amendment 2

Florida: Medical Cannabis Businesses Taking Root

FloridaMarijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last month, the Palm Beach County Commission and the Dania Beach Commission agreed to allow medical marijuana dispensaries wherever pharmacies are allowed. Cities across South Florida will decide whether to allow dispensaries within their borders in the coming months.

“I wish it was around, legalized with a doctor’s prescription when my mother was dying,” Dania Commissioner Chickie Brandimarte said.

Florida: First Gainesville Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open

Florida Medical Marijuana 2017

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Friday, May 19th, a Winter Garden-based medical marijuana firm, Knox Medical, will open a dispensary storefront in Gainesville, one of its first in Florida since the approval of a medical marijuana amendment in November.

“What we’re doing is changing people’s perception of what cannabis in Florida is all about,” said Bruce Knox, the company’s founder and chief operating officer. “Education is key to what will be our success in years to come,” he continued.

In Florida, a patient must have been treated by a qualified physician for at least three months before becoming eligible to receive medical marijuana treatments.

Before medical marijuana becomes an option, according to the state Health Department’s Office of Compassionate Use, a patient must have also tried other treatments without success.

“They’re coming in as the last option,” according to retail operations worker Daniel McVay. “We want to get on that patient’s level.”

Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment in November 2016 to legalize medical marijuana, broadening access to cannabis beyond the limited therapeutic uses approved two years ago by the Legislature.

Florida: Medical Marijuana Bans Popping Up Across State

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Florida became the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana last week. Amendment 2 was on the ballot in 2014 but failed to pass, receiving 58% of the vote (Florida requires 60% or more for constitutional amendments). The second time it successfully passed, as the 2016 version of the initiative received 71% of the vote. Medical marijuana was so popular in 2016 that Amendment 2 won in county in Florida.

Some people still oppose medical marijuana in Florida, however. Bans and moratoriums have been popping up across Florida which will prevent medical marijuana businesses from opening where the bans and moratoriums exist. Per the Sun Sentinel:

Places like Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton have temporarily banned marijuana dispensaries and treatment centers until they can assess the effects on the community and establish zoning regulations.

Boca extended its temporary ban on Tuesday, the same day that more than 70 percent of Florida voters agreed to expand the use of medical marijuana. Boca’s freeze is one of at least a half-dozen across South Florida.

“We owe it to our residents and the people of our city to understand the implications of it,” said Christine Thrower, the manager for the village of Golf.

Florida: Institute of Medical Cannabis Continues To Provide 'Higher Education' In 2015

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Florida's medical marijuana initiative lost momentum in 2014 after falling just short of the 60 percent needed to pass. But most Floridians believe that it's no longer a question of it, but when, medicinal cannabis comes to the Sunshine State.

The fact of the matter is that nearly 3.5 million Florida voters supported Amendment 2 -- medical marijuana -- in 2014. United for Care has already begun the process of collecting signatures to get medical marijuana back on the ballot for 2016, and pressure is mounting on the Florida Legislature to expand the already existing CBD-only "Charlotte's Web" law to include higher-THC strains as well.

That's why Sheridan Rafer, founder of the Institute of Medical Cannabis in Boca Raton, says "2015 should actually be a big year for medical marijuana and we will continue to provide education and training."

According to Rafer, last year, the Institute of Medical Cannabis, or IMC Florida for short, signed up more than 300 members and trained more than 100 individuals. The Institute offers four courses, primarily focusing on cultivation.

At IMC, students learn about medical marijuana and the medicinal cannabis industry while attending lectures and receiving practical training in "fully operational grow rooms." However, the Institute notes, "Until changes are initiated in the state and/or federal law, all hands-on training at IMC will be conducted with vegetables and herbs which are organically similar to cannabis."

U.S.: Marijuana Legalization, Medical Marijuana, Sentencing Reform Measures On Ballot

VoteMarijuana

A Crucial Election Season for Legalizing Marijuana and Ending the Drug War

Marijuana Legalization, Medical Marijuana, and Sentencing Reform Initiatives in Oregon, Alaska, D.C., Florida, California, New Mexico, New Jersey and More

Voters across the United States on November 4 will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider Drug War. Voter initiatives – primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws – appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities, and one U.S. territory.

Here are a few of the key ones:

Oregon: Passage of Measure 91 would make Oregon the third state to legally regulate marijuana.

Alaska: Measure 2 would make Alaska the first red state to legalize marijuana for adult use.

Florida Amendment 2, the only statewide medical marijuana initiative this year, would be the first comprehensive medical marijuana law in the South.

California: Proposition 47 would take a significant step toward reducing mass incarceration by changing six low-level, nonviolent offenses (including simple drug possession) from felonies to misdemeanors.

District of Columbia: Initiative 71 would make it legal for adults to possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana in our nation’s capital.

Florida: Poll Shows Medical Marijuana In Trouble

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new poll shows that Amendment 2, the Florida ballot measure that would amend the state Constitution to allow medical marijuana, falling short at the polls next month.

Even supporters acknowledged on Thursday that the drive for medicinal cannabis in the Sunshine State is struggling in the face of well-funded conservative opposition, reports Bill Cotterell at Reuters.

After a two-week barrage of attack ads, the poll showed just 48 percent of Florida voters supporting the amendment to allow doctors to authorize cannabis for medicinal purposes. As a constitutional amendment, the measure needs 60 percent of the vote to pass.

The University of Florida Poll found 44 percent of voters were opposed to medical marijuana, with just 7 percent undecided.

"It's like a cliche in political races, but we're at a point when the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day," said Ben Pollara, who runs United For Care, the group behind Amendment 2.

Florida: Canna Conference and Networking - Get Ready For Sunshine State To Go Green

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Florida entrepreneurs hoping to learn more about opportunities in the medical marijuana industry have the opportunity to do exactly that at a conference in Orlando on November 1.

The event, hosted by DispensaryPermits.com, will bring together leading medical cannabis entrepreneurs and industry experts to provide information and guidance to dispensary and cultivation application hopefuls.

Attendees will get a chance to learn more about operating professional dispensary and cultivation facilities, how to connect with the medical marijuana patient community, navigating industry legalities, selecting suitable real estate, and generating community support.

"When we decided to apply for a permit, we didn't know where to begin," said one client of DispensaryPermits.com. "With all of the misinformation that was circulating among media and other interested entrepreneurs, our team realized we needed professionals to help guide us through the application process."

"DispensaryPermits.com has an outstanding track record of success in assisting clients apply for and obtain dispensary licenses in multiple states," said DispensaryPermits.com Executive Director Sara Gullickson. "We look forward to providing valuable information about the complex medical marijuana industry at this upcoming conference in Orlando."

Florida: Anti-Pot Group Claims Medical Marijuana Could Lead To Date Rape

FloridaMedicalMarijuanaNoOn2DateRapeCookieAd

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An anti-marijuana group in Florida is making new claims that legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes could lead to date rape.

The group "No On 2" recently posted an ad on Facebook asking, "Will the face of date rape look like a cookie?" In the ad, a man and a woman are portrayed hugging, with an arrow pointing to a Photoshopped cannabis cookie in the man's back pocket, reports Jeff Skrzypek at WPTV.

"I absolutely thought it was fake," said Florida state Senator Jeff Clemens, who supports medical marijuana. "I thought it was a joke."

The ad opposes Amendment 2, which will appear on the Florida ballot in November. If the amendment gets 60 percent or more of the vote, it would legalize medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.

Clemens said he simply couldn't believe No On 2 would post such an outrageous ad.

"I think any woman should find that offensive to somehow suggest that if you use medical marijuana to deal with a health issue ... that somehow that's going to make you more susceptible to rape," Sen. Clemens said. "It's really beyond the pale."

Hundreds commented on the ad on the No On 2 Facebook page, with many claiming it was inappropriate and offensive.

Florida: Medical Marijuana Business Seminars Upcoming In September

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Florida MMJ Seminars on Wednesday announced in collaboration with HighDrive Digital Group, marketers for the medical marijuana industry, a seminar in Florida on the benefits and science of medical marijuana and the importance of voting “Yes” on Amendment 2 to make it more accessible to patients in need.

Educators at the seminar have more than 150 years of combined experience, according to the group, which called it "a must attend for everyone who will be involved in the medical marijuana industry – doctors, lawyers, nurses, educators, and entrepreneurs."

"Growing medical marijuana can be very lucrative, and there are only a couple of hundred seats available for the seminars," reads a prepared statement from Florida MMJ Seminars.

Florida is experiencing a huge demand for the cannabinoid medical treatment, especially considering that it is the largest homestead for baby boomers and holistic medical centers. The Florida Veterans Affairs department is one of the largest in the country with more than 1.5 million veterans residing and many in need of the medical marijuana treatment.

The topics covered in the seminars will be aimed at potential patients, clients, business partners and medical professionals:

• The role of Endocannabinoid System in the medical treatment
• Potential use of cannabinoids and a general overview of the history, licensing, and Charlotte’s Web
• Proposed Florida law guidelines and business growth
• Economics of dispensaries, grows, security systems and holistic treatments

Florida: Regulatory Seminars Offered For Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs, Investors

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Florida's Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, is leading with a lop-sided margin in the polls. With change seemingly on the way, the Florida Medical Marijuana Institute's Regulatory Seminars are aimed at entrepreneurs and investors, doctors, lawyers and pharmacy owners across Florida, who seek insight into Florida's likely regulatory landscape.

"People ask us, 'How will your Regulatory Seminar address regulations that haven't yet been issued?'" said Jan Frel, director at the Florida MMTC Institute, a business education school offering a Regulatory Seminar on July 12 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Downtown Miami. "There is an abundance of useful information to use as a guide for Florida's likely regulatory scenarios; the right mix of experts can provide invaluable business guidance."

Regulatory seminars will be offered every three weeks through November, according to the Institute.

The Institute draws its analysis from the Amendment 2 language on Florida's November ballot, the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act approved by the Florida Legislature in May, regulatory approaches in other medical marijuana states, and current Florida statutes regulating related industries, such as the production and distribution of alcohol and pharmaceuticals.

Florida: Benefactor Donates $4 Million More To Florida's Medical Marijuana Fight

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

John Morgan, the man who has led the fight to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, has donated $4 million more of his own money to the campaign.

Morgan is pushing to pass Amendment 2, and he says it's for his dad, his brother, and others who may suffer from debilitating diseases, reports Kendra Conlon at WTSP.

"It's all frivolous until it happens to you," John's brother Tim Morgan said. Tim broke his back in 1977 in a lifeguarding accident; he's now quadriplegic, with excruciating pain that has only gotten worse over the decades.

"I had cancer in 2003 and a pacemaker put in two years ago," said Tim, who added that medical marijuana gets him through the day as director of Morgan and Morgan. "You just break out in a sweat for no reason; you smoke pot and it stops. Why? I don't know; I don't care. It works."

"With my dad, he was dying from emphysema," John Morgan said. "It gave him appetite on Day 1, and it took away his anxiety."

If Amendment 2 passes with 60 percent or more of the vote (as a constitutional amendment, it needs more than a simple majority), it would allow doctors to authorize patients to use medical marijuana, with the state regulating production and distribution.

"I have never met one person -- because there's none -- who has ever died from a marijuana overdose, ever," John said. "It's so simple and so easy, and that's why I think it's going to pass."

Florida: Parental Consent Needed For Minors Under Proposed Medical Marijuana Law

FloridaMarijuanaVote

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An anti-marijuana group operating the website DontLetFloridaGoToPot.com has claimed that minors would be allowed to use medicinal cannabis under Florida's proposed November ballot amendment, but that's just not true.

Among the talking points of Don't Let Florida Go To Pot is the claim that "The amendment allows a teenager to get a recommendation for medical marijuana without the consent of a parent," reports Joshua Gillin at the Tampa Bay Times.

Amendment 2, the proposed change to Florida's state constitution, calls for the state to allow patients with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and other conditions to be authorized for medical marijuana by a physician. If 60 percent of voters approve the amendment, the state will be required to set up a medical marijuana dispensary system and write regulations for growing and selling cannabis.

More than 40 "coalition partners" are listed by the Don't Let Florida Go To Pot website, and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, is run by Save Our Society From Drugs, a St. Petersburg-based wingnut lobbying group, along with the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Florida: 'Vote No On 2' Push Against Medical Marijuana Campaign Begins

FloridaMarijuana2014

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Amendment No. 2, the medical marijuana question on Florida's ballot for the November general election, is supported by more than 80 percent of Sunshine State residents, according to the latest polls. But a new group, the Vote No On 2 campaign, has launched a website and video denouncing the amendment as legalizing weed for "money for dope dealers."

The organization claims that the amendment would allow unrestricted sale and use of cannabis by anyone, even minors, in a virtually unregulated setting like that in California, reports William March at The Tampa Tribune.

The group's web video uses scenes from the Venice Beach boardwalk, where marijuana dispensaries and storefront doctors allow people to get authorized and buy medical marijuana within minutes.

But backers of Amendment 2 deny these claims, saying the amendment is designed to allow only legitimate medical use under rules set up by the Florida Health Department and Legislature.

The video also injects racial undertones into the debate, according to state Senator Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), who said last week that its use of a black former drug dealer to stoke fears of unregulated marijuana sales is fear-mongering.

Florida: Cities Planning Ahead For Legalized Medical Marijuana

FloridaMarijuana2014

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Several cities in South Florida are planning for the day when the Sunshine State legalizes marijuana for medicinal use.

The ballot initiative, Amendment 2, won't go before voters until November, but Pembroke Park recently became among the first in the state to consider regulating grow houses, reports Lisa J. Hurlash at the Sun Sentinel.

"There is a problem that every city is going to have to solve," said Town Manager Bob Levy. "It's better to be ahead of the game than lagging behind."

While some cities are waiting for the outcome of the state referendum in November, Lauderhill, Pembroke Park and Sunrise have all recently begun to plan for legal medical marijuana.

Lauderhill and Sunrise want to be proactive on pot.

Lauderhill City Hall staff members are looking into how the law "will affect health care costs and internal policies," according to city spokesperson Leslie Johnson. "We need to start looking at how it will affect the workplace," she said. "It's so new we don't really know what's coming."

The city of Sunrise is collecting information so it can deal with any marijuana-related issues that may arise. "We have been looking at the effects of potential medical marijuana legislation on our employees and operations, and on the services we provide," said spokeswoman Christine Pfeffer.

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