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Hearing set for challenge to adult-use cannabis appearing on Florida ballot

The Florida Supreme Court set a Nov. 8 date to hear oral arguments as to whether an adult-use cannabis legalization initiative can appear on the state’s November 2024 ballot.

The state high court must approve the proposed wording of the initiative before voters can weigh in November 2024, the News service of Florida reported.

It’s unclear how soon the high court will rule after hearing arguments from attorneys for the Smart & Safe Florida adult-use advocacy campaign and the state’s Republican attorney general, Ashley Moody.

The recreational marijuana legalization campaign has submitted more than 1 million signatures from registered voters.

That would be enough to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for next year’s ballot, but Moody is challenging the initiative.

In May, she questioned whether the proposed amendment meets “the requirements of Florida Statutes.”

Then, in her August court filing challenging the measure, Moody said it’s a thinly veiled effort by Safe & Smart’s key backer, Trulieve Cannabis Corp., to consolidate a “monopolistic stranglehold” on the state’s marijuana market.

Trulieve, a Florida-based multistate cannabis operator and the state’s largest medical marijuana company, has contributed nearly all of the $40 million raised by Smart & Safe, campaign records show.

History doesn’t bode well for the legalization initiative.

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected five of the past nine voter initiatives it’s reviewed, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

According to the newspaper, the court is also “heavily tied” to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who appointed five of the seven justices and has “repeatedly spoken against” recreational marijuana.

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