Florida medical cannabis industry rollout likely to be slow

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!

Even though medical marijuana passed by a historic margin in Florida last month, that doesn’t mean state legislators are going to rush to implement the new law. Rather, it will likely be the opposite, with lawmakers dragging their feet.

A whopping 6 million voters supported legalizing MMJ at the ballot box, but establishing industry regulations and licensing cannabis businesses “is not a top priority for the newly elected leaders of the legislature,” the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.

The legislative session does not begin until March 7, and so far only one legislator has announced plans to introduce a bill to implement Amendment 2, the MMJ measure voters approved. If that bill is successful, it would “open up the market to competition among a large number of growers and sellers,” the Times reported.

But that doesn’t mean the bill will get traction, and the Florida MMJ industry is going to have to rely on lawmakers to pass implementation legislation that would set up a workable regulatory system for businesses before they can move forward.

The Florida Department of Health will begin writing industry rules on Jan. 3, as mandated by Amendment 2. But the same agency took more than two years to implement a CBD law approved by the legislature in 2014, the Times noted.