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What's Next For Medical Marijuana In Florida?

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Abe Aboraya/WMFE
The Florida Channel
Dani Hall hopes her two children will be eligible for medical marijuana now that Florida has overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2.

Now that Florida voters have passed a medical marijuana constitutional amendment, some are already asking: Is recreational marijuana next?

John Morgan, the financial backer of the amendment, spoke to reporters today. He said he thinks recreational marijuana will come to Florida. But that won’t be his fight.

“I would never want my children to smoke marijuana recreationally because I’ve seen the stoner,” Morgan said. “So that’s not my fight.”

Now that Florida has approved medical marijuana, the next step will be implementation. The Florida Legislature is expected to pass a medical marijuana bill in the spring 2017 session. And then it heads to the Florida Department of Health for implementation.

Morgan said it will be easier to ramp up production since Florida has implemented a low-THC medical marijuana bill and allows full-strength medical marijuana for the terminally ill.

“The money is waiting at the door to get this stuff grown, marketed, so that’s gonna be different,” Morgan said. “Charlotte’s Web was a little bit of oil for a few kids with epilepsy. You did not have the wolves at the door.”

Even though voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 2 last night, the campaign against medical marijuana in Florida isn’t quite over. The plan is to head to Tallahassee.

Jessica Spencer is an addiction specialist and the policy director for the No On 2 campaign. She questions rhetoric on the campaign trail by Morgan.

In particular, when Morgan said local governments could restrict where dispensaries go, and that the legislature could regulate whether or not the edibles are in candy form.

“I think it’s about time the state of Florida hold John Morgan responsible to that and hold him to his word that the legislature will be able to regulate this,” Spencer said.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.