Florida Does Not Look at California as Model for Medical Marijuana
Florida’s amendment 2 puts them next in line to become one of the states in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana use for those who obtain a doctor’s recommendation. Even though California has been doing it for almost 20 years, Florida is not looking at California as an ideal model for the medical marijuana industry. The biggest difference is the regulations of the industry, California has not been strictly regulated like similar states that have passed medical marijuana laws.
Business is skyrocketing for marijuana businesses like Harborside Health Center located in Oakland, California. Harborside Health Center has been in the marijuana business since the medical marijuana movement began, and they have an excellent business model.
However, not everyone feels that way. “California is really the example of how not to do medical marijuana,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager at United for Care, the group pushing Amendment 2. “The entire medical marijuana system is one big gray area, where people are pretty much making up the rules as they go along. Opening a pot shop is about as difficult as opening a coffee shop.”
If Florida votes to pass Amendment 2 in November, the state could allow a similar style of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Florida. Unlike California’s loosely regulated approach, however, Florida’s medical marijuana proponents envision a tightly controlled industry similar to the regulation systems set up in Oregon and Colorado.
Another distinction lies in who’s eligible for medical marijuana. In California just about anyone who wants a doctor’s permission can get it. In Florida, only those with serious illnesses would be eligible. Dale Sky Jones, a cannabis activist who runs Oaksterdam University, an Oakland school that teaches students how to grow pot says Floridians would have to be “either dying or dead” to qualify for medical marijuana under Amendment 2.
There has to be a middle ground between the two ways of regulation and we are certain that we will see the proper way medical marijuana should be regulated as more states pass laws allowing medical marijuana in more states.