• Shelby McDaniel

Florida's Marijuana Industry is in Trouble

There is a major problem with people who know nothing about marijuana writing laws that govern marijuana programs. Oftentimes, they will suggest something that makes the entire industry wonder if they have the mental capacity of a koala.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on March 2nd, "A pair of new legislative proposals would place a 10 percent THC cap on smokable marijuana and limit THC levels to 16 percent in other medical-marijuana products, excluding edibles."

HB 1455 and SB 1958, introduced by Representative Spencer Roach and Senator Ray Rodrigues, would impose a number of regulations from THC content, to how doctors can advertise, to how the plants are grown.

Industry professionals and cannabis advocates are disturbed, and rightfully so. The cannabis industry is already subject to advertising restrictions and strict compliance regulations. Adding something as delusional as a THC limit on marijuana would cripple the industry.

I have previously discussed why imposing a .3% THC limit on legal hemp hurts those in the hemp industry, and doing the same thing to legal marijuana would just have the same, if not more disastrous, outcomes. Most marijuana strains will test higher than a 10% THC content without any assistance. If these regulations pass, it will drive the industry back underground.

But these uninformed, abhorrent laws extend beyond Florida's legal cannabis industry. According to Forbes, "Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who jointly chair the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, released a report in which they proposed various regulations on legal cannabis to protect “public health and safety.”

The report, which covered a broad range of topics, emphasized the need for more in-depth research (no argument there), and tightening regulations in both the legal marijuana and hemp markets. Like most times when the federal government attempts to step in with new regulations, they wind up hurting more than they help. And especially in this instance, they are on a path to take a legal industry and force it back underground due to a lack of knowledge.

Yes, there is still so much that we don't know about cannabis. I will be the first to agree with an increase in research on the subject. But imposing an impossibly low THC limit (or any limit) just advertises the fact that the people writing these bills know nothing about the plant or its existing regulations. Crippling a recession-resistant industry that kept people employed throughout the 2020 shutdown is one of the most idiotic things that they could do to the economy.

Bottom line, it would force an increase in crime, take away much needed jobs, shut down small businesses, and take away tax revenue. No matter which side of the aisle you prefer to sit on, these kinds of regulations make no sense whatsoever.


Florida residents: to find out who represents you, visit the Florida House of Representatives here.


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