A Florida Homegrow Campaign in Florida, going under the ballot name Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana is a ballot initiative brought forth by Wise and Free Florida, an organization led by Moriah Barnhart. The goal of the campaign is to gather enough signatures in order to put a measure on the 2024 ballot that would allow for caretakers and medical patients 21 years old or older to cultivate marijuana for medical use in their own homes.
This initiative is intended to be an alternative solution to the industry-backed proposal for marijuana legalization and would not affect the state’s provisions on recreational cannabis. It seeks to provide more access to medical marijuana in Florida for those who need it, as well as protect patients from the potential negative effects of monopoly on the market.
The campaign has already gathered significant support, and they are now actively seeking volunteers to help collect the necessary signatures in order for this measure to appear on the ballot in 2024. By joining the Florida Homegrow Campaign, supporters have a unique opportunity to make their voices heard and help shape the future of marijuana policy in Florida.
“Since we haven’t raised the donations from the community that we hoped to be able to raise, we are awaiting our Affidavit of Undue Burden to be approved (which relieves us from the signature verification fee). We will be charged $50-$500 per petition for any petitions turned in more than 30 days from the date of the signature, so we have no choice but to turn in all petitions signed in the past couple of weeks through the physicians’ offices and dispensaries this coming week.
Once we have money for the signature verifications, or reprieve for the payment requirement, we’ll be ready to start having volunteers collect signatures” says Barnhart.
Wise and Free Florida Campaign And Moriah Barnhart’s Involvement
Moriah Barnhart is a founding member of the Florida chapter of Women Grow, co-founder of Canna Moms, and co-founder and executive director of the advocacy group WISE Florida. She is spearheading the effort to gather enough signatures in order to place this measure on the ballot in 2024. Barnhart has been an ardent advocate for cannabis reform in Florida for many years, and she is committed to seeing this initiative succeed.
In order for the ballot initiative to pass, Barnhart and her team need support from members of the community. They have set an ambitious goal of collecting 1 million signatures in order to qualify the ballot measure ahead of the state’s deadline early next year, and they are relying on volunteers to help achieve this goal while keeping costs down.
Supporters who would like to take part in the campaign can download a petition to sign online and print out physical copies for submission. With their help, Barnhart is confident that the Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana initiative will become a reality.
“People have to remember that even if we’re relieved of the signature verification fees, those are some of the least impactful expenditures of a Political Action Committee running a voter petition. We still have to pay nearly $100k just for the initial CPA and legal fees, not including administrative, overhead, community education and outreach expenses.
We simply cannot continue to pay out of pocket for community endeavors. We need to raise $100,000 this month for the current CPA and the legal fees. Most voter initiatives allot $20-50 million for the full campaign, we’ve raised less than $5,000. If everyone who signs this petition donates $5, or if every patient in Florida donated $1, we’d have nearly a million dollars. That could fund an entire grassroots campaign.
Some of the dispensaries are offering discounts for WISE members, so that will be a good way to get some cash flow to the overall community education campaign” continues Barnhart.
How to Get Involved
If you are interested in getting involved with the Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana, there are a few simple steps that you can take to help make this measure a reality.
First and foremost, supporters must download the petition online and print out physical copies of it for submission. The campaign is relying on volunteers to reduce costs associated with gathering signatures, so it’simportant that supporters make sure to print out and submit as many petitions as possible.
Secondly, you can spread the word about the campaign by sharing it with your friends and family on social media. The more people who know about the initiative, the better chance there is of it passing in 2024.
Thirdly, if you have a local dispensary or physicians office, you can ask them to display posters and flyers about the campaign. This will help inform people in your community about the ballot measure, and give them an opportunity to get involved as well.
Lastly, if you have the time and resources to do so, you can also collect signatures directly from local neighborhoods or attend events that promote the initiative. The Florida Homegrow Campaign is actively seeking volunteers to help collect the necessary signatures, and any support will go a long way towards making this measure a reality.
“A small handful of people carried the brunt of the load on advocating for telehealth for many years (which we have now!). We are still pushing for reciprocity and open markets, and here in front of us we have a real shot for home grow. If we don’t strengthen the medical program before adult use comes to Florida, and it most certainly is coming, then medical will be far overshadowed and potentially nonexistent in a matter of years.”
“This voter petition also gives us the opportunity to show legislators that we really do have powers in number and with that we can potentially shift the political landscape of cannabis in Florida over the next few years. If we want them to take us seriously, we have to do the work. The longer we take to come together and make things happen, the less seriously they take us. They’ve said that outright. They don’t believe this specific community can come together or agree on anything, they’re not scared our needs or wants are going to affect their positions.
We have a limited window within which to be taken seriously. As that window grows more narrow, our voices become more and more muffled.
So sign. Donate. Be involved. When we ask you to write your legislators, do. Ask your local dispensary to carry the petition and a donation box if they’re not. Shop where they do. It’s that simple. I still believe we can be a strong and powerful voice if every single patient and caregiver in Florida is willing to be a part of these campaigns. Today, with home grow. In January, when more THC cap bills crop up. The following year when legislators go to write the infrastructure for adult use. We’ve got work to do, and it’s work that we all need to be a part of.” says Moriah Barnhart
Challenges Faced by the Campaign and How Supporters Can Help Overcome
The most pressing challenge is the short time frame they have to gather signatures—the state’s deadline for submission of the initiative is early next year. This means that there is a very limited amount of time to gather enough signatures, and any delay could jeopardize the chances of this measure appearing on the ballot.
In addition, there are also legal hurdles that the campaign faced in order to get the initiative approved by the state. The proposal needed to be drafted carefully in order to ensure that it is constitutional, as well as follow all of the state’s regulations for ballot initiatives.
Supporters can help overcome these challenges by spreading the word about the campaign and encouraging their friends and family to sign the petition. They can also contact localdispensaries and physician’s offices to ask them to display posters or flyers about the initiative, as well as attend events that promote the measure.
By doing their part, supporters can help make sure that this important ballot initiative appears on the 2024 ballot in Florida.