Florida’s Republican leadership seems to be divided on one issue that’s gained a prominent role in the political landscape. When it comes to medicinal marijuana, Governor Ron DeSantis has voiced his support of eliminating Florida’s ban on smoking medicinal marijuana, but House Speaker José Oliva sees things a different way.When speaking about medicinal marijuana, Oliva comments that it “isn’t terribly free market.”
A champion of the free market and someone that was involved in the cigar business before transitioning to politics, Speaker Oliva expresses that he “couldn’t possibly be a defender of free markets and call that structure a free market” when referring to what he calls the “vertically integrated” medical marijuana system that requires operators to grow, process and also dispense cannabis and any cannabis related products.
Oliva further explains that “the limiting of licenses and the limiting of dispensaries is probably the greatest affront to the free-market argument.”
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However, Governor DeSantis has been a supporter of the Legislature doing away with the state’s ban on smoking medicinal marijuana, and he recently held a press conference with John Morgan concerning the matter.
Still, Speaker Oliva argues that, when marijuana regulation concerns are dealt with in the upcoming March 5thlegislative session, he hasn’t been entirely convinced.Further explaining why he hasn’t been convinced, Oliva added that he’s “not entirely sure that that’s not something that we will be revising this year, because it affects access and it could certainly affect price. We’re still trying to get an idea of what kind of demand there really is for this. But I wouldn’t disagree.”
Oliva concludes that “if the question is, will it destabilize the market and its ability to bring forth products that are safe and traceable and consistent, I don’t think it will do that. So, yeah, if you put more houses on the market, chances are you’ll have to lower the price of your house.”
Ultimately, Oliva questions if “medicine a façade and a masquerade for recreational marijuana? If it is, that won’t be very supported by the House. If we really want to look at marijuana, and what ailments it can truly relieve and people it can actually benefit, then that’s what we’re looking at.”