Trulieve dumps another $8 million into recreational marijuana legalization campaign

by | May 11, 2023

  • Trulieve, a cannabis company, has pledged an additional $8 million to the Smart & Safe Florida ballot initiative, bringing its total contributions to $38.5 million. The initiative aims to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida.
  • The initiative is close to reaching its signature threshold, with 786,702 validated signatures out of the goal of 891,523. If successful, the proposal will be placed on the November 2024 ballot.
  • Despite Trulieve’s significant financial backing, opposition to the legalization campaign, including law enforcement and health care professionals, remains relatively dormant. Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed sympathy towards decriminalization but has concerns about full legalization’s impact on Florida’s image.

The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida recently got a fresh injection of cash from Trulieve, which has pledged an additional $8 million to a ballot initiative known as Smart & Safe Florida. The April funding was confirmed in a financial report released Wednesday on the state Division of Elections website.

By the end of April, Trulieve’s total contributions to Smart & Safe Florida amounted to a staggering $38.5 million, accounting for nearly all of the committee’s fundraising. Less than $125 has come from other sources. All but about $100,000 of the money raised by the committee ($38.4 million), has been spent on collecting and validating petition signatures. As of Wednesday, the validated signatures totaled 786,702, nearing the goal of 891,523 with plenty of time to spare.

The signature threshold must be met in order for Smart & Safe Florida to place the “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana” proposal on the November 2024 ballot. If passed, the measure would permit adults aged 21 and over to possess, purchase, or use marijuana for non-medical purposes, echoing a constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters in 2016 that widely authorized medical marijuana.

Despite the considerable financial backing from Trulieve, opposition to the legalization campaign remains relatively dormant. Anticipated adversaries such as law enforcement, health care professionals, and a substantial segment of the business community, have yet to mobilize, even in the face of significant implications for the state.

Governor Ron DeSantis, the state’s top Republican, has previously expressed sympathy towards efforts to decriminalize marijuana, but remains wary of full legalization, citing concerns over its potential impact on Florida’s family-friendly image.

With Trulieve’s fervent campaign to get the issue on the 2024 ballot, state lawmakers are left with little direct influence over the outcome. However, if the proposal passes, a complex regulatory process would follow to integrate the constitutional amendment with existing state laws and business regulations.

The business community, particularly those involved in hospitality and tourism, are among those most concerned about the potential implications of legalization. They cite fears of increased workplace safety risks, potential declines in employee productivity, enforcement of drug-free workplace policies, and potential reputational damage.

Nonetheless, proponents of legalization argue that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and its legalization could serve as a significant revenue source. Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers has estimated that if the ballot initiative passes, Florida’s recreational marijuana market could be worth as much as $6 billion annually.


  1. Brian Kelly

    Infinitely more workers end up impaired at work, calling out of work or in a stupor because of alcohol than marijuana.

    Why doesn’t alcohol concern you much more than relatively benign marijuana? It should.

    Legalizing Marijuana will not create a massive influx of marijuana impaired employees in our workplaces.

    It will not create a huge influx of professionals (doctors, pilots, bus drivers, etc..) under the influence on the job either.

    This is a prohibitionist propaganda scare tactic.

    Truth: Responsible workers don’t go to work while impaired on any substance period!

    Irresponsible employees already share our workplaces, and they will work while impaired regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

    Therefore, legalizing marijuana will have little to zero impact on the amount of marijuana impaired employees in our workplaces.

    Responsible people do not go to work impaired, period. Regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All American pastime, booze.

    Equal rights and protections as alcohol drinkers in our workplaces and everywhere else.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!

  2. Brian Kelly

    Fear of Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Cannabis Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

    Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of cannabis legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

    The prohibition of cannabis has not decreased the supply nor the demand for cannabis at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

    If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

    Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize cannabis when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

    Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Cannabis Laws.

  3. Brian Kelly

    The “War on Cannabis” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

    Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our yearly tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Cannabis”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. Especially now, due to Covid-19. It’s a no brainer.

    The Prohibition of Cannabis has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records. Especially, if they happen to be of the “wrong” skin color or they happen to be from the “wrong” neighborhood. Which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Cannabis is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

    Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

    The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less cannabis “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Cannabis Legalization Initiative!

  4. MH/Duuuval

    “proponents of legalization argue that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol” — this is not an argument, it is a fact.

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