So, Amendment 2 has passed. What will this all mean? For starters, the Amendment simply widened the scope of patients' access to medical marijuana and THC levels in marijuana so that people suffering from specific medical issues can get the relief formerly unavailable to them.
For now, the concerns that existed before passage continue to exist. One must be continuously vigilant against unscrupulous individuals that will promise big money, the ability to either grow, process, or distribute marijuana, or real estate for growing purposes. If it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. As such, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney before entering into any contract, buy any property, or turn over any money to anyone.
As the state and local governments work out the specifics in where and how medical marijuana is to be provided the overall structure has not changed. The marijuana industry in Florida remains a vertically integrated system and the licenses to grow remains in control of only a select few players. Zoning issues and laws will remain, and indeed likely be tightened, to prevent dispensaries popping up in areas close to schools, churches, and other locations as determined by local zoning laws. Dispensary regulations will be onerous and expensive to adhere to as a means of protecting the public from the uncontrolled distribution of medical marijuana to non-patients. This move towards compassion for the sick is not a get-rich-quick scheme and is fraught with legal hurdles and dangers that the unaware, ill-informed, or simply greedy person will have to try to avoid.
And, as always, medical marijuana remains illegal under Federal law. Banking systems and laws, not to mention tax law, remain unfriendly to the state-level movement sweeping the nation. Don’t get caught up in the heady hype! Do your due diligence and step one is to retain an attorney that will work with you to ensure that your investment is this new industry doesn’t go up in smoke.