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Medical Pot Use Forecast: Up to 450,000

John Sajo
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

If voters approve a constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana, about 1.6 million Floridians would be eligible to use the treatment, the Department of Health estimates. But only a fraction of those who are eligible would likely use it, according to state economists. 

The News Service of Florida reports the forecast is between 175,000 and 450,000 patients. The Department of Health estimates the first-year cost of regulating medical marijuana at $900,000.

The effort to bring medical marijuana to Florida is led by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan, who chairs the group United For Care. One of his employees, former Gov. Charlie Crist, may be running for governor again next year. Amid the announcement from George Sheldon that he will be running for attorney general in 2014, the Tampa Bay Times dug up an old campaign advertisement from 2000 where Charlie Crist blasts Sheldon for his effort to decriminalize marijuana. Political reporters speculate that Sheldon and Crist would share the 2014 Democratic ticket if Crist decides to run.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.