Cannabis In Florida: The Bellamy Brothers Tell Trulieve CEO 'We Rolled A Fat One' When Legalization Initiative Landed On November Ballot

Zinger Key Points
  • Kim Rivers laid out some talking points, which she called necessary because, well, “Florida is Florida, it’s about incremental changes."
  • The Bellamy Brothers are members of Safe And Smart Florida, which with a little help from their friends, got cannabis on the Nov ballot.

Country music legends David and Howard Bellamy, known as The Bellamy Brothers, joined Trulieve's CEO Kim Rivers on the stage Wednesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. Both Bellamy Brothers are members of the advocacy group Safe and Smart Florida which, with a little help from their friends, was responsible for placing a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational cannabis on the Florida ballot.

Trulieve TCNNF was and still is a major backer of the effort, which paid off several weeks ago when the proposal was cleared by the state Supreme Court to appear on the November 2024 ballot.

Howard Bellamy, who said he couldn't remember not being involved with cannabis all these years, admitted that it is "amazing to have come this far and finally getting it on the ballot." The Bellamy Brothers are in their 70s.

"What did you do when you heard cannabis legalization had finally made it onto the ballot?" Rivers asked them.

"We rolled a fat one!" said David, pointing out that his brother Howard was one of the first people in Florida to have a medical marijuana card. Florida legalized medical cannabis in 2016 with a healthy 71% of the vote.

More Of The Same, Please

Now, says Rivers, Florida needs more of the same to pass the initiative, known as Amendment 3. She laid out some talking points, which she called necessary because, well, "Florida is Florida, it's about incremental changes," presumably referring to the Sunshine State having shifted from a purple to a solidly red state.

"The 60% threshold needed in November to pass Amendment 3 is no joke," Rivers said. "We can't take a single vote for granted."

Talking Points For Floridians:

  1. No one should be in jail for small personal cannabis use.
  2. Florida will provide regulated products to a safe marketplace.
  3. Freedom of choice.

Rivers advised the audience to read a recent FDA report that compared cannabis to alcohol.

"By every metric – hospitalizations risk of abuse in treatment centers, fatalities DUIs – cannabis is a safer alternative. It's about freedom of choice for adults 21 and over," Rivers said, provoking a burst of applause.

Howard Bellamy said opponents of the legalization initiative "don't really have a valid argument."  

His brother David added, "If everybody could visit the [Trulieve] grow house, it's cleaner than a hospital.

"We've traveled the country and we've seen different programs in different states, such as Oklahoma, which is like the Wild West where everyone's grandmother has a dispensary," David said. "I think the direction you guys have taken here is really the best in the country."

Now Read: Cannabis Summit Set To Shake Up Washington DC: Bipartisan Lawmakers, Industry Leaders Rally For Decriminalization On 420 Day Of Action

Photo: Jean Laurenceau

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Posted In: CannabisNewsPoliticsEventsTop StoriesExclusivesBenzinga Cannabis Capital ConferenceCCCFloridaFlorida CannabisKim RiversSafe and Smart FloridaStories That MatterThe Bellamy Brothers
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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

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