FAC News Clips - March 20, 2019 -

Naples Daily News

Editorial: Legislative preemptions old and new show why local control often best

Florida legislators obviously consider themselves wise. They’ve deemed themselves to know better than local governments how to regulate things ranging from vacation rentals to plastic bags. But is it wise to assume that statewide rules issued from Tallahassee make sense for every locality? We’d argue it’s often not. Here are two examples. First, consider the issue of private gun ranges in Golden Gate Estates.

CBS Miami

Florida House Cuts Tourism, Economic Development Money

The tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida would only be funded for three months, while Enterprise Florida wouldn’t get any state money as part of a budget proposal released Tuesday by a House panel for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Also left out of the House proposal was continuation of an $85-million-a-year economic-development effort, known as the Job Growth Grant Fund, that was created in a compromise between the House and former Gov. Rick Scott.

AP News

Coalition Advocates for Regulatory & Tax Fairness within Car Rental & Peer-to-Peer Car-Sharing Industries

‘Driving Florida Forward’ today launched an effort to advocate for regulatory and tax fairness within the car rental and peer-to-peer car-sharing industries during the 2019 Legislative Session. ‘Driving Florida Forward’ is advocating for forward-thinking legislative changes that would ensure uniformity for all car rental and peer-to-peer car-sharing operators on car rentals, airport regulations and taxes remitted, as well as put customer transparency and safety first.

News Service of Florida

MOODY BACKS IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL

Attorney General Ashley Moody supports a Senate proposal that would give her the authority to file civil actions against local governments that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. "City officials must obey the laws that they swore to uphold," Lauren Schenone, a spokeswoman for Moody, said in a prepared statement. "The attorney general believes immigration laws should be respected and enforced and she supports the bill in its current form.” The Senate is moving forward with a bill that would ban so-called sanctuary cities.

Sunshine State News

 'Will of the Voters' Be Done: DeSantis Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Patients who get medical marijuana from their doctors will be able to smoke it legally, under a bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Monday. DeSantis signed SB 182 “Medical Use of Marijuana” (Ch. 2019-1 SB 182, Laws of Florida). Additionally, he filed a joint motion to dismiss People United for Medical Marijuana v. Department of Health and to vacate the lower court decision which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional.

Herald Tribune

Sarasota to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

Possession of small amounts of cannabis could soon be decriminalized in Sarasota. The Sarasota City Commission on Monday voted unanimously to have its city attorney draft a local law allowing police the option to issue noncriminal civil citations rather than a criminal misdemeanor charge for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia. The move — which mirrors those made in other jurisdictions, including Tampa, Port Richey, Orlando and Broward County — could help alleviate jail overcrowding if Sarasota County enacts its own ordinance and ease the caseload in the criminal justice system while allowing police to focus on violent crime and the opioid crisis.

Orlando Sentinel

Florida medical marijuana dispensaries work to get smokable product on shelves 'as soon as it's allowed'

Medical marijuana dispensaries say they will have smokable cannabis on shelves the minute they get final approval from state regulators to sell it. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday allowing smokable medical marijuana in Florida after the Legislature passed the bill last week. But before that happens, the Florida Department of Health must establish rules for doctors and dispensaries. Growers and dispensaries say they have been anticipating smokable medical marijuana for months and will have it available for patients as soon as it is allowed.

News Press

Smokable medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but the wheels of government move slowly

One day after Gov. Ron DeSantis formally lifted a ban on smokable medical marijuana, the shops planning to sell it continued to wait for formal approval to do so. At a Sarasota dispensary owned by Trulieve, which was expected Tuesday to make the first sales in Florida, patients hoping to buy smokable cannabis flower left empty-handed. Annie McDermott, 42, who suffers from fibromyalgia and other illnesses, uses cannabis to treat chronic pain. McDermott, of Venice, had previously been prescribed opioid painkiller that, she said, led to a 10-year addiction and increasing dependence.