Recreational marijuana initiative will not be on the 2020 ballot in Florida

Nick Hansen, on the right, with staff members at the new MedMen medical cannabis dispensary in Tallahassee. Credit: Lloyd Dunkelberger

Florida voters will not get a chance this year to decide whether recreational marijuana should be allowed in the state.

The Make It Legal Florida group, which was trying to put the issue before voters this year as a state constitutional amendment, announced Monday that supporters will not be able to secure enough voter signatures by the Feb. 1 deadline to qualify for the November general-election ballot.

The group needed 766,200 validated signatures to qualify as a ballot proposal. As of Monday, the campaign had 295,448 validated signatures, according to the state Division of Elections.

Nick Hansen, chairman of the campaign and an executive with the MedMen marijuana company, said although the group has collected more than 700,000 signatures, it will not have time to have enough validated by the Feb. 1 deadline.

“The narrow timeframe to submit and verify those signatures has prompted our committee to shift focus to now gain ballot access in 2022,” Hansen said in a statement.

Here is a prior Florida Phoenix story on the group’s effort to put the issue of adult-use marijuana on the ballot. Florida voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2016.