The Industry

  • 144 million Americans have access to medical cannabis. 19 states and Washington DC have legalized adult-use cannabis. That means more than 40% of Americans have access to cannabis for personal use. (This number could easily be over 60% by 2025.)
  • In total, more than 240 million (75%) Americans have access to cannabis through medical or adult-use.
    • 18 additional states, plus Puerto Rico and the USVI, have legalized cannabis for medical use.
    • Only two states are “dry” states without access to cannabis in any form (Kansas and Idaho).
  • The industry is sustainable and growing. In 2020, when the state lost more than 400,000 jobs, Florida’s cannabis industry added 15,000 employees.
  • More than 40 countries worldwide have already legalized medical or adult-use cannabis.
  • Tax revenues from the legal cannabis industry for federal and state governments are projected to reach $4.06 billion in 2025, according to New Frontier data.
  • According to Forbes, cannabis tourism in the US is a $17 billion industry.
  • Half of all millennials (50%) say that access to legal recreational cannabis is important when choosing a vacation destination, and more than four in ten millennials (43%) say they have specifically chosen a destination because cannabis was legal there.
    • Millennials will make up the majority of travelers by 2025 (50%).
  • With legalization in Colorado and Washington, hotel bookings grew by 3.5% and 6%-7.2% when commercial sales began in 2014. Average room rates in Colorado grew 3.8%, or $6.31.
  • Travel industry research found that 29 percent of all active leisure travelers (and 18 percent of all Americans) are interested in cannabis-related activities on vacation.

Criminal Justice & Legal Issues

  • Marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simple possession of marijuana, costing taxpayers untold billions of dollars every year in detaining these individuals as well as clogging the court system with proceedings for these relatively minor infractions.
  • Legalization also leads to a decreased rate in gangs committing violent crimes. Violent crimes in states where marijuana was legalized have dropped 12.5%.
  • There is no evidence that legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use at the state level, as 37 states already have done, has boosted underage consumption from the regulated marketplace.
  • The continued black market sale of marijuana perpetuates a culture of criminality.

Safety & Responsibility

  • Black market cannabis is a large unknown – consumers cannot be sure what is in their cannabis. Florida’s medical market already requires third-party lab testing, which tests for dangerous chemicals, metals, fertilizers, and more – extending this requirement for adult-use cannabis keeps consumers safe.
  • Testing encourages safe practices for both the industry and consumers. Unregulated black market cannabis and tobacco vape products led to a spike in vaping-related injuries; this did not happen in Florida due to the regulations already in place.
  • If adult-use cannabis is legalized, Florida users will have accountability, transparency, and regulations in place to ensure products are not laced with or contain potentially deadly chemicals.
  • Per the DEA, “any drugs not purchased or obtained from a licensed and accredited medical facility are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal.
  • Unregulated and untested black market marijuana can be laced with any number of harmful materials, including but not limited to heavy metals; glass; fungus and/or mold; PCP, heroin, fentanyl, or other illegal substances; embalming fluid; laundry detergent; and more.

Pd. Pol. Adv. paid by Smart & Safe Florida - 1400 Village Square Blvd, Suite #3-321, Tallahassee, FL 32312.