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Dan Russell in Orlando Business Journal on Full Marijuana Legalization

Published: January 15th, 2020

By: Daniel R. Russell

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Dean Mead attorney Dan Russell’s interview with the Orlando Business Journal last week provided his viewpoint about the possibility of Florida legalizing recreational marijuana in 2020.

Full legalization of marijuana would either have to be approved by a majority vote on the proposed amendment by voters or by the state’s legislature in a bill. When asked if the chances for full marijuana legalization changed in the past year, Russell said, “The likelihood of it coming from the Florida Legislature remains, same as last year, at about zero. However, the likelihood of a citizen’s initiative referendum passing in Florida is quite strong.”

If approved, full legalization of marijuana could boost Orlando’s already booming tourism sector. When asked how might legalization impact areas with high tourism figures, like Orlando, Russell said, “Marijuana currently is legal, either recreationally or medically, in an overwhelming majority of states. Eleven states allow people to buy marijuana if they are over age 21. That said, [if it is legalized for recreational sale and use] Florida would be the only state in the Southeast where such sales are legal. For that and other reasons, I would anticipate a lot of visitors from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi visiting the Sunshine State for new reasons.”

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