The hopes of marijuana advocates in the Sunshine State have been dashed this week, as cannabis advocates have decided to cancel their petition to get recreational reefer on the ballot in Florida.
The recreational cannabis petition could not get enough signatures According to Civilized, Regulate Florida is pulling the plug on its campaign to get a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational pot on the ballot in Florida in 2016.
Campaign manager Michael Minardi let supporters know in a conference call Wednesday they won’t be able to get the 683,000+ signatures needed by February to qualify for the ballot.
The group behind the recreational cannabis petition, Regulate Florida, had proposed to regulate cannabis like alcohol, with some fairly liberal allowances.
Adults aged 21+ could have possessed up to one ounce, grew up to six plants in their residences, or given cannabis to others. Residents would not have been permitted to sell what they grow at home, and they would have been required to keep plants locked away from the public eye and underage consumers.
So what went wrong in Florida, when so many other states have garnered majority support for recreational legalization?
According to Kris Krane, a managing partner at 4Front Advisors, a cannabis consulting firm, there are concerns that Florida initiatives may be competing with each other.
In an interview with the Herald Tribune, Krane expressed concerns that “the movement is spreading itself thin.”But cannabis supporters in Florida aren’t ready to give up yet. Now, they’re looking toward the 2018 midterm elections to move their proposals into legislative action.
Florida Politics reports that legalization advocates remain optimistic about getting the measure on the ballot in 2018, but it will require getting more signatures on the cannabis petition.
Matt Karnes of GreenWave Advisors LLC, a firm specializing in cannabis market research, noted that America’s third most-populated state stands to make billions in the marijuana market.
He projected that Florida would reap approximately $1-billion in its first year of legalized cannabis sales. It’s not a tough case to make, considering how cannabis profits have soared in places like Colorado and Oregon where cannabis is legal for recreational use.