Florida Bill That Sets Limits on THC Levels for Recreational Cannabis Passes Another Hurdle on Its Way to the House of Representatives

Florida Bill That Sets Limits on THC Levels for Recreational Cannabis Passes Another Hurdle on Its Way to the House of Representatives

Florida State Senate Approves Measure to Severely Restrict Intoxicating Hemp Derivatives Reading Florida Bill That Sets Limits on THC Levels for Recreational Cannabis Passes Another Hurdle on Its Way to the House of Representatives 5 minutes Next Medical Marijuana Bill Fails to Advance in the Wisconsin Legislature

The measure, which received approval from a House subcommittee earlier this month, attempts to preemptively restrict THC amounts in adult-use marijuana ahead of an expected ballot initiative that would legalize recreational use for adults over 21.



The all-out assault against hemp and cannabis continues to rage in the state of Florida. Less than a month after its initial introduction by State Rep. Ralph Massullo (R), the controversial measure has passed another test on its way to a vote on the House floor.


As first reported by Marijuana Moment, the House Health and Human Services Committee approved the bill by a 14-6 vote last Thursday. The polarizing and perplexing legislation would ban the sale of adult-use cannabis flower with THC levels exceeding 30% THC. In addition, the bill would restrict all other cannabis products to 60% THC and would require a 10 MG or less serving size for all edible products, with a total package size of no more than 200 MG.


Massullo first presented his bill to the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee at the beginning of February. However, before that debate, he was forced to add amendments to the measure, increasing the proposed cap on THC levels in marijuana flower from an original 10% to 30%.


There has been a tremendous amount of interest and disagreement surrounding the question of how to handle a recreational marijuana market in the Sunshine State. In August 2022, the "Smart & Safe Florida" political committee began its campaign to push for adult-use cannabis legalization. Through its initiative, the "Adult Personal Use of Marijuana" proposal, the campaign has collected enough signatures to qualify for this year's ballot placement. 


However, this past June, ​​Florida's Attorney General, Ashley Moody (R), submitted a brief asking the state Supreme Court to invalidate the measure from the 2024 ballot, claiming that it misleads voters as written.  


If the court rules the measure is legally valid and is subsequently approved by at least 60% of voters this coming November, it would add an amendment to the Florida State Constitution allowing people 21 or older "to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise."


While the court has still not announced its decision, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently stated his belief that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the measure, allowing it to be a part of the ballot in 2024. “I think the court is going to approve that, so it’ll be on the ballot,” the governor said at his final campaign event in New Hampshire last month.


"I think the court is going to approve that, so it’ll be on the ballot."

- Florida Governor Ron Desantis (R)


Much like when the bill was first introduced, House Health and Human Services Committee members adopted another new amendment to the measure before passing it. This additional legislative caveat limits the size of cannabis vape cartridges to one gram. More importantly, the amendment also removes a sunset provision in current law that would repeal the current medical cannabis program law six months after a marijuana constitutional amendment, like the proposed ballot initiative, is enacted.


Rep. Massullo (R) reiterated an earlier promise to his colleagues that “we’re only at the beginning of understanding the potential long-term benefits and harms of using high potency THC marijuana. It’s important for us as elected representatives to protect the public from potential harms, including harms that might occur through adult-use marijuana.”


"We’re only at the beginning of understanding the potential long-term benefits and harms of using high potency THC marijuana. It’s important for us as elected representatives to protect the public from potential harms, including harms that might occur through adult-use marijuana."

- Florida State Rep. Ralph Massullo (R)


With the Supreme Court required to rule on the legality of the ballot initiative by April 1, cannabis reform activists and stakeholders, like Trulieve, the mega multi-state marijuana operator that has contributed north of $40 million to the voter-driven legalization campaign, are hopeful that Gov. Desantis’ prediction comes to fruition.


If the court rules in favor of the proposed ballot measure and it is approved by Florida Voters, the new hemp/cannabis landscape will almost be unrecognizable to the current and hopeful players in both markets. 


With the House set to vote on a devastating measure that would effectively cripple the intoxicating hemp derivatives (IHDs) market (the Senate has already passed its version), Corporate Cannabis giants like Trulieve are set up to waltz into Florida and almost immediately garner a monopoly over the entire hemp/cannabis intoxicant sector.


In the wake of that potentially crushing outcome, the Florida hemp market, which generated over $10 billion in Florida in 2022 and currently employs roughly 104,000 workers, who receive more than $3.6 billion in annual wages (figures via Whitney Economics), would almost disappear overnight.


For years, passionate cannabis enthusiasts like this author and many of this blog’s readers have dreamed of a day for the nationwide legalization of cannabis. However, sometimes, those blissful and hopeful dreams can turn into nightmares. Florida is quickly becoming the place where those dreams go to die.