It's official: Florida will vote on legal weed in November!

After a lengthy legal battle, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on April 1 that a cannabis legalization measure, known as Amendment 3, can appear on the state's ballot this November.

The decision comes four months after the court heard arguments on the constitutional amendment (and two years after the court rejected a similar adult-use measure). The legalization campaign is run by Smart & Safe Florida, which has collected over a million signatures to place it on the ballot. Florida's Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody led the unsuccessful fight against it.

Florida could soon see a booming leisure market. Over 22 million people call the state home and there is already a massive medical marijuana industry. Last year, nearly 138 million tourists visited the state. More than 600 pharmacies in Florida serve nearly 900,000 patients.

While it remains to be seen whether 60% of the Sunshine State will legalize weed (or whether the measure's presence on the ballot will impact other races), we know a lot about Amendment 3. Read on to learn more about what that is means The measure covers and does not cover, as well as details about Florida's medical program and current marijuana arrest rates.


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What's in the amendment to legalize marijuana in Florida?

Amendment 3 provides only a handful of explicit guidelines. The measure sets the possession limit at three ounces of flower and up to five ounces of concentrates. The measure does not include any statements about home growth, taxation or expungement of previous crimes. Amendment 3 would allow existing pharmacies to sell to adults and open the door for additional adult-use licenses in the future; Pharmacy chain Trulieve, the largest in Florida, donated $39 million to the campaign.

Legalization would take effect six months after voters approve Amendment 3.

The measure does not contain language about public consumption, but its sponsors have made clear they would support future legislation banning public consumption.

Florida residents over the age of 18 must register to vote at least 29 days before Election Day or they cannot cast a vote.

Amendment 3 must receive 60% of the vote to be added to the state constitution.

What's new on medical marijuana in Florida?

Florida has the largest medical marijuana program in the country, serving nearly 900,000 patients at more than 600 stores. The measure originally passed in 2016 with 71% of the vote. In 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill to allow patients access to smokable marijuana.

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How big could the leisure market become?

In the words of Florida's most famous resident: huuuuuge. According to an estimate by Florida officials last year, legal marijuana could bring the state at least $431 million in annual tax revenue.


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Would Amendment 3 keep many people out of prison?

Amendment 3 does not contain language eliminating prior convictions, but would eliminate most marijuana-related arrests. According to NORML, approximately 2,300 people were arrested for marijuana possession and 200 more were arrested for marijuana sales in Florida in 2022.

Woman in black t-shirt growing in greenhouse with plants in foregroundNikki Fried, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party.

Could the amendment's presence on the ballot impact other races?

Some lawmakers and experts have argued that the presence of the marijuana initiative — as well as an unrelated measure enshrining abortion access in the state constitution — could improve Democrats' chances in other races.

“It will produce younger voters of all types and more white, female voters, both groups that lean heavily Democratic,” Brad Coker, CEO and managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, told USA Today.

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried struck a similar nerve. “The voting measures are fundamentally changing the demographic structure of who wants to vote and who takes part in the election,” she said. “We will fight for the issues that voters care about.”

But not everyone shares this optimism about the measure's impact on the presidential election.

“If they start pouring money into this because it looks close in a head-to-head matchup, I would imagine the constitutional amendments are significant,” conservative consultant Brett Doster, president of Front Line Strategies, told Bloomberg. “But [Democrats] are in very, very deep water right now.”

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