Florida high court to hear challenge to adult-use cannabis legalization

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(This story was updated to include details provided by the Florida Department of State.)

The Florida attorney general’s attempt to halt a heavily bankrolled adult-use marijuana legalization campaign will go before the state Supreme Court and could be heard as soon as June.

The Florida Department of State said that Smart & Safe Florida, an initiative campaign funded almost entirely by Florida-based multistate operator Trulieve Cannabis, had collected 967,528 valid signatures as of June 2, well past the 900,000-signature threshold needed to qualify for the November 2024 ballot.

“There are a few steps it has to go through before it makes ballot placement and it gets a ballot number, but it has received the requisite number of signatures to start that process,” Mark Ard, spokesperson for the Florida Department of State, told MJBizDaily.

Trulieve has spent nearly $38.5 million to date on the legalization effort, almost all of it on signature gathering, according to campaign finance records.

However, last month, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a legal challenge intended to disqualify Smart & Safe Florida from the ballot.

According to the Capitolist, the Supreme Court will hear Moody’s challenge as soon as next month.

Both sides are due to submit initial arguments to the court June 12, with possible oral arguments to follow.

Neither Trulieve nor the Smart & Safe campaign immediately responded to a request for comment.

In her initial submission to the court, Moody claimed the ballot initiative does not meet state standards for a proposed constitutional amendment be limited to a single subject.

If passed, the constitutional amendment would allow Florida’s existing medical-marijuana treatment centers to start selling cannabis to all adults 21 and over.