Florida state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) has refiled a bill to legalize the sale of cannabis to anyone 21-and-older at the state’s current medical cannabis dispensaries. The measure would allow purchases of up to 2.5 ounces.
The Republican senator filed a similar measure last year, but it did not make it out of committee. The current bill does not have a companion in the House.
The bill would make underage cannabis possession a second-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and a first-degree misdemeanor on subsequent offenses. It would allow landlords to prohibit smoking or vaping cannabis on their property but does not provide an alternative for those whose landlords prohibit use and bans public consumption and social use. The measure also caps edibles at 15% THC.
The bill does include criminal justice reforms, such as expungement or resentencing, for crimes that would be legal under the new law.
The bill would tax recreational cannabis sales, while medical cannabis sales would remain untaxed; however, the measure does not specify tax rates. It does provide for municipal control and allows cities and towns to implement their own taxes on adult-use products.
While the bill does not allow home cultivation, it does direct the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to study the potential harms and benefits of home grows.
The bill also creates new industry license classes, including processing and transportation.
A different legalization bill sponsored by Democrat state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith – which had four co-sponsors and was more expansive than Brandes’ measure – died last session in the chamber’s Health Quality Subcommittee.
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