Florida Making Moves for Marijuana


Kush Crown Challenge

With its legalization of marijuana, cash-flush Colorado has many investors turning green with envy; it is easy to see why. Within the first month of legalization alone, Colorado brought in approximately $3.5 million in tax revenue and is estimated to bring in a total of $40 million this year; although many suspect that in the coming years that number will steadily rise. If legalization’s success in Colorado has taught us anything, it is that pot = profit. Now that the numbers are rolling in, many states are eyeing some form of legalization as well. Florida is one of those states that are on track to usurping Colorado’s Kush Crown. Florida is poised to become the new capital of the “Green Economy.”


Legalization is Coming

To the outside observer, Florida is one of the few states where people are convinced it will not happen, but nothing can be further from the truth. According to a survey conducted by Quinnipiac University, 88 percent of polled Floridians support the legalization of medical marijuana and 53 percent support full legalization while only 42 percent are against it. In case you haven’t heard, the Florida Supreme Court approved the inclusion of a ballot initiative for this November that would legalize medical cannabis.

To put everything in perspective, marijuana is polling better than either gubernatorial candidate AND has a higher approval rating than the president. If Republicans and Democrats are willing to put millions of dollars into campaigns with less certain outcomes, why wouldn’t you want to put your money into something with even better odds?


Washington and Colorado’s Markets Nearing Saturation

Washington and Colorado may seem like good places to invest, and they mostly still are, but the competition is much fiercer in those states. You have to remember that Washington and Colorado are states that already had medical marijuana dispensaries in place pre-legalization. These companies are set with a customer base and a firmly established brand.

If you want to invest in an already established business, then by all means go to Washington and Colorado with your money. However, if you are the kind of person that wants in on the ground floor, then Florida is the place to go. As of yet, there is little to no infrastructure in Florida. When that medical bill passes, and it will, are you going to be the person that struck while the iron was hot or will you be one of the people chasing the coat tails of the visionaries?


Florida is Ripe for Cannabis Tourism

Florida may not have Las Vegas like Nevada or Broadway like New York, but Florida is solidly the holiday destination spot for the southeast. Between January and March of 2014, Florida had already attracted over 26 million out-of-state visitors, the majority of which come from the surrounding states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. That’s 26 million people visiting Florida without any form of legalization. When you throw complete legalization into the mix, you can see how Florida (and investors) stand to benefit. Tourists spent over $70 billion in Florida in 2012, how much more is that number going to increase when Florida has full legalization?

When Florida takes that big leap to fully legal, you are going to see thousands of profitable businesses popping up; cannabis clubs, cannabis shops and cannabis restaurants will exist in a vacuum for the first few years. No other state in the south has flirted with legalization like Florida has, and no other state in the South has enough liberal tendencies to do so. Unless there is a nation-wide legalization bill that passes (which is still many years off), Florida could be the cannabis tourist destination of the East Coast. Doesn’t that sound like a safer bet than the housing market?

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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