Newest Legalization Effort in Florida Receives $5 Million in Support

A legalization campaign recently launched by Smart & Safe Florida has garnered the support of medical cannabis company Trulieve and Grammy-nominated country music group, The Bellamy Brothers. Trulieve has donated $5 million to the effort that could lead to a measure on the 2024 ballots.

According to Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers, legalization is all about access. “We came into this with a mission to provide access to high-quality products that are safe and have an appropriate value proposition to give folks control over their—in the original days—medical journey,” Rivers told News Service of Florida. “I don’t think that changes here. I mean, in effect we are at our core about expanding the opportunity for access to safe legal product, which is what this would allow us to continue to do.”

If passed, the amendment would legalize cannabis for recreational use for anyone 21 or older. This includes “possession, purchase, or use of marijuana and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.”

It would also alter the state’s current “medical marijuana treatment centers” to “acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell and distribute such products and accessories.” As of 2016, Florida requires that these businesses be vertically integrated, meaning they must control everything from cultivation to retail sales. According to WJCT News, this prevents smaller entrepreneurs from entering the industry.

Finally, should voters approve this measure, it would still allow legislators to participate in shaping regulations. “Any amendment in the state of Florida has to be very careful in terms of single subjects with this court and so I do know, speaking with the lawyers, that there was a very high focus on keeping this really focused around authorizing adult use and then allowing the Legislature to develop policy,” said Rivers.

The measure also has the support of Smart & Safe Florida political committee head and musician David Bellamy, of the musical duo The Bellamy Brothers. The country group members are Florida natives who have previously partnered with Trulieve to create a line of cannabis products.

“As we travel the country, we see the benefits of adult use and as Florida residents we love the ‘freedom state’ moniker and believe that Florida needs to join the millions of Americans whose adults are free to use cannabis without fear of being incarcerated,” the duo told WJCT News in an email.

A different legalization initiative from the political committee Sensible Florida, which proposed to regulate cannabis like alcohol, was rejected in June 2021 by the Florida Supreme Court. Another initiative was rejected in April 2021 as well.

Despite these hurdles, Rivers is confident that Trulieve lawyers have analyzed these previous attempts to learn from the past. “Every initiative has provided some level of learning,” Rivers said. “With this initiative, the authors have taken a hard look at the Supreme Court rulings surrounding the previous efforts and taken that into consideration. We believe it’s a very appropriate and narrowly focused amendment that does defer appropriately to the Legislature.”

Compared to previous attempts to legalize cannabis in Florida, Rivers believes that Trulieve’s strong support of medical cannabis patients could help get the word out about this new initiative. “One of the interesting aspects here is that we do have (a) medical-cannabis market and we have hundreds of thousands of patients in Florida who are utilizing medical cannabis regularly. So our ability to reach out and to have more direct communication…is a bit unique from a positioning perspective,” Rivers concluded.

But according to Rivers, Florida is home to many ardent advocates willing to help out. “While we’re happy to provide investment, we also do believe that there are a lot of folks who are very passionate about this and I expect to have a great engagement across the community,” she added.

Advocates like The Bellamy Brothers, who believe that legalization in Florida is a step toward ending non-violent cannabis convictions. “We see it every day and hear it from everyone we speak with, that the idea of putting adults in jail and ruining their lives for using cannabis is crazy. We have also read the polls and see consistent and strong support for an effort to allow adults to use cannabis,” The Bellamy Brothers wrote.

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Miami Finally Gives OK to Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

More than five years after Florida voters legalized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2016, city leaders in Miami finally relented and have voted to allow a business to pursue opening a medical dispensary within the city limits. With a 3-2 vote on Thursday, the Miami City Commission ended its de facto ban on medical cannabis retailers and cleared the way for businesses to begin applying for permits to operate.

“The people of Florida decided to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida,” City Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla said at Thursday’s meeting, according to a report from the Miami Herald. “The city of Miami has to keep up with the times. Properly regulated, it’s the time to do it. We have to move forward and not look backwards.”

Medical Cannabis Legalized in Florida in 2016

Florida voters legalized the medicinal use of cannabis with the approval of a constitutional amendment ballot measure in 2016. The amendment passed by voters gave local governments the authority to ban or regulate medical pot dispensaries, but the Miami city government failed to pass measures to take either step.

The passage of the amendment prompted entrepreneur Romie Chaudhari, a Los Angeles-based real estate investor, to apply for a permit for his business MRC44 to open a medical pot dispensary at a site in downtown Miami. Chaudhari was denied a permit for the dispensary, with the Miami city attorney arguing that the ballot initiative is in violation of the federal prohibition of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act.

Chaudhari and MRC44 then sued the city of Miami in federal court for a permit to open a medical dispensary. The judge sent the case to state court but ruled that the city had “failed to act” by not banning or regulating dispensaries.

Miami’s Planning and Zoning Appeals Board ruled in favor of Chaudhari’s plan to open a dispensary, but the city zoning director appealed that decision in April 2021. On Thursday the city commissioners voted to deny the appeal, clearing the way for Chaudhari and MRC44 to continue its quest to gain the proper permits and license to operate.

Commissioner Ken Russell, who is a registered medical cannabis patient and has publicly voiced his support for cannabis policy reform, voted to deny the appeal and allow Chaudhari to seek approval for the dispensary.

“I believe the state constitution is clear that we had the right to ban this use in our city and we have not done that,” Russell said, as quoted by the Miami New Times. “[Chaudhari has] applied in earnest under the lack of that ban, and I believe therefore we should grant their certificate of use.”

He said that it is time for the federal government to catch up with state and local governments that have legalized cannabis for medical use.

“Florida voters decided that it should be accessible in our state,” Russell added. “Because of the conflict between state and federal law, however, our City Commission had to settle the dispute as to whether our residents would get that access. We voted that they will.”

Regulations Still To Come

Russell was joined in Thursday’s vote by City Commissioners Alex Díaz de la Portilla and Christine King, who said that the city government was on the wrong side of the issue. Díaz de la Portilla said that the will of the voters should be respected and that the city should regulate medical cannabis dispensaries to avoid a proliferation of the businesses.

“The people of Florida decided to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida,” he said. “The city of Miami has to keep up with the times. Properly regulated, it’s the time to do it. We have to move forward and not look backwards.”

Commissioners Joe Carollo and Manolo Reyes voted against the measure, arguing that the city should first implement a plan to regulate medical pot dispensaries to prevent a mass influx of the operations.

“I’m of the opinion that before we move forward in voting on this we need to establish our ordinance that what are the procedures and guidelines for someone to open up such an establishment,” Carollo said at Thursday’s meeting of the city commission. “Otherwise, we’re kind of making this into a sort of Cheech and Chong free-for-all.”

Reyes echoed his colleague’s sentiments, saying “You know how it is. They are going to be all over.”

“Wherever you go and they are permitted, you see people smoking pot in the streets,” he said.

Diaz de la Portilla agreed that the commission should act to regulate dispensaries.

“With the understanding that we are going to address the issues because Commissioners Reyes and Carollo are correct that we have to have a policy so we don’t have a proliferation of these dispensaries throughout our city,” Diaz de la Portilla said as he seconded Russell’s motion to vote in favor of Chaudhari.

An attorney representing MRC44 declined to comment after Thursday’s vote.

The post Miami Finally Gives OK to Medical Cannabis Dispensaries appeared first on High Times.

Cannabis and Guns

Do cannabis and guns go well together? Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide Democrat and commissioner of agriculture, thinks so. She is suing the Biden administration over a federal rule that bans medical cannabis patients from owning concealed weapons. Filed last Wednesday against the US Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and […]

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Bride, Caterer Accused of Lacing Wedding Food with Weed

Alanis Morisette never sang about weed on a wedding day, but for one Florida bride and caterer, there was some good advice that they just didn’t take. 

Here’s the story, via CNN and various other media reports: 42-year-old bride Danya Shea Svoboda and 31-year-old caterer Joycelyn Montrinice Bryant “have been charged with culpable negligence, delivery of marijuana and violating Florida’s Anti-Tampering Act” stemming from a February wedding in Longwood, Florida that turned into a serious buzzkill. 

According to CNN, Svoboda and Bryant have been “arrested and accused of lacing wedding food, including lasagna, with marijuana and causing several guests to become sick.” 

The affidavit says that the bride “agreed to and allowed Joycelyn Montrinice Bryant to lace the food she served … with cannabis unbeknownst to the attendees, many of whom became very ill and required medical attention.”

Deputies arrived at a community clubhouse in Longwood that night to find several guests receiving medical attention.

For some, the evening was anything but enchanting. 

CNN, detailing the affidavit, reported that “one woman who attended the wedding told an investigator that while she was at the hospital, she felt paranoid and ‘believed her husband … wasn’t telling her the truth about other family members,’ and that her son-in-law had died and no one was telling her.” She also said she “became loud and unruly in the emergency room and had to be given medication to calm down,” according to CNN.

Investigators and the wedding guests themselves have apparently been unable to get straight answers from the bride and groom. 

CNN says that when a “a deputy asked Danya and her husband, Andrew Svoboda, if they had requested or consented to the food containing cannabis, Andrew ‘stared at (the deputy) with a blank expression for a few moments before stuttering through a ‘no.’”

One guest apparently “ told investigators that after she realized she was high, she asked Svoboda if ‘she had put marijuana in the olive oil,’” CNN reported, to which “Svoboda answered ‘yes’ and ‘acted excited.’” 

But another guest, according to CNN, “said when she texted Svoboda from the hospital asking her what was happening and what she was given, the bride responded, ‘Uggg, we have no idea.’”

CNN, citing court records, reported that “both Svoboda and Bryant have bonded out of Seminole County Jail and will be arraigned in June.”

According to the Tampa-based Sammis Law Firm, Florida’s Anti-Tampering Act “covers tampering with food as well as tampering with certain types of drugs, devices, or cosmetics.”

The law firm says that the statute is not used all that often in part because “the statutory language is poorly written and fails to track the federal food anti-tampering law,” and that the “terms used in Florida’s Anti-Tampering Statute are extremely vague, leading to constitutional challenges by criminal defense attorneys.”

“Local law enforcement officers will investigate any such allegation and take swift action. These crimes can be charged as a third-degree, second-degree, or first-degree felony depending on how the tampering occurred and the harm caused,” the firm explains. “Many of these crimes are committed by juveniles because of the often impulsive nature of the offense.” 

The story underscores the dangers of serving cannabis-infused food to unwitting individuals. A man in South Dakota was sentenced to 60 days in jail last month after his mother unknowingly served his cannabis-laced brownies to other senior citizens. 

The man lost his job as a music teacher in a local school district over the incident, and was also ordered to pay $34,000 in court fees and serve two years’ worth of probation. 

“I’m really sorry. This impacted so many in the community, and I’m sorry for that,” he said at his sentencing, as quoted by the Associated Press. “So many people got sick, and that wasn’t my intention for that to happen.”

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Florida’s Top Democrat Suing Biden Admin. Over Rule Barring Medical Cannabis Users From Buying Guns

The highest ranking Democrat in Florida is taking on the leader of her party—and the country—over weed and guns.

Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner and a Democratic candidate for governor, “plans to sue the Biden administration Wednesday to try to block a federal rule that prohibits medical marijuana users from buying guns or maintaining concealed-carry permits,” according to NBC News, which obtained a copy of Fried’s lawsuit.

“I’m suing the Biden Administration because people’s rights are being limited. Medical marijuana is legal. Guns are legal,” Fried said in a tweet on Wednesday morning. “This is about people’s rights and their freedoms to responsibly have both.”

(The 4/20 announcement of Fried’s lawsuit against the Biden administration was not a coincidence, by the way.)

NBC reported that the “lawsuit targets a federal form that asks whether the gun buyer is an unlawful user of drugs and specifies that marijuana is illegal under federal law.”

Prospective customers who check “yes” are denied and those who lie “[run] the risk of a five-year prison sentence for making a false statement,” according to NBC News.

The lawsuit from Fried, who is currently the only Florida Democrat holding a statewide office, will have a major bearing on her own jurisdiction, where medical cannabis has been legal since voters there passed an initiative in 2016 and where gun ownership is ubiquitous.

But it could also set a precedent for the dozens of other states where medical cannabis is legal.

Fried is a longtime champion of cannabis reform. “I’ve always been pro-cannabis but didn’t really understand the movement [early on],” she told High Times in an interview last year, saying that her passion was sparked as a student at the University of Florida.

She won her race for agriculture commissioner in 2018 on a platform dedicated to changing Florida’s cannabis laws.

“At the time, we weren’t talking legalization, we were trying to still get medical, but they knew that I was in favor of legalization when the time was right for Florida,” Fried told High Times.

Fried has ramped up her legalization push in her gubernatorial campaign, which she launched last year.

She is running for the Democratic nomination against Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor turned Democratic congressman. Both candidates have pledged to legalize cannabis for adults if elected, but Fried has called out Crist on his GOP past, saying in October that people have been imprisoned, and Crist and other Republicans “supported and enforced racist marijuana crime bills.”

Fried and Crist are vying for the chance to take on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate who has said that recreational cannabis will not be legalized while he’s in office.

“Not while I’m governor,” DeSantis said in 2019. “I mean look, when that is introduced with teenagers and young people, I think it has a really detrimental effect to their well being and their maturity.”

Polls show that both Democrats are longshots against the incumbent.

“Ron DeSantis is motivated by money,” Fried told High Times last year in explaining the governor’s opposition to cannabis reform. “I think his motivation is more his ability to raise money.”

As NBC News explained, the lawsuit “is laden with political opportunity for Fried, who became the only Democrat elected statewide in 2018 when she ran on an unabashedly pro-cannabis platform,” with polls repeatedly showing that a majority of Floridians—like the rest of the country—support legalizing pot.

According to NBC, Fried “is bringing the suit with three citizens who have been affected by the federal rules,” and the suit “names the acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Attorney General Merrick Garland as defendants.”

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Judge Clears Florida Doctor Accused of Medical Cannabis Fraud

A doctor in Florida who was accused by the state of failing to conduct adequate evaluations of patients before ordering them medical cannabis prescriptions was cleared by a judge on Wednesday.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that an administrative judge ruled that Joseph Dorn, a Tallahassee physician, “didn’t do anything wrong” when he was the subject of a pair of undercover investigations.

Last month, the state’s Department of Health proposed a number of harsh penalties against Dorn in its written recommendation to Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins: a permanent ban from ordering medical cannabis for patients, a $10,000 fine, and a five-year suspension of Dorn’s medical license.

But on Wednesday, per the Tampa Bay Times, Watkins “issued an order recommending that the complaint against the doctor be dismissed, saying that health officials ‘failed to present competent substantial evidence in this case establishing … that Dr. Dorn acted, or failed to act, in any manner to defraud or trick any patient, or that any patient was actually defrauded or tricked.’”

The accusations against Dorn, who boasts three decades of experience practicing medicine in Florida, stem from his interactions with two different undercover patients, referred to as “Patient O.G.” and “Patient B.D” in the state’s complaint against the doctor.

The Department of Health said Dorn failed to conduct physical examinations of “Patient O.G.” and “Patient B.D,” as the News Service of Florida reported last month, and even went as far as accusing Dorn of using a “trick or scheme” in his practice.

“Instead of recognizing this responsibility, respondent (Dorn) used his designation as a qualified physician to liberally qualify patients to receive medical marijuana by only performing perfunctory consultations and ignoring many of the requirements imposed by the legislature,” attorneys for the Department of Health wrote in their recommendation to the judge last month.

But on Wednesday, Watkins said that the state lacked the evidence necessary to back those claims.

“The evidence of record undermines DOH’s argument that Dr. Dorn’s practice is nothing more than an ‘open gate’ to medical marijuana. In the case of both O.G. and B.D. (and presumably the other 28 patients examined), Dr. Dorn conducted a detailed and thorough assessment of the patient’s condition prior to prescribing medical marijuana,” Watkins wrote, as quoted by the Tampa Bay Times. “Furthermore, the preponderance of the competent substantial evidence in this case demonstrates that Dr. Dorn performed a meaningful review of O.G. and B.D.’s medical history and symptoms, identified and discussed their qualifying stressors, and noted the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms being experienced by each.”

The ruling amounts to vindication for Dorn, whose attorney, Ryan Andrews, said last month that the state “offered no evidence whatsoever to support its allegation,” and that the Department of Health “does not know what the health benefits or risks are of medical marijuana.”

On Wednesday, the Times reported that Andrews “threatened to take legal action against the health department and officials involved in the complaint against his client.”

“This action didn’t sound in good faith and now it’s our turn to seek justice and right this wrong against everyone involved. This entire action against Dr. Dorn is an embarrassment and disservice to the state of Florida. Dr. Dorn is excited to continue treating patients without these baseless and harmful accusations hanging over his head,” Andrews said in a statement.

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Florida Doctor Faces Permanent Medical Cannabis Ban

A physician in Tallahassee, Florida is staring down significant penalties from the state after allegedly failing to adequately assess patients before ordering them medical cannabis, according to local news reports

The News Service of Florida reported on Monday that the state’s Department of Health is proposing a host of tough penalties against the doctor, Joseph Dorn, including a permanent ban from ordering medical cannabis for patients, a $10,000 fine, and a five-year suspension of his medical license.

Health officials recommended the penalties to Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins, who “held a hearing in Dorn’s case in October [and] is weighing proposed recommended orders submitted Thursday by the health department and Dorn’s lawyer, Ryan Andrews,” according to the report.

Dorn finds himself in the predicament after an investigation that reportedly “included undercover agents posing as patients.”

The state is accusing Dorn, whose medical practice in the Sunshine State spans three decades, of neglecting to conduct examinations of two of those undercover patients––referred to as “Patient O.G.” and “Patient B.D.” in the complaint––potentially putting him in violation of “a 2017 law requiring physicians to use certain procedures before determining patients are eligible for medical marijuana, such as deciding that its use would outweigh potential health risks,” the report from the News Service of Florida explained.

“Instead of recognizing this responsibility, respondent (Dorn) used his designation as a qualified physician to liberally qualify patients to receive medical marijuana by only performing perfunctory consultations and ignoring many of the requirements imposed by the legislature,” wrote the attorneys for the Department of Health in their recommended order, as quoted by the report.

But Andrews, Dorn’s lawyer, contends that the state has “offered no evidence whatsoever to support its allegation,” and says that the agency does “not know what the health benefits or risks are of medical marijuana.”

“Ironically, the only trick or scheme employed in this case was that of petitioner (the agency), by intentionally sending B.D. and O.G. to Dr. Dorn to trick him into ordering medical marijuana for B.D. and O.G. based on their presentation of unlawful falsehoods concerning their qualifying conditions (i.e., PTSD and anxiety, inter alia),” Andrews wrote in his recommendations, as quoted by the News Service of Florida.

The case comes at a time when lawmakers in Florida are considering a slate of proposals intended to bolster access to the state’s medical cannabis program.

Andrew Learned, a Democratic state House representative in Florida, introduced a bill last month at the start of the legislative session that “would reduce costs for people by requiring fewer doctor’s visits, allow patients to keep their registration cards for two years instead of one, and give people the option to use telehealth to refill their prescriptions,” according to a local news report.

The bill also aims to establish regulations on products such as Delta-8, the hemp extract that can yield a high similar to cannabis. 

Learned billed the legislation as the “first bipartisan marijuana package we’ve really run as a state in five years since the constitutional amendment passed.” 

“This does things like, again, like keeping harmful products out of the hands of children, it’s making sure that we clean up advertising statues so we aren’t inadvertently advertising medical marijuana products in general to minors,” Learned said at the time. “It’s improving the program from a practical use perspective like I said with telehealth but also things like DUI testing and creating testing councils for that. Making sure products are safe and that a hemp product for example, like a CBD really is a CBD. Right now there’s no testing requirement pre-sale.”

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Alternative Products Expo – The Premier Event for Cannabis Industry Products – Ticket Discounts!  

Formerly known as The USA CBD Expo, the need for rebranding became apparent at last year’s event in Chicago. This event, now The Alternative Products Expo, covers so much more than just CBD. This year, like last, you can expect to learn more about Delta 8, 9, and 10 THC, THC-O, HHC, psilocybin, THCV, CBN, and so many more exciting cannabinoid and alternative products.  

We’ll see you there from March 11th to 13th, at Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Click here to buy your tickets now!

Use the coupon code CBDTESTERS for 50% off all show tickets!! And remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for more deals on show tickets and exciting new products!  


2022 is expected to be an incredible year for the industry as a whole. Amazing shows, pending legalizations, and so many new products and compounds hitting the shelves. The cannabis trade-show experience is unparalleled. Alternative Products Expo offers attendees the opportunity to build connections, learn about all the latest trends and innovations, and be among like-minded people in a rapidly growing industry.  

This event will include over 50 speakers, more than 300 exhibitors, and thousands of products. Alternative products expo is sponsored by 3chi, Lost 8s, Dimo, Trinity Hemp, Cake, and other big names in the industry. That said, you can expect to find a lot THC (Delta 8, 9, and 10, THC-O, THCP, and THCV), CBN, CBG, CBD, CBC, and pretty much any hemp/cannabis derivative you can think of.  

Another exciting aspect about this year’s expo is the inclusion of psychedelic (or psychedelic adjacent) products. There won’t be any actual psilocybin on the convention floor, since it’s still in legal flux throughout the US, but a lot of companies that have already laid the groundwork to sell such products once they are legal, will be there. Many cities and states have mushroom legislation in the works, and it is prime time to start learning about them and connecting with people in that field.  

Again, The Alternative Products Expo will be held at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from March 11th to 13th. We’re expecting to see over 10,000 attendees, more than 50 speakers, and upwards of 300 exhibitors at the event, and we at CBD Testers are very excited to attend!  

–> Remember to use coupon code TESTERS for 50% off any ticket to any show <– 


Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most interesting stories of today. Join us frequently to stay on-top of the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletterto ensure you’re never late on getting a story.

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Florida Lawmaker Works to Increase Medical Cannabis Access

A Democratic lawmaker in Florida wants medical cannabis patients in the state to have easier access to the treatment.

That is one of the goals behind a bill being introduced by state House Representative Andrew Learned as Florida’s legislative session opened on Tuesday.

Learned’s proposal, House Bill 679, “would change Florida’s medical cannabis program, offering several technical clarifications,” local television station WFTS explained.

Among those changes, the bill “would reduce costs for people by requiring fewer doctor’s visits, allow patients to keep their registration cards for two years instead of one and give people the option to use telehealth to refill their prescriptions,” according to WFTS.

Moreover, the bill would implement regulations on the sale of Delta-8, the hemp extract that is known to yield a similar high to cannabis with Delta-9 THC and that has become ubiquitous in the years since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which effectively legalized hemp on the federal level. 

Learned told the station that “the first thing to understand about [the bill] is this is the first bipartisan marijuana package we’ve really run as a state in five years since the constitutional amendment passed.” 

“Just getting both sides to agree on a way forward, I count this as a win already,” Learned said.

“This does things like, again, like keeping harmful products out of the hands of children, it’s making sure that we clean up advertising statues so we aren’t inadvertently advertising medical marijuana products in general to minors,” Learned continued. “It’s improving the program from a practical use perspective like I said with telehealth but also things like DUI testing and creating testing councils for that. Making sure products are safe and that a hemp product for example, like a CBD really is a CBD. Right now there’s no testing requirement pre-sale.”

Learned said that the bill will provide needed regulation for the burgeoning CBD industry.

“It’s still legal; we’re just changing some definitions and making sure the product is safe and tested, and we’re also limiting them to the sale of over 21. Right now, there’s no age limit so children can buy this stuff,” he told WFTS.

Florida voters passed a measure to legalize medical cannabis in 2016. Two years ago, the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill that ended the ban on smokable medical cannabis products.

In October, an administrative judge in Florida ordered a requirement from the state health department to ban services like Leafly, which patients had used to order medical cannabis online.

The Florida Department of Health had said that “the services were prohibited under a 2017 law that set up a structure for the Florida cannabis industry,” according to a local news report at the time, but the judge found that “the ban on the use of the third-party sites amounted to an unadopted rule and ordered the state agency to ‘immediately discontinue reliance on its policy regarding online ordering of medical marijuana through third-party websites.’”

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in the Sunshine State, though there have been growing calls from both activists and prominent politicians there to change that.

Legalization figures to be a significant issue in Florida’s governor’s race, with Democratic hopefuls currently trying to outflank one another on the issue.

“Let me be clear: If I’m elected governor, I will legalize cannabis in the Sunshine State,” Charlie Crist, the former governor and current congressman vying for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, said in October. “This is the first part of the Crist contract with Florida.”

Crist is contending with Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for the Democratic nomination, and the right to face Crist in the general election. 

After Crist’s pledge in October, Fried called him out on his previous positions when he was governor and still a member of the Republican party.

“Imitation is flattery, but records are records,” Fried said on Twitter at the time. “People went to jail because Republicans like @CharlieCrist supported and enforced racist marijuana crime bills. Glad he’s changed his mind, but none of those people get those years back. Legalize marijuana.”

The post Florida Lawmaker Works to Increase Medical Cannabis Access appeared first on High Times.

Wonderland: Miami Takes Shape as the Largest Psychedelic Medicine Business Event

On November 8 and 9, Miami, Florida will host Wonderland: Miami, the largest-ever business gathering in the psychedelic medicine sector, presented by Microdose, a guide to the business of psychedelics. Wonderland: Miami will be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Miami, Florida.

Wonderland: Miami features 30 programming tracks, panels, fireside chats, networking, a Dragon’s Den style pitch competition and insights from speakers such as Rick Doblin, Ph.D, Founder and Executive Director of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), who will share insights, information and experiences.

Also speaking will be Robin Carhart-Harris, a psychologist and neuroscientist and Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London.Carhart-Harris coordinated the first clinical study of psilocybin in the UK and the first clinical study of a classic psychedelic drug in the UK for over 40 years. He’ll be joined by Dr. Joseph Tucker, CEO of what is now Enveric, an innovative biotechnology company developing a next-generation mental health and oncology treatment clinical discovery platform, leveraging psychedelic-derived molecules for the mind and synthetic cannabinoids for the body.

Sports icons, including Mike Tyson, Lamar Odom and Anna Symonds will be in attendance to share their stories. In addition, Kelsey Ramsden, CEO of MINDCURE, and Lynn Marie Morski, President of the Psychedelic Medicine Association will also discuss topics including the treatment of mental health, addiction and pain challenges in the psychedelic medicine landscape.

‘’I believe if I’d been introduced to the benefit of psychedelics for therapeutic use early in my professional career, I may not have encountered as much anxiety or depression,” said Mike Tyson, who now serves as an advisor for Wesana Health. “I’m excited to be speaking among the most talented researchers, scientists and minds such as Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Prof. David Nutt, Dr. Ben Sessa, Dr. Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D, Rick Doblin, Ph.D. at Wonderland: Miami. Events like Wonderland: Miami are immensely important in helping improve mental health by showing people how life-altering experiences with psychedelic medicines can be.’’  

Wonderland: Miami is supported by companies including Numinus, Mindset Pharma, Wesana Health, The Conscious Fund, Nushama, Braxia Scientific, Awakn Life Sciences, Levitee Labs, Negev Capital, Ambria Capital, MINDCURE, KGK Science, Psychedelic Water, Zuber Lawler, IMIO Life Ltd, Cybin, MNP LLP, Iter Investments, Ibogacine, Tryp Therapeutics, Psychedelic Invest, Entheo Digital and Maya Health. 

Perhaps due to the growth potential of the psychedelic medicine market, there is a growing list of psychedelic medicine companies listed on the NASDAQ. The companies are also receiving heightened investor focus from high profile investors such as Peter Thiel, and Wonderland has attracted a top cohort of financiers including one of the leading franchises in the psychedelics sector—H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC., as a headliner and Official Banking Sponsor. 

“We are delighted to be supporting Microdose in this industry-leading event and to be a part of their mission to increase visibility for this growing and important sector,” said David Dinkin, Investment Banking, H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC.

The show will attract scientists from Johns Hopkins, UCSF, Imperial College London, as well as  leading financiers, innovators and CEOs, discussing the fastest growing sector in medicine. With almost a thousand new psychedelic clinics in the U.S., and an explosion of investor interest across Florida, the Wonderland conference could not be more timely.

Wonderland: Miami is takes place November 8-9, 2021 in Miami, Florida at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, Inc. 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132. For more information, please visit microdose.buzz/wonderland

Psychedelic reform is happening everywhere—at the local and state levels.

Psychedelics are in the spotlight thanks to people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Matthew McConaughey and series such as 9 Perfect Strangers on Netflix. A number of public figures opened up recently about the potential of psychedelic medicine, including Elon Musk, Will Smith and Andrew Yang, who advocated for veteran psychedelic use in New York City.

Studies roll out every day, touting the potential of psychedelic-assisted therapies including psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA and more. A number of investigations are looking at how psychedelics can help to “reset” negative patterns in the brain—such as addiction or depression.

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