Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is not “pushing” or “endorsing” limits on how much THC can be in medical cannabis, but one Democrat who may face him in next year’s General Election continues to keep the pressure on.
Florida Consumers First, a political committee supportive of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, sent out a fundraising appeal Monday hitting the THC caps issue again, even as the sole legislative vehicle for such languishes without its final committee hearing.
HB 1455 would cap flower at 10% THC and concentrates at 60%. The bill had initial momentum, but effectively stalled after DeSantis told reporters he was down on the bill in late March. The Health and Human Services Committee has yet to set a hearing, and the bill isn’t moving in the Senate either.
However, the stalled legislation, and the realities of how bills can sometimes take on new life in the form of amendments to other proposals, gives Fried an opening, and her committee exploited it, starting off with some wordplay about the House sponsor’s name.
“Last week, Rep. Spencer Roach (ironic, right?) defended his bill to cap THC levels in medical marijuana by saying it would ‘save Florida’s medical marijuana program,‘” Fried quipped, alluding to the use of the word “roach” by cannabis users as a description of an extinguished joint.
Fried then goes on to suggest that, in voting to approve Florida’s medical marijuana program, the electorate voted to “legalize marijuana.”
“71% of Floridians voted to legalize marijuana. Tallahassee Republicans are playing their favorite game right now: ignoring voters and pushing harmful policy,” the email contended.
Fried, of course, is the loudest voice for cannabis law reform in the state and has advocated for employment protections for the state’s over half a million medical patients. Yet the fundraising email speaks to an omnipresent realpolitik that speaks louder than even cannabis itself.
DeSantis continues to control the fundraising race. His political committee raked in $5.1 million in March, and has roughly $17 million on hand. Fried’s committee’s March numbers aren’t in as of yet, but her Florida Consumers First ended February’s filing period with just over $1.1 million on hand.