In an announcement shocking to many marijuana proponents, a group in Florida that was pushing a constitutional amendment for making recreational marijuana legal, said it would drop its bid to get the proposal on this year’s ballot.
The group will now be focusing on 2022 instead.
The campaign was called Make It Legal Florida and was considered the strongest bid because major medical marijuana dispensaries in the state backed it.
Recreational marijuana is now legal in 10 states: Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Michigan, Vermont, Maine, California, Alaska and, most recently, Illinois.
This year eight more states could see marijuana on the ballot, including Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota and South Dakota.
According to Nick Hansen, chairman of Make it Legal Florida, the ballot initiative gathered more than 700,000 signatures to bring recreational cannabis to the state, but the narrow time frame to submit and verify the signatures prompted the committee to focus instead on the 2022 ballot.
Make it Legal Florida had raised more than $8.6 million to support the petition drive, according to Florida’s Division of Elections. The signed petitions are valid for two years, so they can put them toward 2022.