greater than 90 days with a doctor’s approval.

The legislation would create a coalition to research medical marijuana through Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Center and Research Institute, one of the top medical research centers in the state.

The goal of the coalition, according to the bill, is to conduct “rigorous scientific research,” and to “guide policy” for the adoption of a statewide policy on ordering and dosing practices for medical marijuana.

An education board, appointed by Dr. Alan List, the chief executive officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center, will adopt a plan for medical marijuana research in Florida. By Feb. 15 of each year, the board would need to report to the governor, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House on research projects, community outreach initiatives and future plans of the coalition in regards to medical marijuana.

Nonresidents would also be allowed to apply to receive medical marijuana in Florida as long as they are able to get medical marijuana in their home state and qualify in Florida.

Another amendment would require the Department of Health to have computer software system to track marijuana from “seed to sale,” following pot as it’s planted and distributed to patients statewide.

Bradley’s legislation has had a relatively easy time sailing through the Senate, but now the real negotiations begin to regulate Florida’s medical cannabis industry.

On Monday, a Florida House committee passed that chamber’s proposal to regulate medical pot and the bill has many provisions at odds with the Senate’s proposals.

Anti-drug groups like the Drug Free America Foundation have largely been behind crafting HB 1397 and say a more restrictive proposal is the correct way to prevent “abuse” of the state’s newest prescription drug.

The House measure, for example, includes the 90-day wait period for patients, bans edibles and vaping and also prohibits pregnant women from ingesting the drug even if their doctor suggest it.

In order to pass and become a law, both chambers will need to reach an agreement over what the state will and will not allow when it comes to medical pot.

Both bills are now ready to be heard by the House and Senate, but no hearing dates have been set.



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

Comments Off on Voters take second shot at legalizing Florida medical marijuana

Voters take second shot at legalizing Florida medical marijuana

Posted by | November 8, 2016 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Voters take second shot at legalizing Florida medical marijuana

This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida voters have a second chance to approve a state amendment legalizing medical marijuana for ailments including glaucoma, AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder, after narrowly rejecting a similar measure two years ago.

The legislature in the meantime has allowed limited use of non-smoked, low-THC pot for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms, and two dispensaries have opened in the state with home deliveries allowed statewide. Delays in fully implementing the law have added to arguments in favor of legalizing medical marijuana under the state constitution.

Florida would become the 26th state along with the District of Columbia to legalize the marijuana plant for medical use. Florida is one of 16 states where only part of the marijuana plant is used.

Opponents of the measure in 2014, which failed to garner the required 60 percent of the vote, had expressed concerns that Florida would be overrun with pot shops and that children wouldn’t be adequately protected from potential bad effects of the drug.

Proponents say loopholes have been closed this time, including requiring parental written consent for underage patients and that caregivers register with the state Health Department.

This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms. The measure lists 10 illnesses: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. It also allows doctors to prescribe pot for any other similar kind of ailment.

The department will regulate how medical marijuana can be distributed along with mandating identification cards for caregivers and patients. Many rules and regulations — from how the marijuana is grown to regulations on how it can be transported for in-home delivery — already have been passed by the legislature under laws for limited use of marijuana. Those regulations also will apply to the constitutional amendment.

Comments Off on We are down to our last hours – Vote Yes Amendment 2

We are down to our last hours – Vote Yes Amendment 2

Posted by | November 6, 2016 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

We are down to our last hours.

There are still undecided voters and misinformation being pushed by the No on 2 campaign.  No one knows what turnout will actually be like on Tuesday.

We can’t take any chances. We have to ask you until midnight.

Will you donate to help patients with cancer, MS, epilepsy, PTSD, ALS, disabling neuropathic pain and other debilitating conditions get the access they need?

Please donate (or donate again) ANY AMOUNT here before midnight.

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help pass Amendment 2.

– Ben Pollara

United for Care

Pd. Pol. Adv. paid for by People United for Medical Marijuana, 20 North Orange Avenue, Suite 1600, Orlando, FL 32801

United for Care · Coral Gables, FL, United States
This email was sent to To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with United for Care on Twitter or Facebook.

Comments Off on Florida: Medical Cannabis Bill Headed Back To Florida Senate

Florida: Medical Cannabis Bill Headed Back To Florida Senate

Posted by | March 2, 2016 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News, Marijuana News

Florida: Medical Cannabis Bill Headed Back To Florida Senate

A medical cannabis bill is headed back to the floor of the Florida Senate after being approved in the rules committee Monday.

The bill (SB460) was debated on the Senate floor last week but was referred back to committee because of the number of late amendments sought.

When Senator Rob Bradley introduced the bill in October, he wanted to expand the Right to Try Act to allow terminally ill patients to use non smokable cannabis of all strengths and doses. However, the Republican from Fleming Island has added regulations to resolve issues that have come up since the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act signed by Governor Rick Scott two years ago.
Comments Off on Vote Yes On Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative ‘For Humanitarian Reasons’

Vote Yes On Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative ‘For Humanitarian Reasons’

Posted by | February 16, 2016 | cannabis jobs, Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Vote Yes On Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative ‘For Humanitarian Reasons’

Florida voters are going to see a medical marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot for the second election cycle in a row. The 2016 version is different than the 2014 version in a handful of ways. The 2014 initiative lost by just 2 percent. An improved initiative, lessons learned from the 2014 campaign, and a higher voter turnout due to a Presidential election will hopefully overcome that 2 percent. Florida residents want medical marijuana, and not the version previously passed by the Florida Legislature that doesn’t really help anyone. The Editorial Board at the Miami-Herald agrees. Per an excerpt from a recently published article by the media outlet:

But this is about sick people. Passage of the amendment means patients will go to a doctor, who can recommend they receive a medical marijuana card. The card will be issued by the Florida Department of Health, giving a patient the right to buy medical marijuana at dispensaries expected to spring up across the state.

Today, 23 states already permit medical cannabis use, and three more are poised to advance similar laws this year. Florida should join the group, primarily for the sake of an ailing population that wants it available.

Floridians have sent a signal they want medical marijuana. For humanitarian reasons, voters should approve the measure this time around.
I love the compassionate approach the outlet took. A lot of media outlets will tout the business side of a reform effort, if they even support it at all. At the end of the day the United for Care campaign is about compassion, and helping sick people get access to a medicine that is proven to be safe and effective. If you live in Florida, tell everyone that you know to vote for the initiative in November!
Comments Off on Bid to legalize recreational marijuana will NOT make it on 2016 ballot in Florida

Bid to legalize recreational marijuana will NOT make it on 2016 ballot in Florida

Posted by | January 2, 2016 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News

Bid to legalize recreational marijuana will NOT make it on 2016 ballot in Florida

Regulate Florida, the group aiming to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Florida in 2016 that would legalize recreational pot, is ending their campaign, admitting that they will not be able to get the more than 683,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot by next February.

That news was related to supporters on Wednesday day night via a conference call by Michael Minardi, the Jupiter-based attorney and campaign manager for Regulate Florida.

“The reality is showing us that we’re not going to get the million petitions or signatures verified by February 1,” Minardi said. “We had an uphill battle, honestly with getting a million signatures realistically from the end of August until December. We did believe with the movement and the momentum that we had that we could get this done, but unfortunately, we don’t think we’re going to at this point.”

The organizers of Regulate Florida were attempting to have Florida become the first state to go straight to approving legalizing marijuana, without first having passed a medical marijuana law.

The bid for medical marijuana in Florida received over 57 percent of the vote in 2014, shy of the 60 percent required for a citizen-based constitutional amendment from passage. United for Care, the same group led by Orlando attorney John Morgan that led the effort last year, is working hard on attempting the get the measure on the Florida November ballot in 2016.

Minardi said that he was optimistic about getting the measure to legalize recreational marijuana on the ballot in 2018. He said he had some “soft commitments” from donors for that campaign already, and said he hopes to sign contracts with those donors next year.  He said he’s also hoping to get a Supreme Court review of the ballot language by next summer.

Karen Goldstein with Regulate Florida (who also heads the Florida chapter of NORML), told supporters on the call that the Regulate Florida intends to make some “minor” changes with the ballot language, and thus implored volunteers to destroy any current, unsigned petitions.

Minardi said the group will be supportive of that effort, saying that its passage will help educate the people of Florida about the safety and efficiency of cannabis as a whole.

Goldstein also urged supporters who like to get out and petition to pick up some United for Care petitions to help get that initiative on the 2016 ballot. “We still need to get medical marijuana on the ballot in 2016. We still need to support, as we have all along, the United for Care effort.”

“I have great respect for Mike Minardi and Karen Goldstein and anyone who undertakes the herculean task of placing a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot,” said Ben Pollara, director for United for Care. “I’m sorry their campaign didn’t end up the way they wanted it to. I hope this means they’ll return their full focus and energy to passing medical marijuana in 2016.”

“I would like to add our heartfelt thanks to all of you, ” said Goldstein to supporters on the call on Wednesday night. “We are going to come back stronger, and we’re going to get it done.”

Comments Off on Altamonte bans ‘ganja,’ ‘grass,’ ‘wacky-tabacky’ and other terms for future marijuana businesses

Altamonte bans ‘ganja,’ ‘grass,’ ‘wacky-tabacky’ and other terms for future marijuana businesses

Posted by | December 3, 2015 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana, Marijuana News

For any medical-marijuana joints interested in coming to Altamonte Springs, the most descriptive business names have already gone up in a puff of green smoke.

In fact, the previous sentence contains no fewer than six words that these establishments would be barred from using.

All total, Altamonte Springs leaders have prohibited 27 terms from appearing in the titles of medical-marijuana retail centers, including the words “medical” and “marijuana.”

And “dope,” “ganja” and “grass.”




“Mary Jane”?

“Wacky tabacky”?

Banned and banned.

The list of prohibited terms was tucked inside a package of rules for medical-marijuana facilities that want to open in Altamonte Springs. The ordinance passed unanimously at a Tuesday night commission meeting.

City Manager Frank Martz said the section excluding certain words was added so establishments don’t sound like a place to get illegal drugs.

To prevent creative euphemisms, the ordinance also bans synonyms to the forbidden words. Big, green pot-leaf images and other “illustrative graphics” are taboo, too.

These strict prohibitions could raise First Amendment concerns, said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Courts have authorized governments to police businesses that are making false or misleading claims about their products, but not to censor words that officials find objectionable, he added.

“If municipalities begin down that road, what’s next?” Simon wrote in an email. “Will the Council entertain complaints that medical facilities remove reference to ‘breast’ cancer or ‘testicular’ cancer because someone wants to shield the public from words that reference anatomy?”

He continued, “Business owners should not be forced to perform linguistic gymnastics based on the whims of a city council that is arbitrarily designating what words are acceptable.”

Altamonte Springs leaders gave the new regulations final passage following a roughly five-minute public hearing without any citizen comment or discussion among commission members. The portion relating to business names wasn’t mentioned.

The new ordinance does not come in response to a particular business proposal but is in preparation for anticipated growth in the medical-marijuana industry, Martz said.

Tom Angell, founder of the group Marijuana Majority, said he’s never come across a provision like the one Altamonte Springs passed. And he said he’s not sure what it will accomplish.

“Why wouldn’t you want medical-marijuana facilities to use the words ‘medical’ or ‘marijuana’ in their name? Who are they trying to fool?” said Angell, whose organization advocates for marijuana-policy overhaul.

Mary Sneed, an attorney who helped the city craft the ordinance, defended the naming restrictions as “in keeping with the standards in Altamonte Springs.” She also said they’ll help safeguard the city from public-safety issues.

Though Sneed mentioned California as being plagued by problems associated with loosened marijuana laws, the link between medical-marijuana dispensaries and increased crime has been disputed.

Sneed said she looked at municipal laws in California and throughout Florida when constructing the Altamonte Springs proposal. She could not immediately recall where the section barring 27 words originated but said she drew language from an ordinance passed by a municipality near Fort Lauderdale.

The town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea last year approved medical-marijuana regulations, including business-name restrictions nearly identical to the ones adopted in Altamonte Springs.

Branding and advertising aren’t as important to the business model for medical-marijuana facilities, because physicians will be referring patients directly to dispensaries, Sneed added. She said she would expect the term “compassionate use” to appear in many business names.

Just last week, the state awarded medical-marijuana licenses to five growers. The growers will also be in charge of distributing the substance, and though none of the five is based in Altamonte Springs, they will be allowed to place retail centers in various locations across the state. or 407-420-5189

Comments Off on 3 recreational marijuana petitions circulating in Florida for November 2016 ballot

3 recreational marijuana petitions circulating in Florida for November 2016 ballot

Posted by | August 31, 2015 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Florida Medical Marijuana News, Marijuana News

3 recreational marijuana petitions circulating in Florida for November 2016 ballot

Three proposed constitutional amendments would legalize marijuana for recreational use if approved by Florida voters in November 2016.Organizers have to collect at least 683,149 valid signature on each of their respective petitions to earn a place on the ballot, after earning approval from the Florida Division of Elections.One amendment OK’d in July would legalize recreational use for those 18 years and older.

Two other amendments were approved Wednesday.One of the recent amendments simply sought to legalize possession, use and cultivation of cannabis by anyone 21 and older, leaving all regulation up in the air.The other petition was the most comprehensive of the three. The four-page proposed constitutional amendment would legalize use of marijuana for adults 21 and older and regulate it similarly to alcohol. The amendment, called the Florida Cannabis Act by the political committee Sensible Florida Inc., still needs 683,149 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

If it gets enough approved signatures by the deadline of Feb. 1, the attorney general would request an advisory decision from the Florida Supreme Court to determine if the language of the ballot initiative complies with Florida law.If the proposed amendment passes those steps to get on the November 2016 ballot, it would require 60 percent of the vote to become an amendment to the Florida Constitution.In addition to three proposed constitutional amendments to legalize marijuana, United for Care has been circulating a petition for medical marijuana approval since January. It had 43,259 valid signatures as of Thursday, and the campaign has said it has hundreds of thousands of signatures yet to be validated.

The Florida Cannabis Act has a section that says its language would not have any weight on any enacted medical marijuana provisions.

In addition to allowing use by those 21 and older, it would limit possession to one ounce at a time and allow the cultivation of six plants per household member over the age of 21. Only three marijuana plants could be mature or flowering, and only those with retail licenses could sell cannabis.

The proposed amendment would not allow adults to drive under the influence of cannabis and would not require employers to permit or accommodate its use. The language also specifies it would not limit state authority to tax marijuana and counties would be able to enact ordinances on where retail marijuana facilities could operate within their jurisdictions.

Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter@KateIrby

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Comments Off on There Are More Marijuana Legalization Initiatives than GOP Presidential Candidates

There Are More Marijuana Legalization Initiatives than GOP Presidential Candidates

Posted by | July 27, 2015 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Legal Marijuana News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana, Marijuana News

There Are More Marijuana Legalization Initiatives than GOP Presidential Candidates

Not counting initiatives for industrial hemp or non-plant medical marijuana or low-THC cannabidiol oil, there are at least* 20 efforts going on in 8 states nationwide to legalize medical and recreational access to cannabis in 2016. As of this week, there are16 Republican candidates running for president in 2016.


Arizonans for Mindful Regulation (AZFMR) will legalize possession of an ounce of flowers and an ounce of concentrates, home cultivation of twelve mature plants per adult plus possession of the harvests, but landlords could prohibit cultivation on their properties. Localities could not ban home growing. Most marijuana crimes below a half-pound or 100 plants are reduced to misdemeanors. Marijuana metabolites in their urine can no longer be used to fire employees or convict DUIs. Marijuana will be taxed at 10 percent.

Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol  (RegulateAZ) will legalize possession of an ounce of flowers and 5 grams of concentrates, home cultivation of six mature plants per adult and a max of 12 per household plus possession of the harvests, but landlords could prohibit cultivation on their properties and localities can ban home growing altogether. Marijuana will be taxed at 15 percent. The proposal is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project.


California Artisan Cannabis Initiative (CACI) places no limit on how much useable cannabis a person could possess, but does limit a personal garden to six cannabis plants. This initiative takes great care in providing for “craft cannabis” growers who are producing fewer than 100 plants.

California Bipartisan Decriminalization of Cannabis Act (CBDCA) proposes that adults 21 and older be allowed five pounds of marijuana, a pound of concentrate, and a 500 square foot personal garden. All medical dispensaries will become recreational shops with a 15 percent excise tax and localities could not ban them.

California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) will allow adults to cultivate 99 mature plants and possess 12 pounds of useable marijuana, free non-violent marijuana prisoners, open up tax-free statewide access to medical marijuana, end workplace drug testing for marijuana metabolites, and establish industrial hemp production and commercial marijuana with a 10 percent cap on taxes.

Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (ReformCA) has not put forth initiative language yet, but has hired political consultants Joe Trippi and Jim Gonzalez, as well as the company Progressive Campaigns Inc. to handle the gathering of petition signatures. ReformCA is backed by or working with all the major national marijuana reform groups.

Community Restoration Act to Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis (CRA) has been filed by Alice Huffman of the California NAACP. It may be more conservative than what ReformCA will propose, offering just one ounce of possession in public and a 25 square foot garden, from which adults may possess all their harvest at home.

Compassionate and Sensible Access Act (CSA) amends California medical marijuana law to end the practice of local bans on medical cultivation and dispensary access.

Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act (MCLR) seems to place no limit on how much cannabis one can possess and cultivate, leaving that to be determined by a Cannabis Control Commission set up by the initiative.

Responsible Use Act (RUA) will allow 1.5 pounds and 12 mature plants. Like CBDCA, RUA will make all medical dispensaries become recreational shops and forbid local bans, but the tax will be $8 per ounce plus up to a 2 percent local tax.

Right to Medical Marijuana Act (RMMA) adds a simple statement to the California Constitution that “any resident, having obtained the age of 18 years has the right to grow, own, purchase, and obtain a permit from the State to sell organic marijuana for medical use, without a licensed physician’s recommendation or prescription.”


People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) is the second attempt by attorney John Morgan and the United for Care Campaign to place a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in the state of Florida. The 2014 effort got 58 percent of the vote, but needed 60 to win. The amendment will not allow patients to home grow, but will allow access to whole-plant medical marijuana.

Please read the rest of the article here

VANCOUVER, WASH. — Washington’s marijuana business has created a legal occupation that offers career opportunities for bud trimmers, according to The Columbian and The Associated Press.

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“I’ve done everything from pumping gas to remodeling houses, but I think there’s longevity in this,” 32-year-old bud trimmer Kurt Vermillion told The Columbian. “I think there’s lots of growing room in this industry. I want to do whatever they need me to do.”

Bud trimmers make between $12 and $15 an hour and use small scissors to trim away leaves and other things from marijuana buds. Most trimmers work on about a pound to a pound and a half of marijuana per day.

Experienced workers can move up to gardeners or concentrate makers and make $50,000 to $90,000 a year.

For 37-year-old Julie Whittaker, who started trimming buds in November, the job turned out to be less stressful than her former work in the banking software industry.

“I’ve been learning my way as I go,” she said. “I’m intrigued by this whole industry. It’s a big shift for me, and honestly I find it to be better regulated than even my old career in banking.”

Vermillion and Whittaker work at Cedar Creek Cannabis, where Mark Michaelson, head of operations, is eyeing ways to hold onto workers. The company has 14.

“We want to work on employee retention,” he said. “Eventually we’ll have health and dental insurance and full benefits for them, too.”

Clark County has eight growers that have been approved by the Liquor Control Board, and five stores have opened in Clark County so far and two more are planning to open within two months.

Before the legalization of marijuana, bud trimmers migrated from job to job and were paid in cash by the pound and risked arrest. Now, bud trimmers typically make an hourly wage, though some are paid by the pound.

“I think what happens is people think in this industry, people are just hanging out and maybe even smoking,” said 32-year-old Brittny Houghton, 32, whose family owns Cedar Creek Cannabis. “But that’s not what we do. It’s a real job, it’s 9 to 5, you have to be on time, you don’t have to be a smoker, and the quality of the work is important.”

At CannaMan Farms, another marijuana business, owner Brian Stroh said trimmers come from a variety of backgrounds.

“It’s a business that people who work hard can move up in,” he said.

Comments Off on New Poll: Florida Voters Want Medical Marijuana, Decriminalized Weed

New Poll: Florida Voters Want Medical Marijuana, Decriminalized Weed

Posted by | April 7, 2015 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News, Marijuana News, medical marijuana

Despite narrowly voting against legalized medical marijuana in November, Sunshine State residents now want lax weed laws

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Although Florida citizens narrowly voted against legalizing medical marijuana this past Election Day, a new poll of Sunshine State voters revealed that Floridians are in favor of both legalizing marijuana for medical use and decriminalizing weed for personal use. The new study also shows that the only reason that voters rejected the pro-pot Amendment 2 in November is because the prospective law’s wording “troubled many voters,” ABC Action News in Tampa Bay reports.

In a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, a resounding 84 percent of Florida voters said they would vote in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana. However, when Amendment 2 was brought to voters, only 58 percent of citizens voted in favor of the bill, just 2 percent shy of the 60 percent needed to enact the law. According to Quinnipiac, it’s likely Amendment 2’s complex wording likely conspired against itself, as only 14 percent of Floridians polled said they would vote against a legalized medical marijuana bill.

States like Alaska, Washington, Colorado and, starting in July, Oregon have all embraced decriminalized weed, and if the Quinnipiac poll captures the tenor of Florida voters, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” the Sunshine State follows suit. In the new poll, 55 percent said they would be in favor of decriminalized weed laws similar to that of Oregon and Alaska – meaning no dispensaries but legalized possession and personal cultivation – while 42 percent would be opposed to such a law.

Surprisingly, of those 55 percent, a majority of that number admits they still wouldn’t use marijuana. Only 17 percent of those polled said they would “definitely” or “probably” take advantage of Florida’s lax marijuana laws, while 81 percent admitted they still wouldn’t get high even if they were allowed to.

“These results show that marijuana legalization is a mainstream issue that ambitious politicians should try to latch onto instead of run away from,” Tom Angell, Chairman of Marijuana Majority, told ABC Tampa. “If the next president isn’t willing to personally support ending prohibition as the best policy approach, he or she at least needs to push for changing federal laws so that seriously ill people can use medical marijuana without fear of being harassed by the DEA.”

A bill to approve medical marijuana will be back on the Florida ballot for Election Day 2016.

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Comments Off on Non-Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Filed in Florida House by Two Republicans

Non-Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Filed in Florida House by Two Republicans

Posted by | February 17, 2015 | Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana, Marijuana News

Non-Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Filed in Florida House by Two Republicans

A state Senate bill to legalize medical marijuana in Florida now has a companion in the House thanks to two Republican representatives.

Reps. Greg Steube of Sarasota and John Wood of Winter Haven joined together to sponsor the legislation just a few weeks after Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Pete Republican, filed his bill in the Senate.

Though there’s one major difference: the House version specifically mandates that medical marijuana cannot be smoked.

Both bills, HB 683 and SB 528, are substantially identical. Under the proposed law, those suffering form cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cachexia would be able to use medical marijuana. Those with persistent pain, nausea, seizures, or muscle spasms would also be eligible for a medical marijuana prescription regardless of the cause, though in those cases other potential treatments would have to be tried and exhausted first.

But the House bill includes the phrase, “The term [medical marijuana] does not include the use or administration of medical-grade marijuana by, or possession of medical-grade marijuana for, smoking.” The Senate bill includes no such language. (By the way, New York is currently the only state that has legalized medical marijuana but forbidden it from being smoked).

Perhaps the change was made after the Florida Sheriffs Association came out against Brandes’ original Senate bill in a 38-2 vote. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri specifically targeted smokable medical marijuana as a reason for the sheriffs objection in a press conference earlier this month.

“Nobody sits around on a Saturday night with the strobe lights going and the party music going on and says, ‘Let’s rub this oil on my wrist.’ They want to smoke it. It has social value to it,” he said. “They’ll say that it’s the easiest way to absorb it, and the fastest way to absorb it. Well, there are other ways.”

Because clearly, strobe lights and party music on a Saturday night are some of the biggest threats to Floridians’ safety and well-being. Because obviously the specifics of how to medicate with marijuana should be dictated by out-of-touch sheriffs and not medical professionals.

In turn, Steube specifically mentioned law enforcement concerns in a press release.

“Our job is to ensure that the steps taken to provide medicinal marijuana does not handicap our law enforcement and continues to protect the health, safety and welfare of all Floridians,” read the release.

Brandes, meanwhile, has previously indicated he’s willing to compromise on his bill, perhaps signaling that the Senate bill also could be rewritten to forbid the smoking of medical marijuana.

The dual bills came after a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medicinal weed narrowly fell short of the 60 percent threshold in last November’s election. Many critics of the amendment suggested that, while they weren’t necessarily against medical marijuana, the issue would be better handled in the legislature.

Continue Reading at Miami New Times

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Guy with massive brain injury is biking across Florida to raise awareness for medical pot

Posted by | January 26, 2015 | cannabis jobs, Cannabis Jobs in Florida, Cannabis News, Florida Medical Marijuana News, Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Guy with massive brain injury is biking across Florida to raise awareness for medical pot

What do you get when you cross a normal, everyday dude with 12 screws and six metal plates?

No, this isn’t some cheesy joke with a punch line playing on the word “screws,” it’s a real story about a man and his pot. The not-so-funny answer is a metal skull.

Ken Locke cheated death in late 2001 after a tree fell on his head and caved in his skull. The 12 screws and 6 plates rebuilt his broken head. But the news wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Locke was left with frequent grand mal seizures. According to the Panama City News Herald Locke suffered more than 60 of the debilitating and frightening seizures.

Locke was on a cocktail of prescription drugs he said caused him to lose more than 50 pounds. So he ditched the pharmacy in his bathroom and took up smoking pot in 2006. That same year he trekked across country on his bike to raise awareness for the benefits of medical cannabis. This year, now that a medical marijuana ballot initiative failed in Florida, he’s doing it again. On January 3, Locke started a statewide bike tour with his wife and 12-year old son that will culminate on January 10 in Tallahassee.

The pro-pot bike tour will end with a Libertarian rally in the state’s capital.

Locke’s bike tour comes at an important time for proponents of medical marijuana in Florida. Last year, the state legislature passed a medical marijuana law that would allow the dissemination of a non-high inducing strain of marijuana. That strain would be low in Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that causes users to get high, but high in Cannabidiol. That’s the part of pot thought to reduce seizures.

Since Locke started using medical marijuana, he says he hasn’t had any more seizures – more than he can say for the arsenal of pharmaceuticals he was taking.



Florida May Expand CBD Law

Although cannabis backers in Florida are already prepping for a 2016 campaign to legalize medical marijuana, a few key lawmakers are hinting that they may take action to expand the state’s CBD-focused program.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, a law passed last year to set up a small MMJ program primarily for epileptics and patients with life-threatening illnesses may be broadened to include other ailments and possibly even marijuana with normal amounts of THC.

Under the current law, patients will have access to only low-THC, high-CBD cannabis, and only five companies will be selected by the state Department of Health to produce the medicine.

What lawmakers are waiting for is a rule-making hearing next month with the department that could either jumpstart the original CBD program, which has been held up with various administrative delays, or persuade legislators that they need to revisit the issue.

Several key lawmakers, including two Republicans, told the Sentinel they expect the program to be expanded at some point. They’re just not sure when that will be.

It’s conceivable, however, that they could pass a bill this year or next in an attempt to ward off another political campaign from Orland trial attorney John Morgan, who was behind the MMJ push last year.

Morgan has promised to help fund another campaign in 2016 if the Legislature doesn’t approve a broader medical marijuana program than the CBD law already in place.