Cannabis legalization bill including homegrow provision filed in Florida Senate

Previous marijuana legalization bills have failed in the Legislature.

A Democratic Senator from Kissimmee has filed a bill that could legalize recreational marijuana.

Sen. Victor TorresSB 1576 would make adult use cannabis legal for those at least 21 years of age, establishing a so-called “Division of Cannabis Management” in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to regulate the herb, including in concentrated and other derivative forms.

Possession limits would be capped at 2.5 ounces per user and six marijuana plants, meaning that home cultivation would be allowed in the unlikely event this bill becomes law. Usage would be allowed in a “non-public place,” and violators would be subject to a $100 fine. Minors attempting to buy cannabis would be subject to a series of progressive fines, with the third offense being a $600 hit.

The bill also contemplates consumption establishments, where smoking but not vaping would be allowed, as would the “ingestion” of marijuana via “prepared food.” That food could be taken off premises provided the packaging denotes that it contains THC. These establishments would have to be at least 500 feet away from the doors of a public school, and would be banned from selling product between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Localities could opt out via ordinances passed by Sept. 2024.

Torres’ bill also contains equity provisions, including stipulating that a minority business enterprise would be given preference in a competitive application process.

If passed, this bill would go into effect in July. There currently is no House companion bill.

The Torres bill comes amid a push to legalize cannabis via the state constitution. Smart & Safe Florida has been largely funded by Trulieve, which has donated $25.5 million to the cause already. That initiative, ironically enough, has just over 420,000 valid signatures. It needs 891,589 to make the 2024 ballot.

The amendment push does not include homegrown cannabis, but would permit Floridians to “own, buy, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for personal, non-medical use.”

Recreational cannabis bills have been tried and failed over the years in the Florida Legislature, with former Gov. Rick Scott and current Gov. Ron DeSantis not being marijuana fans.

“What I don’t like about it is if you go to some of these places that have done it, the stench when you’re out there, I mean, it smells so putrid,” DeSantis has said. “I want people to be able to breathe freely.”

 

 

 

 

 

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


13 comments

  • M. Mouse

    March 4, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    “I want people to be able to breathe freely,” says the gov. So he’s going to outlaw cigars, cigarettes, vapes, diesel trucks and cars? No? Hmmm, sounds like Ron Boy is playing politics with this initiative to allow people to grow their own pot. Now, if only there was something in it for him or his friends…a chance to bully someone, for example. Or make money. Or talk about his strong Christian values. He’s a funny little man, that Ron Boy, just not ha ha funny.

  • Earl Pitts American

    March 4, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    Good Evening America,
    This bill wont get any traction at this time and Ron’s right that “skunk” weed Truleive is pushing out does reek of the smell of a dirty butthole.
    Florida already effed up by cutting private entities like Truleive way too much a percentage of the cut of the profits and its too late to address that error in legislative judgement.
    However maybe Florida could consider selling irecreational weed only in State operated stores much like S. Carolina sells booze in only state run stores in their state with the big red dot on their booze stores. Yeah we would use green dots on Florida’s weed stores. We could obtain State weed from the Truleive type of suppliers and The Great State of Florida would have a 100% monolopy on all recerational weed sales.
    If Florida ever goes recreational it should not happen without the State controlling 100% of recreational sales. Truleive would still profit on all the weed they sell to the State. Thats the only way I can see recreational sales happening in Florida. The State could divert some of the weed revenue to helping some of the idiots who overdo their weed habit.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Blackthorne

      March 5, 2023 at 11:14 am

      Earl your philosophy and intellect certainly identify you as one of those you suggest in your comments to be idiots and somewhat zealous with their personal use.
      You might consider using more of that limited gray matter before commenting on a subject your clearly NOT sober enough to speak about.
      GOOD LUCK with that vote of incompetence.

      • Earl Pitts American

        March 5, 2023 at 7:23 pm

        Thank you for your support Blackthorn. I have not yet announced my run for POTUS. But when I do its great to know I have your adoration and unqualified support.
        Right now I’m a little busy scratching my big ‘ole butt. Thanks Blackthorn but I got this and am turning down, regretably, your application for the position of my assistant butt scratcher. Its great to have friends like you!
        Thank you Blackthorn,
        Earl Pitts American

    • Bob

      March 8, 2023 at 9:38 am

      Best plan i have heard yet.
      👍

  • Tammy

    March 4, 2023 at 10:07 pm

    ‘Breathe freely’ DeSantis says. Your shitty waters are just that. Shitty. How you feeling about everyone breathing that?

  • Tropical

    March 4, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    Even with the required number of signatures and a ‘win’ at the polls, as long as desantis and scott are around it’s not going to happen. Those are 2 twisted, evil guys.

    • Patty

      March 5, 2023 at 9:00 am

      Odd comment. As much as DeSantis does not like the smell, or is not a pro recreational Governor. He was very instrumental and actually pushed for buds/flowers to be available for medical patients in our state. As we the people already voted yes.

  • Rhonda

    March 5, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    Once again, not gonna happen. Not with DeSantis. Once smoked up too many will speak and we can’t have that can we? Weed will corrupt everyone and they might suddenly decide to be Trans! Omg…then these ppl will go to Disney…oops I mean DeSantis World. Yeah and they might be in the left lane with a dog hanging the windows! Oh, and the tax revenue? That will make up for the tourists that boycott Disney and pay to regulate bloggers who tell DeSantis to bugger off. Ya’ll need to vote in 24 a little different Florida! And please LBTQ come here! Don’t tuck and run from here! Invite EVERYBODY and live here and vote here and STAND on his neck! I’m so over watching him take all our Constitional rights away!!
    And I’m not LBTQ. I’m a fairy fly!!
    Love to all!!!!

    • Inyra

      March 6, 2023 at 9:12 pm

      You said it all sister! If only a drag queen a day could keep Lil Ron away…

  • Cory

    March 5, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    As far as DeSantis’ argument about the smell being putrid in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana goes…I find it very hard to believe that the “smell” is the issue! So I think DeSantis should come up with more believable reason or scapegoat(if that’s his reason *I don’t know*)First of all, marijuana has been used for thousands of years around the world and in Florida. The smell has always been around and it will never go away just as people that want to smoke it or need it medicinally aren’t going anywhere either! Legalizing it isn’t going to make the smell more intense! The marijuana, the people who would smoke it, and the people that haven’t smoked it but want to try it are not going to increase substantially just because it’s legal! They are all living here already regardless. People are going to do what they want to do regardless of its legal or not! Those people, however, would be able to be assured that the product they’re using would be free of chemicals and contaminants. Also it would create so many jobs! From farmers, culinarians, chemists(to check purity), researchers(to further understand what benefits or adverse effects may be), distribution and retail workers, among many others. Not to mention all the taxable revenue the state could receive. To me it just seems like a win/win situation. I sincerely hope that our state’s politicians can open they’re eyes and do what is best for our state, country and humanity(really) and allow this to pass to voted on by the citizens that you are supposed to represent.

  • Inyra

    March 6, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    It does STINK to high heaven! Gives me a migraine to smell it, just like cigars make me vomit. People in public do have a right not to breathe that crap in.

    • Reasonable adult

      March 17, 2023 at 8:33 am

      Candy stinks? (Legalization opens up new, non-combustible options)
      Also, nowhere does it say legalize it in public, but why should any of us decide what someone does in their own home while effecting no one else? If people want to stay home, consume cannabis, and get delivery, it should be no different than if someone wants to stay home, get drunk, and get delivery. It’d additionally be one less bs excuse that cops could use to ruin the lives of people they dislike. (We all know who that is) As far as the shared atmosphere goes, I used to get migraines living near an airport (jet fuel odor) and hate diesel soot, but I don’t try to end the airline industry or begrudge owners of stock-diesel engines.

Comments are closed.


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