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If Florida Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, What Happens Next?

florida adult use legalization

During a 2022 Press Conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was asked about legalizing adult use. At that time, Gov. DeSantis commented: “I think a lot of those other areas that have done it, you know, have ended up regretting it.”

It is no secret that Governor Ron DeSantis has opposed the legalization of recreational marijuana in Florida. During his run for Presidency, DeSantis indicated that if elected, he would stop the effort to decriminalize marijuana federally.

However, in 2023, Gov. DeSantis indicated a significant change in his stance regarding adult use, sharing that state residents should decide. Gov. DeSantis also stated that he believed the question regarding the recreational marijuana legalization initiative would be on the November 2024 ballot for voters.

At the time of writing, recreational use of cannabis is legal in twenty-five (25) states, D.C., and three territories in the United States. If the federal government moves ahead with rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III on the Controlled Substances Act, more states may legalize marijuana for recreational use.

There is no guarantee that recreational legalization will appear on the ballot for voters this fall. There is also no guarantee that this ballot initiative will receive the required 60% of the vote, if it does appear on the November 5th ballot. However, Florida residents and medical cannabis patients are curious about what the adult use program may look like.

Will There Be a Potency Limit for Recreational Marijuana in Florida?

Florida Representative Ralph Massullo (R-Lecanto) introduced a bill that would place a potency cap on adult-use products. The proposed legislation CS/CS/HB 1269 – Potency for Adult Personal Use of Marijuana, was filed on January 31, 2024, and called for a 15% THC limit for smokable flower and a 60% cap on concentrated cannabis products. This was later amended by Representative Massullo to a 30% THC cap.

It did not take long for the media to pick up on the potential restriction to adult use potency levels, and there was a significant response from Florida residents about the proposed limit. 

Florida SB 7050 was filed, which was a companion to the proposed potency caps of HB 1269. This legislation would limit the potency of personal use marijuana to 30% THC for smokable products and 60% on all other cannabis goods, including vape cartridges.

This legislation is stalled in the Senate and may not be passed by the Florida Congress this session. However, it shows a willingness to regulate the potency of recreational cannabis in Florida.

Who Would Be Able to Purchase Adult Use Cannabis Products?

Florida residents aged twenty-one (21) years and older would be permitted to visit any licensed dispensary and purchase a limited amount of cannabis products. 

How Much Cannabis Could Adults Purchase at a Dispensary?

Adults aged 21 and older would be able to purchase one ounce of cannabis flower and legally possess no more than three ounces. Patients with a Florida medical cannabis card may legally possess up to four ounces of cannabis flower, with an aggregate 70-day supply limit of 24,500 mg of THC (not including smokable products).

When Would Dispensaries Start Selling Recreational Products?

Assuming that Florida voters approve the legalization of adult use in Florida through a Constitutional Amendment on November 5th, the new law would take effect in 6 months, May 5, 2025. The amendment allows licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) to sell adult-use products.

Will There Be Other Regulations?

Most likely. The Florida legislature, and the state regulators, will likely implement laws and regulations controlling the implementation of this Constitutional Amendment. Some potential regulations include potency amount and sales tax. There may be some further restrictions on the quantity and how individual purchases are tracked. This will be decided, in large part, during the 2025 legislative session.


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