Florida Rep. Introduces MMJ Expansion Bill; United for Care Pushing for 2016 Ballot Measure

Florida Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) has introduced a bill that would remove the cap on the number of low-THC, high-CBD marijuana producers in the state, as well as expand the list of qualifying conditions for the drug.

Under current Florida law, just five licensed producers will be allowed to grow and manufacture low-THC, high-CBD strains like Charlotte’s Web. In order to qualify, manufacturers must be vertically-integrated from cultivation to distribution and be able to grow 40,000 plants.

Steube’s bill, HB 63, would eliminate such requirements. The measure also specifies that all marijuana facilities must be at least 1,000 feet schools, childcare facilities and substance abuse rehab centers.

Critics say that gridlock at the Florida Capitol means that the bill is unlikely to get a fair hearing. In anticipation, the group United for Care has been collecting signatures to get a medical marijuana legalization program on the 2016 ballot.

“Last year 58 percent of voters voted ‘yes’ for a sensible, comprehensive medical marijuana law,” said United for Care campaign manager Ben Pollara.  “Tallahassee saw this and has failed to give their constituents what they want.”




Photo Credit: Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program

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