• Cultivated
  • Posts
  • Floridians go to the cannabis polls

Floridians go to the cannabis polls

Plus, Missouri wants to ban Delta-8

Good morning.

Yesterday seemed like a fun day to be in Berlin, as legal cannabis supporters organized a “smoke-in” at the Brandenburg Gate, of all places, to kick off Germany’s legalization. 

Perhaps we’ll see a “smoke-in” in South Beach in November? 

Let’s get to it.

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

💡What’s the big deal?

Legal cannabis will be on the ballot in Florida

What happened: After a long wait, Floridians will officially vote on legal cannabis on the November ballot, the state’s Supreme Court ruled five-to-two. 

Polls show a majority of Floridians support legalization, though the ballot needs 60% to pass

Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican, previously asked the court to block the vote, but ultimately lost after the court heard oral arguments both in support and against the measure. 

And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is no friend to cannabis policy. He publicly opposed legalizing cannabis, saying: “I don’t want to be able to go walk in front of shops and have this, I don’t want every hotel to really smell.”

What’s on the ballot: Florida’s legalization initiative, Smart & Safe Florida, has been led by cannabis firm Trulieve — the company is responsible for much of the funding, along with other corporate cannabis companies. 

If passed, the measure would allow medical cannabis companies already operating in Florida like Trulieve to immediately begin selling cannabis to adults over the age of 21. 

It would also allow adults to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower and five grams of concentrate products. Notably, it doesn’t include any social equity language, like reinvestment funds or record expungements. 

Our take: Cannabis legalization often reflects the political and policy priorities of the jurisdiction where it’s written, and the people leading the charge. Take Florida and New York, for example. 

Smart & Safe Florida has come under fire from cannabis and social justice advocates, who say it would only serve to expand Trulieve and other corporate cannabis firms’ already-existing monopolies in the state. 

That’s unlike New York’s legislation, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which deliberately attempted to put small business and social equity-aligned entrepreneurs ahead of big medical cannabis companies already operating in the state. 

That, others say, has handicapped the rollout of the legal market in the state. 

Given that Florida is a much redder state than New York, it’s perhaps predictable that legalization policy would be written, and bankrolled, to favor big business over social justice concerns.

That aside, if passed, it’s a huge win for cannabis industry investors and executives and would bring one of the most populous states into the legal cannabis fold. The jury is still out on whether that ends up being a good thing for cannabis consumers and criminal justice reform, though. 

There are also broad political considerations: Cannabis will be on Florida’s ballot with abortion — which may give President Joe Biden a boost in the all-important state. It could also change the South’s posture toward cannabis, as Florida shares a border with Georgia and Alabama. 


💬 Quotable

“It’s a slap to our face,” Freddy Herrera, a prospective New York cannabis licensee, told New York Cannabis Insider over what the story says are illicit operators getting a leg up in the state’s much-delayed licensing process.

⚡Quick hits

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Marijuana Policy Project, two of the most-well known pro-legalization groups, have ended their merger talks amid a difficult fundraising environment, CelebStoner Reports

A new report from Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office found that legalization would generate $271 million in revenue — but would be far more if the state’s neighbors hadn’t already legalized cannabis first as the state is unlikely to get out-of-town visitors coming to specifically purchase cannabis. 

Proposed legislation in Missouri would ban the sale of intoxicating, Delta-8 hemp products. Read more about the brewing hemp versus cannabis battle.

💬 Deals, launches, partnerships

Tobacco company Imperial Brands will take a near 20% stake in Canadian cannabis firm Auxly Cannabis Group

Las Vegas cannabis company Planet 13 is set to open the city’s second consumption lounge. 

Florida cannabis firm Flora Growth will buy German cannabis firm TruHC Pharma, in a $6.4 million all-stock deal as cannabis companies set their eyes on the German market.

📈 Earnings round-up

Glass House Brands reported $160.8 million revenue for 2023, up 89% from the year prior, though the fourth-quarter saw declines in retail and “CPG” revenue. 

Clever Leaves reported a net loss of $17.9 million on $17.4 million revenue for 2023, up 6% compared to the year prior. 

Goodness Growth Holdingsreported a $25.5 million net loss on $88.1million revenue for 2023, up 18% from the year prior. The company is also set to sell Vireo Health, its New York subsidiary, to Ace Venture Enterprises for between $3 and $5 million.

📰 What we’re reading

What did you think of today's Cultivated Daily?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.