With a global pandemic underway, it was a banner year for medical marijuana acceptance in Florida and around the globe ushering in federal cannabis policy reforms, a sweep of the November elections, and an endorsement by the WHO.
Support for cannabis policy reforms hit an all-time high with the American people in 2020. According to the latest Gallup poll on the topic more than two-thirds of Americans now support legalization. Back in 1969 when Gallup first measured the public's views of marijuana legalization, only 12% of Americans supported it.
As U.S. states began implementing emergency measures, 20 U.S. states with medical marijuana programs declared dispensaries to be essential businesses. Medical marijuana shops went from being pariahs in the minds of many to commanding the same respect as pharmacies and hospitals.
At the beginning of 2020, there were under 300,000 medical marijuana cards issued in Florida. By the end of the year, the number of Florida medical marijuana patients exceeded 400,000.
Telemedicine re-evaluation consultations were also added to Florida’s medical marijuana protocols as a result of emergency measures. In order to encourage social distancing, cardholding medical marijuana patients in Florida are now permitted to schedule re-evaluation appointments via phone or video conference. However, it’s important to note that telemedicine is ONLY available for current cardholders, and is likely temporary as we continue to move past the COVID-19 pandemic. Adoption of contactless payments, home delivery, and curbside pickup also accelerated as a result of emergency measures.
On another note, by the end of the summer, cannabis-infused edibles had begun to hit dispensary shelves here in Florida. Edibles are now sold in capsules, gummies, and chocolates. Industry analysts estimate that edibles sales in Florida may reach $250 million in 2021. According to the Marijuana Business Factbook, Florida medical marijuana sales will hit $950 billion in 2021.
Cannabis advocates here are now working on The Florida Medical Marijuana Plants Initiative (Initiative #18-05). The measure, which may appear on the November 2022 ballot, would amend Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana in Florida in 2016 allowing patients to grow up to nine marijuana plants.
State and Federal Marijuana Legalization Initiatives in 2020
As a divided America went to the polls on Nov. 3, it became clear that there is one thing we’re starting to agree on. Cannabis-related initiatives on ballots in five states were approved by wide margins. As of the end of 2020, 36 states now offer medical marijuana in some form.
With support for legalization rapidly increasing, it’s not surprising that more states are now looking into the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana. For example, New York, Connecticut, and Virginia are all looking seriously at legalization efforts.
In Washington D.C, some progress was made on reforming federal cannabis policy. Even more, progress is expected with the incoming Biden administration. The Democrat’s 2020 platform states: “Democrats will decriminalize marijuana use and reschedule it through executive action on the federal level. We will support the legalization of medical marijuana, and believe states should be able to make their own decisions about recreational use.”
Although there’s no talk from the incoming administration about outright legalization, it’s clear that some level of reform is in order. The new President-Elect’s administration has been very vocal about their stance on federal cannabis policy reforms. For example, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, was passed in the House of Representatives in late 2020. However, the measure must still pass through the Senate before it makes its way onto President-Elect Biden’s desk.
And it’s not just here in America. A sea change in attitudes toward marijuana washed over the globe in 2020. Just a few days prior to the U.S. House of Representatives passing the MORE Act, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs acknowledged that cannabis is medicine. Although the measure passed by a narrow margin, cannabis was removed from Schedule I of the UN's list of the most dangerous controlled substances.
Florida Marijuana Doctors
Over the course of 2020, MarijuanaDoctor.com was Florida’s leading provider of medical marijuana card recommendations. We have assisted over 30,000 patients to receive compassionate, affordable, and convenient care.
Making an appointment with one of MarijuanaDoctor.com’s leading medical marijuana board-certified physicians is simple. Schedule an in-person appointment online at www.MarijuanaDoctor.com or call (844) 442-0362 and speak to one of our friendly patient care specialists.