John Morgan, the attorney who pumped millions of dollars into Florida’s unsuccessful bid to legalize medical marijuana, said Wednesday that the measure’s failure represents a missed business opportunity for one of the most populous states in the nation.
By some estimates, revenues for the first full year of operation would have been $785 million if Florida had legalized medical cannabis under Amendment 2.
“You know, that was not the angle we talked about because we were focused on the compassion issue, but the lost opportunity is huge,” John Morgan, said during a press conference at his offices in downtown Orlando.
“It’s gigantic – all you have to do is look at Colorado – real estate is up, 30,000 jobs added, retail is up, state tax (revenues) up,” Morgan said.
The measure could have expanded medical marijuana to more than 400,000 residents in Florida. It received about 57% of the vote, but needed 60% to pass.
Morgan noted the vote tally in favor of medical marijuana in Florida was the second highest ever, behind only Massachusetts.
And after spending somewhere between $4 million and $5 million of his own money, mostly on getting the amendment on the ballot, Morgan is ready for round two, most likely another ballot initiative in 2016.
“There’s an old Japanese proverb – if you get knocked down seven times, get up eight times,” Morgan said. “We lost the first battle, but we’ll win the war.”
Photo by Jennifer Mann of Marijuana Business Media