Trulieve gathered petition signatures to put recreational cannabis on Florida’s 2024 ballot, Germany released a legalization bill draft, and a bipartisan push aims to fix the Department of Defense’s hiring problem.
Let’s dive into this week’s canna-news.
Florida Takes Important First Step in Fight for Recreational Use—So, What Now?
Florida is closer than ever to making recreational cannabis a reality. Thanks to the efforts of Trulieve, Florida’s largest medical cannabis producer, over 965,000 petition signatures were gathered as part of the Smart and Safe Campaign. That means that an amendment to legalize recreational cannabis may appear on the state’s 2024 ballot. However, one major challenge is ahead of this amendment: Florida’s Supreme Court.
In an effort to block the initiative, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody submitted the amendment for review. Moody claims that the legalization initiative has language that could violate statutory requirements.
Florida’s Supreme Court is scheduled to review the matter later in the summer. By now, opponents and supporters of the initiative have submitted their legal briefs. It should be noted that the state’s Supreme Court previously rejected the legalization in 2019 over language issues.
If the initiative makes it past the Supreme Court, it will need approval from at least 60% of voters to be adopted.
Germany Rolls Out First Phase of Legalization Push
In more legalization news, Germany has officially kickstarted its push to end prohibition with the release of a draft bill. The draft represents the first pillar of a two-pillar model, each tackling different aspects of Germany’s current prohibition policy.
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The proposed legislation allows adults 18 and up to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis for personal use and grow a maximum of three plants. Consumption of cannabis is banned within 200 meters of schools, children or youth facilities, playgrounds, and pedestrian zones between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The draft bill also paves the way for the establishment of a cannabis growers associations. Each association is allowed to accept up to 500 members who become eligible to receive either 25 or 50 grams of cannabis per month per personal use.
Most importantly, the draft bill calls for the removal of cannabis from the Narcotics Drug Act. Doing this grants the medical cannabis industry more flexibility in prescription practices making the plant all the more accessible to those who need it.
The second pillar of Germany’s legalization focuses on solidifying commercial supply chains. It’s expected to drop later this year after review by the European Commission.
Make sure to check in with Veriheal to stay up to date with Germany’s legalization efforts.
How Cannabis Can Solve the Department of Defense’s Recruitment Problem
The U.S. Defense Department is facing a recruitment crisis. In the past year, nearly 5,000 recruits failed their entry drug tests, up 33% from two years earlier. This figure doesn’t even account for the thousands more who skipped out on submitting applications due to the department’s anti-cannabis policies. In response to this, two bipartisan lawmakers are proposing changes to the department’s hiring policies.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is proposing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would eliminate cannabis testing for military recruits. California Rep. Robert Garcia has proposed an amendment to the NDAA that prohibits agencies from denying security clearances solely based on an individual’s lawful use of cannabis within the past seven years.
The proposed amendments to the NDAA could have significant implications as the bill, an annual reauthorization of U.S. military programs, is considered must-pass legislation, increasing the likelihood of the amendments becoming law.