Five Things to Know in Florida for March 29

FIRST AMENDMENT 2 IMPLEMENTING BILL PASSES HOUSE COMMITTEE

The bill passed the Health Quality Subcommittee on Tuesday. It must go through two more committees before reaching the House floor. Rep. Ray Rodrigues’ bill would largely keep in place the regulatory structure set up the past three years, including keeping the number of growers at the current number of seven, maintaining a 90-day waiting period before patients can receive cannabis and banning smoking, vaping and edibles.

GAME ON? NEW PUSH TO LEGALIZE FANTASY SPORTS IN FLORIDA

A House panel on Tuesday approved a bill that says betting on fantasy contests would be allowed as long as the sponsor of the contest is not a participant. Florida’s attorney general back in 1991 issued an opinion that football fantasy leagues were a form of illegal gambling. But fantasy leagues have continued to flourish and expand since then, including the creation of daily fantasy leagues.

FLORIDA COULD STEER DRUG OFFENDERS TO DIVERSION, NOT PRISON

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday that would change sentencing guidelines for drug possession convictions. The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw would apply only to possession charges and not to manufacturing, selling or delivering controlled substances. It would take effect in October and not be applied retroactively.

FLORIDA LOTTERY TICKETS COULD SOON COME WITH WARNING LABEL

A House panel on Tuesday voted for a bill that would require all lottery tickets to say “Warning: Gambling can be addictive.” Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican who is sponsoring the bill, said lottery tickets are a government-sanctioned activity and should come with the same kind of warnings that are found on cigarettes.

LAW THAT ALLOWS PAYMENT TO WRONGFULLY CONVICTED COULD CHANGE

The bill approved by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday would change the so-called “clean hands” requirement of the compensation law. Florida now allows compensation up to $50,000 a year for people who are proven innocent of a crime for which they were imprisoned. But anyone who committed a felony before or after the wrongful incarceration isn’t eligible.

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