TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As Election Day nears, First Harvest Financial recognizes the importance of keeping voters informed and educated on ballot issues, particularly Amendment 2 and other measures across the country seeking to legalize cannabis. Should the majority of Floridians vote "yes" for Amendment 2, the state will see major changes in its legal cannabis landscape. Amendment 2 was designed to expand Florida's medical cannabis program, extending benefits to more patients. The amendment's passing would alter the state's constitution and allow medical cannabis use for debilitating medical conditions, as diagnosed by a licensed Florida physician.
Amendment 2 would allow patients with the following conditions to legally utilize medical cannabis as a treatment option with their physician's approval: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Licensed physicians would also be at liberty to certify patients with "other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class" to use medical cannabis.
Should the Amendment 2 fail, Florida's very limited medical cannabis program, available only to terminal patients with certification from a limited number of Florida physicians, would remain in place with no further expansion.
A recent poll published by WESH 2 and Public Policy Polling found that 69 percent of respondents favored Florida's Amendment 2. In order to amend the state's constitution, 60 percent of voters must vote "yes" on Amendment 2 come November 8.
While a similar medical cannabis legalization measure failed for Florida in 2014, this year's proposed amendment has been much more warmly received by Floridians. The 2016 measure is much more specific in who is permitted to use medical cannabis and under what circumstances. It also clarifies how legalization would affect malpractice claims, important to both patients and health care providers.
Florida isn't alone in its move to legalize medical cannabis. North Dakota, Montana, and Arkansas will all see medical cannabis issues on their ballots next week. Voters in five additional states—California, Maine, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Nevada— will decide on legalizing "adult" recreational use in their respective states.
The most promising of all of this year's legalization initiatives is California. Cannabis has a long history in California and many of the state's biggest entrepreneurs and public figures have shown support for Prop. 64. California boasts the eighth-largest economy in the world by GDP, so legalizing recreational cannabis could add up to $1 billion in tax revenue and open several doors of opportunity for the cannabis industry at large.
The high number of Americans that will be voting on legalization measures this year comes at no surprise, given the changing attitudes toward cannabis use in general across the United States. The latest Pew Research survey on cannabis support found that an all-time high number of American adults, 57 percent of survey respondents, support cannabis use, while only 37 percent of respondents opposed it. Support for responsible cannabis use has been increasing over the last 30 years, and now, the people are beginning to see the legislation to prove it.
State legislation allowing cannabis use is not just good news for suffering patients and cannabis enthusiasts, though. Legalization is exciting for entrepreneurs and entire industries that will be able to expand and grow through opportunities presented by legal cannabis industries, whether medical, recreational, or both. For the latest cannabis industry news, including information on election and legislation updates, stand-out cannabis-related businesses, and recently published scientific and governmental studies, visit the industry insights section on firstharvestfinancial.com.
About First Harvest Financial
First Harvest Financial, Inc. works directly with those professionals looking to strategically enter and capitalize on growing and creating cannabis-based solutions in today's marketplace. The firm manages a private equity fund investing in legal, cannabis-related companies, primarily medical cannabis-based solutions. First Harvest Financial provides accredited investors a diversified portfolio approach to investing in ancillary businesses related to the cannabis sector. For more information, please visit: http://www.firstharvestfinancial.com/
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SOURCE First Harvest Financial