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No Hearing, No Vote for Florida Adult-Use Cannabis Bill

A Florida House proposal to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis will be refused a hearing, debate, and vote by legislative leaders.

Full story after the jump.

A recreational cannabis bill in Florida will receive neither hearing nor vote in either legislative chamber this session, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The bill sponsor Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said, despite the bill’s failure, “it created a lot of discussion and dialogue.”

“It got no hearing, no debate, no vote. Just like they always do,” Smith, a Democrat, told the Sentinel.

Florida House Communications Director Fred Piccolo told the Orlando Business Journal that while no bill is officially dead before the end of the legislative session, bills in the House require a hearing before they can be voted on – and that includes bills attached to other pieces of legislation. The Senate does not require such a hearing.

Smith’s co-sponsor on the measure, Rep. Michael Grieco, said legalization in Florida was coming “one way or another” either next year or by 2022 either via the legislature or ballot initiative.

“With bipartisan efforts in criminal justice reform reaching new levels this year, it is the right time for Florida to start having a real conversation about legalizing marijuana for adult use.” – Greico, to Orlando Weekly in February when announcing the bill’s introduction

In 2016, 71 percent of Floridians voted to add a constitutional amendment legalizing medical cannabis – those amendments require 60 percent support to pass. Lawmakers have proposed a bill requiring 66.3 percent of the vote to change the state constitution. A February poll from the University of North Florida found 62 percent supported a regulated adult-use market.

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