While there are still a number of big hurdles to clear before recreational weed becomes legal in Florida, that possibility is looking more and more likely.
Currently, there are three proposals calling for legalization.
One of them, being proposed by Make it Legal Florida, has just hit its first big milestone. Now, the proposal must clear judicial and financial reviews. Following that, there are a couple final steps before the ballot.
But if the group meets all of these requirements, the proposal would finally make it in front of voters in 2020.
Make it Legal Florida’s Proposal Gets Enough Preliminary Signatures
This week, Make it Legal Florida said it has gathered enough signatures for its proposal to advance to the next stage.
Under Florida laws, an initiative must get at least 76,632 verified signatures before it can move on to the ballot. Currently, Make it Legal Florida said its legalization initiative has received more than 313,000 signatures.
Importantly, these signatures are not verified. But the group is already in the process of getting them verified. That process must be completed by the state and can take up to 30 days to complete.
In any case, the advocacy group’s proposal is now set to move onto the next phase of the process, which is a review by the Florida Supreme Court.
Additionally, the initiative will need to clear a financial review.
From there, if it passes both reviews, the initiative will once again need to get signatures of support. Specifically, 766,200 certified signatures.
The deadline for all this is the beginning of February 2020. And while Make it Legal Florida still has a long way to go, the group says it is on pace to meet all requirements before the deadline.
If the group is able to pull it off before the deadline, the proposal will show up on next year’s ballot.
“We are overwhelmed by the support the Make it Legal Florida effort has received around the state from Florida voters who believe adults should have access to regulated cannabis products,” the group’s chairman Nick Hansen said. “We are continuing to deliver signatures for validation, and we are confident we will meet the deadline for Florida’s 2020 ballot.”
Florida’s Three Legalization Proposals
The initiative being forwarded by Make it Legal Florida is actually one of three legalization proposals. While each of them aims to legalize recreational weed, there are also key differences.
For starters, the Make it Legal initiative will not allow people to grow their own cannabis. Instead, everyone will be required to purchase from a legal shop.
Further, the Make it Legal proposal will also stipulate that consumers purchase from shops currently licensed to sell medical marijuana.
According to the Miami New Times this aspect of the initiative has come under fire. Specifically, critics say this will create a monopoly in the recreational market.
So far, Make it Legal is backed by some big players. In particular, Surterra Wellness and MedMen. The Miami New Times reports that Make it Legal is the best-funded legalization campaign in the state.