Florida MMJ legalization group raises $293K in June

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A Florida political action committee trying to pass an initiative legalizing medical marijuana in the state raised almost $293,000 last month, with the bulk coming from one contributor.

Legalization advocate John Morgan donated more than $233,000 of the total to People United for Medical Marijuana last month, according to a report from the state’s election division. Morgan is an Orlando attorney and the chair of the United for Care campaign in Florida, which is run by People United.

The total amount raised in June is nearly four times the tally for the entire five months prior.

The group, however, also spent $265,000 in June, most of which went to a California company that works on petition drives, according to Health News Florida.

Supporters of the MMJ initiative must submit 683,149 petition signatures and receive approval from the Florida Supreme Court on the wording of the proposed ballot measure to put it before voters next year. The group said earlier this month it’s nearing that goal.

Morgan last year pumped millions of dollars into a similar proposal to legalize MMJ in Florida that failed by about 2 percentage points. At the time, he called the proposal’s failure a “lost opportunity.

Rather than preparing for a full-MMJ industry, Florida businesses are instead gearing up for a CBD-only market under a law passed by state lawmakers ahead of the 2014 elections.

Twenty-four companies have submitted applications for one of the five licenses that would allow them to cultivate, process and sell high-CBD, low-THC cannabis, the state health department said last week.