JACKSONVILLE, Fla - As the November election moves closer and the push to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Florida grows, a seminar was held in town Saturday to teach people the basics of the medical marijuana industry.
The Cannabis Career Institute has been holding these seminars all over the country for years, and recently started holding them more often in Florida.
Back in March, when groups were still trying to get enough signatures to put a medical marijuana amendment on the ballot, the seminar put on by the Cannabis Career Institute was very successful in Jacksonville.
Organizers said people who attended the seminar were able to clear up some questions about medical marijuana, its uses, who is eligible to use it, and who is eligible to distribute it. The group hopes to provide even more answers this time.
"This is something that has been on the west coast for decades, but on the east coast, people just don't seem to know what it is or how it works," Christopher Ralph, a lawyer and speaker at the seminar, said.
When the classes started and the prospect of legal medical marijuana wasn't so close to being a reality, the classes would be hit and miss with people, but now that the legislation will be on the ballot Ralph said the seminars fill up a lot more quickly, mainly because people want to know exactly what the industry is about.
"You're educating the people at the seminar, but you are also educating the people they speak with," he said. "It's really exponential when it comes to this and you can educate a lot of people really quickly."
With the amendment on the November ballot, Ralph wants people to be informed on the issue before voting.
He said that with all of the restrictions in the industry, he doesn't want people to think they are able to do certain things that they think are legal, only to find out that they have committed a crime.
"We don't want people to hurt themselves in this industry, so we need this opportunity to educate them in this process."
The class took place at the Hyatt Place near the airport from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. If you couldn't make it to Saturday's seminar but you are interested, the group said they will be back in Jacksonville again later this year.
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