A month after launching a petition drive to get a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana on the 2020 Florida ballot, the prospective measure’s sponsors have already raised more than $1 million in contributions.
Make It Legal Florida, which registered its “Adult Use Of Marijuana” initiative with the state’s Division of Elections (DOE) on Aug. 1, reported on its September finance filing that it had raised $1.09 million in cash and received $104,500 in in-kind contributions.
The money comes from two donors, both heavy hitters in the nation’s burgeoning marijuana industry, with each kicking in $545,000 – Surterra Wellness and MadMen, Inc.
Atlanta-based Surterra, which operates 31 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida – tied with Trulieve as the most among the state’s licensed medical marijuana operators – is a five-year-old company with similar “vertical operations” in Texas, Nevada and Massachusetts that generated $50 million in 2018 revenues.
MedMen, headquartered in Culver City, Calif., and founded in 2010, operates 92 retail sites in 12 states, including one in Florida. The publicly traded company reported $39.8 million in revenues last year.
MadMen Southeastern Director of Government Affairs Nick Hansen chairs the Tampa-based Make It Legal Florida (MILF) committee.
MILF’s ballot proposal would legalize recreational marijuana use among adults 21 and older and allow medical marijuana dispensaries to distribute the drug as long as it was contained in childproof packaging and not marketed to children.
The proposed amendment would apply to the possession, display and transport of marijuana in quantities up to 2.5 ounces and would also apply to marijuana accessories.
The committee has about five months to collect the 766,200 verified voter signatures necessary to qualify for the November 2020 ballot before the Feb. 1 deadline.
MILF’s initiative is the third active petition effort filed with the DOE