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Florida’s Amendment 3 has 💰💰💰

Plus, Louisiana won’t pardon

Monday, June 24, 2024

Happy Monday! 

We’re letting our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy enjoy married life for a few days before we drag him back into the world of cannabis. 

Let’s get to it.

-CB & JR

This newsletter is X-words or about a X-minute read. 

💡What’s the big deal?

The campaign cash is flowing

What happened: Florida’s legalization ballot initiative broke fundraising records by raising over $40 million, with Smart & Safe Florida leading the fundraising efforts.

The ballot measure needs to meet the required 60% supermajority to pass and to join 16 other states that have legalized recreational marijuana by ballot measure. 

Despite recent polls indicating strong public support, the initiative faces opposition from Florida’s Republican Party and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who have criticized the measure as too radical.

This initiative is also supported by significant donations from the Trulieve

Back up: Florida has tried to legalize four times already, but these attempts failed due to insufficient signatures and court rejections, but the current measure has been approved for the November ballot.

What they’re saying: “I think a lot of investors or analysts will tell you that there's so much money to be made, 'it's the green rush.' A lot of them are not being realistic," Robin Goldstein, Director of the Cannabis Economics Group at UC Davis, said to OpenSecrets. "The more you have the legal market opening up, the more competition you have and also the more technology, scale and efficiency goes into production and people are able to produce it more and more cheaply."

He noted that it is difficult to understand why Trulieve would invest so much money in Florida when it has been challenging for retailers to make money in states where recreational is legal.

Why it matters: Record-breaking financial support for legalization comes in the wake of GOP opposition, particularly from Gov. DeSantis, who recently vetoed a bill banning intoxicating hemp products, partially due to his opposition to the cannabis legalization ballot initiative. 

DeSantis acknowledged that his decision was influenced by the belief that the cannabis industry supported the hemp bill to favor their legalization efforts. While he cited the need to protect small businesses and prevent widespread cannabis use as primary reasons, he also launched the “Florida Freedom Fund” to combat Amendment 3, the legalization initiative. 

When asked about the initiative, DeSantis said, "this is so far beyond just saying you’re not going to criminalize it. This is saying that it’s going to be rampant all across the state. The ‘stench’ of cannabis is ‘everywhere you go—whether it’s New York City, whether it’s San Francisco, whether it’s Denver’ post-legalization. So let’s not do that here."

Desantis cannabis politics are inconsistent at best. His opposition to a regulated cannabis industry begs the question of why he is so supportive of an unregulated hemp industry. Moreover, he is not acting in accordance with the wishes of Floridians, as he himself is less popular than the ballot measure, according to recent polling.

What’s next: The critical moment will come in November when Florida voters will decide on Amendment 3. But the months between now and then will test the popularity of legalization, and the popularity of Governor DeSantis.


Quick hits

Louisiana pardon
Louisiana governor Jeff Landry vetoed a bill that would have pardoned people convicted of first-time marijuana possession without needing approval from the state’s Board of Pardons. He rejected the bill, saying it was part of a “soft-on-crime” approach. Read more

New Hampshire poll
A new poll shows nearly two-thirds of New Hampshire residents support legalizing cannabis, with similar support for the specific bill HB 1633, which the House recently rejected because the compromise version proposed by the Senate was a government-run model. However, the poll indicates a decrease in overall support for legalization, particularly among Independents and Republicans. Read more

Truckers ❤️ weed
Truck drivers are urging the Biden administration to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule III drug, allowing them to use it off-duty without job loss, similar to alcohol. Despite widespread anonymous support from drivers, employers and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) express safety concerns, fearing increased impaired driving and accidents. Read more

Atlas Globe to restructure
Atlas Global Brands, the parent company of several cannabis brands and subsidiaries, has been granted an initial order under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) – Canada’s version of Chapter 11 – to restructure its business and financial affairs after facing financial challenges, including a previous receivership and layoffs. Read more

📊 Chart of the day

Statistics Canada reported a 5.3% increase in April cannabis retail sales from March, reaching $428.6 million CAD, with a daily sales increase of 8.8%. The increase in sales is attributed to more stores and lower flower prices, drawing consumers from the illicit market. Hifyre IQ had predicted higher April sales and estimated a 4.5% increase in May, with final data to be released on July 19.

📰 What we’re reading

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