The week ahead in Florida politics: July 28 – Aug 2

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The upcoming week in Tallahassee has medicinal marijuana events serving as bookends.

A Quinnipiac University poll on Amendment 2 is to be released 6:00 a.m. Monday. Look to see if the opposition’s “de facto legalization” line of attack has reduced support for the initiative allowing doctors to use marijuana to treat patients.  Previous results indicated 82 percent of respondents voting yes in November.

Then on Friday, the Department of Health holds a second workshop on proposed regulations for the Charlotte’s Web law which starting in January authorizes doctors to order a cannabis extract for patients.

“We’re on the runaway on the calendar with this thing” said Kerry Herndon, one of 55 growers interested in landing a Charlotte’s Web license to grow and process marijuana.  “It takes 10 weeks to mature a crop to flower then you have to dry it and process it. There are certain things we need to know.”

This week, Fair District supporters will be watching for word from Leon County Judge Terry Lewis. Lewis had ruled July 10 that the congressional district map for the November election violated the state constitution. It is now unclear what happens next. The suit was brought by the League of Women Voters who now wants Lewis to delay the congressional election and redraw the map.  Lewis said he will have a ruling by the end of this week.

“I have to tell you, I’m extremely skeptical that I can do what the plaintiffs want me to do,” Lewis said during Thursday’s hearing.

Tax money is on the table for two reasons this week. State economists will gather in room 117 Knott for a series of conferences to review revenue numbers on a variety of issues, including transportation, early learning and the state employee insurance fund.  And a three-day back-to-school  sales tax holiday begins Friday.

Also this week, former Senator and Gov. Bob Graham goes on the campaign trail with daughter Gwen, the Democratic candidate in the 2 nd Congressional District.  The Grahams kick off an 8-day 14-county swing Wednesday in Tallahassee.

Here’s a list of key events.

Monday, July 28

Quinnipiac poll: Will include indicate voter sentiment on Amendment 2.

Registration deadline: Voter registration for the Aug. 26 primary closes today.

Tuesday, July 29

Medicaid: The Agency for Health Care Administration Medical Care Advisory Committee meets at 1:00 p.m. in Tallahassee

Sheldon fundraiser: George Sheldon, candidate in the Democratic primary for Attorney General, holds a Tallahassee fundraiser 5:30 p.m., 101 Restaurant.

Wednesday, July 30

Revenue: State economists hold two conferences to discuss health insurance and prekindergarten programs. A revenue estimating conference for the state employee health insurance program is at 9:00 a.m.  in the Knott Building, Tallahassee and the Early Learning Conference is at 1:30.

Graham Workday: Former Senator and Gov. Bob Graham will participate in a “workday” at the Second Harvest Food Bank. It’s the kickoff of an eight-day 14-county campaign swing by Graham’s daughter, Gwen, the Democratic challenger in the 2nd Congressional District race.  The race between incumbent Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City and Graham, the offspring of a Democratic icon, is drawing national attention.

Thursday, July 31

Child Abuse: The Florida Child Abuse Death Review Committee is scheduled to hold a conference call meeting. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m.

Transportation: The Revenue Estimating Conference will meet to discuss the transportation fund at 9:00 a.m. in the Knott Building, Tallahassee.

Friday, August 1

Charlotte’s Web: The Florida Department of Health will hold the second workshop on proposed regulations implementing Florida’s new medicinal marijuana law.  The workshop is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Betty Easley Conference Center in Tallahassee.

Property & Communication taxes: The Revenue Estimating Conference will meet and discuss ad valorem taxes at 9:00 a.m. and the communications services tax at 1:30 p.m. in the Knott Building in Tallahassee.

Sales Tax Holiday: Florida starts a three day sales-tax holiday on back to school items. The tax exemption applies to clothes and other school related items including up to $750 on a personal computer and accessories.