TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Representatives from the governor's office and state Legislature gathered Wednesday to hear Florida economist's projections for revenue from a potential expansion of medical marijuana. They're using data from 20 other states that have already legalized pot for medical use.
"Estimating how doctors will be involved and how they'll treat this, and what people will do and the behavioral side of it is much harder, and that's really what we're looking to other states for," said Florida Chief Economist Amy Baker.
Potential revenue could shift either way based on what types of diseases are covered by medical marijuana.
Supporters said hundreds of millions of dollars could be at stake.
Drug Free America reminded the group that when pot is legalized as medicine, there's a cost.
"In the state of Colorado, the marijuana enforcement division spends about $9.5 million a year to include 35 FTE's on managing their program," said Alan Suskey, with Drug Free America.
But Jeff Sharkey, with the Medical Marijuana Business Association, said expanding medical marijuana could more than pay for itself
"It would potentially pay for any type of ancillary programs people would request -- drug education for kids, education program in terms of the medical benefits of this that I think would be necessarily required," Sharkey said.
Florida passed the medical marijuana law last year. Economists put the revenue generated from the very specific form at around $6 million for the state.
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