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Florida Campaign Raises Highest-Ever Funding for Marijuana Legalization Voter Initiative

The state of Florida is trying once again to legalize the recreational use of cannabis via a ballot proposal. If the ballot measure acquires the 60% majority needed to approve a ballot initiative, the state would join 16 other states that have legalized adult-use marijuana by the ballot.

The committee behind this latest push, Smart & Safe Florida, revealed that it had broken fundraising records. The initiative in question is the most funded proposal of this year, with the entity raising more than any other cannabis-related ballot initiative committee.

In just one election cycle and with the election itself only five months away, Smart & Safe Florida has managed to raise more than $40 million. This means that it has officially outdone fundraising for the measure that led to the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state of California. Unlike this current campaign, eight committees supported California’s Proposition 64, raising just a bit more than $36 million.

Jeanne Hanna, the Center for Political Accountability director of research, revealed in a recent interview that medical cannabis companies could be injecting funds into this ballot initiative because of possible pitfalls and risks that may come up.

Another record was surpassed by Trulieve, a medical marijuana company with more than 100 locations in Florida. The company donated more than $8 million in March to the campaign, making it the biggest single donation made to any recreational cannabis legalization resolution from a sole donor made in America.

Contributions made by Trulieve during this election cycle total more than $34 million, which is almost five times the next biggest aggregate donations for a proposal of this kind. The company also put up another $20 million before the current election cycle’s reporting dates, bringing cumulative spending on this proposal to more than $54 million.

The company’s contributions account for more than 80% of the financing for the committee.

UC Davis director of the Cannabis Economics Group, Robin Goldstein, stated that it was difficult to see why Trulieve would contribute so much when it had been hard for recreational retailers in legal markets to breakeven. Goldstein posited that analysts or investors who indicated that there was money to be made in the space weren’t being very realistic, given that the launch of a legal market would increase competition while also opening the space up to more efficiency and technology. Additionally, he continued, people would be able to produce marijuana more cheaply and in larger quantities.

The fact that so much money is being invested in the push to legalize adult-use marijuana in Florida shows the extent to which the movement to end prohibition and allow licensed entities such as Software Effective Solutions Corp. (d/b/a MedCana) (OTC: SFWJ) to serve customers has grown around the country.

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