Since California became the first state to approve medical marijuana in 1996, 21 other states have followed suit. Florida appears poised to join the club, reports NPR. Polls show that voters there are likely to approve a November ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use. Florida would be the first state in the Southeast to do so. With nearly 20 million residents, it will be the biggest market outside of California.
The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates medical marijuana will be a $785 million industry in Florida. If the measure passes, regulations that would set up a market for medical marijuana in Florida are still at least a year away. Cannabis entrepreneurs already are setting up shop in the state. In Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando, there’s a business conference every few weeks devoted to a product that’s still illegal.