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MMJ Dispensaries in Florida Begin to Reopen After Hurricane Ian, President Biden Calls for Review of Marijuana’s Current Scheduling Under Federal Law, and Costa Rica’s President Reveals Draft Law for Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization

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MMJ Dispensaries in Florida Begin to Reopen After Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian’s path of destruction forced numerous medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida to temporarily close their doors. Luckily, many of them are now beginning to reopen. For instance, Trulieve Cannabis, a multistate operator based in Tallahassee, has reopened 50 of the 55 locations that closed due to the hurricane. Other companies have reopened many of their closed locations for limited operating hours. Florida has a total of 485 MMJ dispensaries located throughout the state, and over half were in the direct path of potential storm surge and significant rainfall from Hurricane Ian.

President Biden Calls for Review of Marijuana’s Current Scheduling Under Federal Law

While many lawmakers call for federal cannabis reform, efforts have continuously stalled in the U.S. Senate. But today, President Biden called on the Department of Health and Human Services secretary and the U.S. attorney general to begin reviewing current federal marijuana policy. In a statement, Biden said, “Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the classification meant for the most dangerous substances. This is the same schedule as for heroin and LSD, and even higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine – the drugs that are driving our overdose epidemic.” Realizing the impact that marijuana’s current legal status has had, the president also issued a pardon for all those convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law. Biden said he suspects that the number of those convictions is in the thousands. He also called on state governors to issue pardons at the state level for those with marijuana possession convictions. Advocates hope that cannabis will be descheduled from the Controlled Substances Act completely. 

Costa Rica’s President Reveals Draft Law for Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization 

In August, Costa Rica’s President Rodrigo Chaves vowed to bring adult-use cannabis legislation to the Legislative Assembly. Yesterday, President Chaves presented a draft law for recreational legalization. If the law is passed, it would establish a regulatory framework for the legal production and sale of marijuana in the country. Earlier this year, Costa Rica passed a medical marijuana law. Since its passage, Chaves has said his administration is working on the rules and regulations for the medical cannabis industry and industrial hemp cultivation. Chaves has stated that marijuana prohibition allows criminal organizations and traffickers to prosper.