POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The people of Florida have spoken, overwhelmingly, in support of expanding medical marijuana in the state. The question now that Amendment 2 passed is how medical marijuana will bloom.
“I know a few people that are dying from cancer and they can’t eat, and they can’t move. The only thing that makes them move is this, marijuana,” Sarah Gonzales, of Lakeland, said. “If they patrol it good, it’ll be good. If they don’t, then it will end up bad.”
That balance is what Florida lawmakers will look for as they navigate uncharted areas of the law.
“I don’t know that anyone has a crystal ball to tell you for sure,” Gray Robinson Attorney Richard Blau said.
Blau is the chairman of their regulated products group, which focuses on the laws that govern production, distribution and sale of heavily regulated products. The firm represents one of the state’s six licensees currently producing and distributing medical marijuana in Florida. There are more people waiting to see how everything unfolds.
“We’re telling a lot of clients many of the answers you seek are going to be decided, not today, not tomorrow, but in 2017 when the Legislature debates these issues,” Blau said. “This is not something you quit your day job over, cash in your 401k for and jump in with both feet. A regulated industry doesn’t work that way.”
From how to tax it, to strict security protocols, Blau says the rules and requirements will be many. “If it was easy it would be cheese or shoes, and marijuana is neither of those,” he said. “Typically, those successful in a regulated industry are large corporations.”