For the People, the Businesses, and our Liberty
The Regulate Florida petition (cannabis for adult use) is mainly three separate sections, each addressing a different aspect of the industry and how it will be implemented. This amendment is self-executing and does not rely on the legislature to act or pass an implementing bill in order for it to take effect. The three main components of regulate Florida are the personal and individual component, the business component and lastly, and maybe the most important component, the liberty and the rights that it gives everybody.
Personal and Individual Component
First, everyone wants to know the individual guarantees it creates for the personnel use of cannabis, meaning what people will be able to do in their homes and vehicles and how they can integrate cannabis into their lives.
We first abolish any sort of controlled and specified limits as to how much cannabis a person can possess for themselves in their household. We want to make sure the people have the ability to cultivate their plants and be able to use this plant not only as an adult use product but also as a wellness product. The personal use amount one can possess is permitted “in quantities reasonably indicative of personal use or for use by household members” of raw product cannabis products, as defined in the amendment. This includes for use, purchase of, and transportation of cannabis. The amendment also permits the most important thing for many cannabis users and patients which is the ability and cultivate this plant and gain the therapeutic benefits from doing so.
The cultivation of cannabis is again a self-executing provision which becomes effective automatically on January 8, 2021 for people to cultivate their own plants. The amendment establishes people are permitted to have up to six mature flowering plants, per adult 21 years or older in the household. We do not specify a limit on vegetative plants.
The intent is to only limit the number of mature flowering plants, not vegetative. The amendment specifically allows people to possess the harvest from of their plants. We also legally permit adults 21 + to share up to an ounce with other adults 21+. It never approves or allows use by people under 21. Remember this provision is self-executing as of the effective date of the amendment January 8th people will be able to begin cultivating and sharing cannabis with one another.
The legislature cannot override the amendment or prevent adults to cultivate cannabis consistent with the amendment. We establish that this section and amendment are minimum requirements and the state cannot limit or reduce the numbers in this amendment. The state legislature or municipalities, however, can increase these amounts with a constitutional amendment. The plants do have to be cultivated in a locked room or greenhouse. The amendment permits the transportation of cannabis by a person over 21 in amounts reasonably indicative for themselves or for members of their household.
As for businesses, Regulate Florida believes we need an open horizontal market. (Our medical program currently has a closed vertical market). The amendment provides requirements to create an open market to ensure we have a market that creates better quality products for the consumers. As this market develops, like wine connoisseurs, people will crave a better and higher quality cannabis product. There will be people who will want products in hundreds of different varieties and forms, like they already have in so many other states.
Regulate Florida, within its amendment, gives the oversight of this program to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. That is the entity of government that has been regulating so many of our businesses throughout the state, including alcohol sales. Within the amendment, and a reason for its four page length, is a list of the requirements that an entity must establish in order to get a license in Florida. We wanted to ensure clarity of the requirements and quick and efficient establishing of an industry in the state. We set a definitive timeline for the state to act in issuing licenses, and inherent remedies giving the power to the municipality to act if the state does not act in accordance with amendment.
When applications are filed there is a definitive timeline for a response. The department or municipalities must state, in writing, the reason for their denial within 90 days of submission of the application. The entity would then have the ability to cure any defect. The specific regulations the department can adopt are rules necessary for implementation, including procedures for licensing, which should only include, a residency requirement for living in the United States for five years prior to being licensed, a requirement that 25% of the directors, members, partners or joint venture applicants, domiciled in the state for at least six months immediately prior to applying.
This does not apply to people who are solely investors or owners. The other requirements are: security requirements for establishments, requirements that prevent sale or diversion to persons under 21, labeling and packaging requirements for cannabis and cannabis products, health and safety regulations and standards for manufacturing and testing of cannabis products and the cultivation of cannabis, guidelines on advertising and civil penalties for failure to comply with these regulations. The amendment does permit people with a criminal charge in their past the ability to get into this industry after an evaluation of their record and rehabilitation.
Separation of Licenses
In order to ensure that the people of Florida get the products they deserve, we require a separation and division of licenses in a horizontal structure. This means that people can apply for only a cultivation license, only a processing license, or other license permitted in the amendment, and not be required to be vertically integrated. The amendment does not prevent a company from acquiring one or all licenses.
The licensing would permit cultivation, production facilities of products, transportation companies, and retail facilities. The licensing structure does require a separation of the wholesale and retail market. The amendment only permits cannabis retail sellers to sell directly to the consumer. The intent of the amendment is to create a business structure which promotes innovation, competition, and quality. The amendment does not contain a tax provision as we leave that decision up to the legislature.
The amendment also addresses public use and gives the right to private business establishments to permit the use of cannabis on their premises. The intent of the amendment is to permit private owners to determine for themselves whether or not they want to permit people to use cannabis in their establishments.
Cannabis has always been a social substance and Regulate Florida wants to create social lounges where people can come together and not only share their cannabis in a social environment, but also be permitted to give each other some to share or take home. All of these efforts are to ensure that the state of Florida and the businesses of Florida, both in the cannabis industry and in tourism industry, benefit from the economic boom that this industry will provide.
Liberty and Rights Component
The liberty’s of the amendment are what will affect everyone and protect the people. We have seen so many problems not only in this state under a medical program but across the country as both patients and people continue to be stereotyped, segregated, and devaluated as result of their use of cannabis. The Regulate Florida petition aims to not only protect your right to use this plant, but also your other most important vital rights we need and hold so dear as being part of an American citizen.
The right to employment and the right to work to take care of yourself and your family is something that everyone should have the right to do. While our society permits, if not encourages, people to use other substances during the weekends, on lunch breaks, or in their free time there is no reason why cannabis should be treated any differently. That is why Regulate Florida prevents employers from sanctioning people for using cannabis in non-work hours.
Regulate Florida ensures head shops and places that sell cannabis paraphernalia are protected. We want to ensure these businesses can open freely, can answer questions of their patients and customers, and strive within this new industry. To do that we require the legislature to amend the definition of paraphernalia as it relates to the use of cannabis. Regulate Florida also amends the gun laws consistent with this amendment to permit people to both use and possess cannabis and continue to retain their state right to a firearm.
Before a local municipality bans a cannabis facility, Regulate Florida requires they put it to a vote of the people in a general election. We intend to ensure when cities and counties overwhelmingly vote in favor of adult use of cannabis, a group of three or four people cannot prevent it from happening. We want to make sure that the people have the power to cultivate cannabis in their own home. We require it be in a locked room or locked greenhouse. People will have the ability to breed and share strains with friends. This amendment allows people to continue to be a productive member of society, take care of their families but it also gives the people the right to decide what they want in their backyard.
It is important to remember that all aspects of the Regulate Florida Amendment are self-executing, an implementing bill by the legislature is not necessary. The amendment makes sure the day it is effective, January 8th, 2021, people can put plants in the ground and the clock starts ticking on licensing. Regulate does encourage people to get involved in politics, both on the local level with county and city commissioners, and on the state level with your representatives and senators. We need to continue to elect candidates that are going to support the expansion of cannabis freedoms.
About Regulate Florida
Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about Regulate Florida. The original founders started this petition while petitioning to get medical cannabis on the ballot. It was a consistent comment from people signing the medical petition why not just legalize it and tax it. This group has come together for the plant based on our love of it, based on our belief of the injustices that have gone on for far too long as a result of choosing a plant. It is time that we end the injustice. It is time we take back this plant that has been taken from us and we rise up. Get active, get involved, donate, and sign the petition to ensure that it does. Nothing in life is given, but everything can be taken and this is the time we take back this plant for the people.