The Phoenix Flyer

Amendment initiative to legalize pot in Florida raises $535K in September

By: - October 14, 2019 9:05 am

Credit: Getty Images

A group trying to put a constitutional amendment before Florida voters next year on legalizing recreational marijuana raised $535,000 in September, state election records show.

The “Make It Legal” group has raised a total of $1.6 million for the amendment drive, including the September contributions, according to the state Division of Elections.

Two medical marijuana companies are bankrolling the effort.

Surterra, an Atlanta-based company that operates medical marijuana facilities in Florida, contributed $535,000 in cash to the campaign in September.

MedMen, a California-based company that also holds a Florida medical marijuana license, contributed $5,000 in in-kind staffing services in September, the records show. In August, MedMen contributed more than $644,000 to the initiative.

As previously reported in the Florida Phoenix, the Make It Legal campaign says it has collected more than 100,000 voter signatures for the constitutional initiative. It will need to have 766,200 validated signatures by Feb. 1 in order to place the measure on the November 2020 general election ballot.

The state Division of Elections shows fewer than 1,000 signatures for the campaign as of Friday.

If placed on the ballot and approved by at least 60 percent of the voters, the Make It Legal amendment would allow Floridians who are 21 years or older to buy and use recreational cannabis. Voters approved a medical marijuana amendment in 2016.

Another group, Sensible Florida, is also advancing a constitutional amendment that would legalize recreational marijuana and regulate it like alcohol sales. The group has collected nearly 92,000 signatures for its initiative. It has raised $199,000 in contributions for its campaign through September, including $21,000 collected last month, state election records show.


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Lloyd Dunkelberger
Lloyd Dunkelberger

Lloyd Dunkelberger has been covering Florida government for over three decades. He’s reported and edited in Tallahassee for the New York Times Regional Newspapers group, Florida Politics, and the News Service of Florida. He grew up in Jacksonville and Palm Beach County and got his journalism degree at the University of Florida.