If Florida can get recreational marijuana legal in 2020, then that state is geared up and poised for the rise of marijuana industry employment unlike any other. The only thing standing in the way? Recreational legalization. Are you ready, Florida?
According to a report from New Frontier Data, a market research firm, recreational cannabis production could create more than 128,000 new jobs in the state in the next five years — in 2025. Right now, the state medical marijuana program employs more than 16,000 people. Of course, these numbers are dependent on the feds legalizing cannabis on a national scale. But there are two groups, in particular, that might make this pipe dream a reality, with the financial oomph and signature collecting capabilities to bring a recreational marijuana law to fruition.
Bets are on either Make It Legal Florida or Regulate Florida to bring legalized recreational weed to the Sunshine State finally. Make It Legal Florida has reportedly collected 100,000 signatures for their initiatives, and Regulate Florida has 77,000 signatures at the ready, and both exceed the 76,632 verified signatures required to get their initiative reviewed by the state Supreme Court. To get to the finish line, though, cash is king. Some predict it will take upwards of $10-$15 million to legalize rec weed, and Make It Legal Florida is working on its coffers, with $1.1 million collected as of September.
The clock is ticking, though. To put a recreational marijuana initiative on the ballot next year, things need to keep moving forward at a brisk clip. If the initiative’s language is approved, by February the groups must have 766,200 verified signatures to present to secure their place in line in the general election. Some of the most recent polls show that 65% of Floridians support recreational marijuana for those 21 and over. Based on Florida’s rules, an initiative has to clear 60% of the vote to become law.
Things are looking bright for recreational marijuana in 2020, though. As long as recreational marijuana advocates meet the signature count required for the February deadline, Florida should be on board to end prohibition in their state.