Florida Legislature is Not Hearing Marijuana Bills This Year

Medical marijuana is legal in Florida and has been since 2014. Last year, in 2019, the state made great strides in providing access to medical marijuana and the types available to approved patients. One of the most notable changes was the legalization of smoking medical marijuana. Unlike 2019, this year has come with the news that the legislature will not hear a number of bills regarding marijuana use across the state.

A number of the proposed bills for this year would pave the way for legalizing recreational marijuana across the state. Furthermore, many of the bills would also help provide access to those who need medical marijuana most. Halfway through the year, however, not one hearing has been held regarding any of the proposed bills. Advocacy groups and those who wrote the bills are feeling the frustration and pushing hard for their voices to be heard.

What are Some Proposed Marijuana Bills in Florida?

The bills not being heard by legislature this year cover a variety of issues related to medical marijuana sales and use. There are numerous opinions on the necessity of these bills becoming laws. As a whole, if approved, they would create a more relaxed state of mind around the legalization of marijuana (medical or recreational) in Florida.

Ban Marijuana Smoking in State Parks

Although recreational marijuana is not legal in the Sunshine State, it is not illegal for medical users to partake of the substance in public. Recently, smoking marijuana was deemed illegal on Dade County beaches, and it is proposed that the rest of the state should follow suit. Senator Joe Gruters introduced SB 670, which would make it illegal to smoke marijuana in state parks.

Reduce Minimum Sentences for Marijuana Crimes

Currently, Florida has some of the harshest penalties for recreational marijuana sale and use in the country. Under a newly proposed bill, minimum sentence requirements for crimes involving the sale or trafficking of cannabis would be eliminated and judges would be able to sentence individuals in their courtrooms on a case-by-case basis.

Allow More of Companies To Grow and Sell Cannabis

The state of Florida limits the number of companies that are legally able to grow and sell cannabis across the state. Currently, only 25 licenses are granted at any time. Under this new law, the cap of licenses would be lifted and the high cost of medical marijuana licenses reduced. Companies affected by this law would include both growers and dispensaries.

Amend Penalties for Marijuana Crimes

As mentioned before, Florida has rather harsh penalties regarding the sale, use, or trafficking of recreational marijuana. In addition to minimum sentences, the state also has additional penalties for those convicted including fines and the length of time a marijuana sentence stays on your record. Under the new law, the minimum penalty for the possession of 20 grams of marijuana would be reduced from a misdemeanor to a noncriminal violation.

Increase Opportunities For Businesses To Sell Medical Marijuana

SB 212 is a bill that redefines medical marijuana products and delivery services. If this bill became a law, facilities that produce medical marijuana products would no longer be the point of sale. Instead, retail facilities would be able to partner with a production facility. Additionally, physicians and caregivers would not be legally able to carry financial interest in marijuana retail.

As marijuana laws in Florida evolve, it is essential to understand how the laws apply to you. A knowledgeable drug defense attorney can educate you on your rights regarding medical or recreational marijuana use according to the law.

Knowledgeable Drug Defense Attorneys In Central Florida

The attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm have more than 100 years of combined experience representing individuals accused of marijuana crimes across Central Florida. We believe that your life shouldn’t be defined by a single mistake and will fight tirelessly in your defense when the odds are stacked against you. Our law firm is highly rated on Avvo.com and we are members of Florida Super Lawyers.

To schedule your free consultation, call The Umansky at 407-228-3838 or fill out our online contact form today. At the Umansky Law Firm, we believe that everyone deserves a second chance.