Legislation filed to cap recreational marijuana potency in Florida

by | Jan 5, 2024

Rep. Ralph Massullo proposed legislation on Friday that seeks to limit the potency of recreational marijuana in Florida by capping THC content in various forms, in anticipation of a potential constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana statewide.

Rep. Ralph Massullo filed legislation on Friday that, if adopted, would impose limitations on the potency of marijuana for adult personal use.

The bill, House Bill 1269, proposes setting a cap on the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in marijuana products. Under the measure’s purview, THC — the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis — in smokable marijuana products would be limited to 10 percent by weight or volume.

For other forms of marijuana, excluding edibles, the bill proposes a higher threshold of 60 percent THC in the final product. Edibles, a popular alternative for consuming cannabis, would face even stricter regulations, with a cap of 200 milligrams of THC per product and a 10-milligram limit per serving.

“Marijuana for personal use may not have a tetrahydrocannabinol potency, by weight or volume, of greater than 10 percent for marijuana in a form for smoking or greater than 60 percent in the final product for all other forms of marijuana, excluding edibles,” reads Massullo’s bill. “Edibles for personal use may not contain more than 200 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol and a single serving portion of an edible may not exceed 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol.”

While personal use marijuana is not legal at the state or federal level, the legislation is filed in anticipation of a forthcoming state Supreme Court decision on the permissibility of a constitutional amendment initiative that could lead to Florida joining other states in legalizing recreational marijuana.

The proposed amendment, backed by Smart & Safe Florida and heavily funded by cannabis retailer Trulieve, aims to permit adults aged 21 and older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products for non-medical use.

The state, led by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office, argued that the wording would create confusion by stating that marijuana use would be “allowed” while remaining federally illegal. Moody’s office additionally argued that the measure appears to favor Trulieve, the state’s largest medical marijuana distributor.

Attorney John Bash, representing the amendment sponsor, defended the summary’s clarity during oral arguments in front of the state’s highest court, asserting that it was drafted in line with the court’s precedents from previous marijuana-related amendments. He further contended that the court’s historical reluctance to strike language from the ballot should be considered in upholding the measure, particularly considering that the ballot language followed the court’s previously established guidelines.

The Justices are expected to rule by April 1st on whether the amendment can be presented to Florida voters, who would need to pass it with a 60 percent majority for it to become law. More than one million Florida voters have already signed petitions in support of the amendment, surpassing the necessary signature requirement upheld by Florida Statute.


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