September 15, 2019

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/16/2019

Florida’s thriving medical marijuana industry is No. 2 in nation for growth

Florida’s burgeoning legal marijuana market is second only to Oklahoma when it comes to growth rates, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Of the 36 states where medical marijuana is permitted, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Maryland round out the top 5 for rate of growth, the marijuana industry publication reported. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and FOX Business.

2019 is so far posting record tourism numbers

Florida set an all-time record for tourism, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday. During the first six months of 2019, nearly 69 million tourists visited the state, the highest number ever for any six-month period, according to the state. “Florida’s economy has grown this year as record amounts of travelers come to Florida to experience everything our beautiful state has to offer,” DeSantis said. More from Florida Politics and the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida senator proposes online sales tax bill

Florida Sen. Joe Gruters filed a bill on Wednesday that requires online companies to charge sales tax on transactions. For many people, it is simple. Online shopping can not be beaten. “If you have a local business here selling a product and you buy it on Amazon and no sales tax,” Robert Sterling said, “well obviously you’re gonna buy it on Amazon – they’re gonna deliver it right to your door.” More from WINK News and Florida Politics.

Florida’s oysters in Apalachicola, Cedar Key face climate threats to survival

Climate change isn’t a primary suspect in the stunning extermination of Apalachicola Bay oysters, a calamity pegged to a variety of atrocities. But rising sea levels, warming waters and more intense storms could conspire to ensure the bay remains a graveyard for oysters despite costly efforts to resurrect it and put the delicacies back on restaurant tables. That prospect troubles scientists at Apalachicola Bay in Florida’s Panhandle and is a worry for one of the state’s last, though struggling, strongholds of oysters. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Miami-Dade needs more talented workers. Here’s its plan to bring them here — and keep them.

In its most recent survey of tech talent, which includes individuals with degrees in computer science, engineering, and math, real estate firm CBRE ranked Miami 48th out of 50 U.S. cities, with a score of 22.16 out of 100. The regional outlook is brighter. When Miami’s score is combined with Fort Lauderdale’s, the rating rises to 53.13. And that brings South Florida to 15th nationally. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Solar-powered town ranked a top master-planned community
The Southwest Florida town that bills itself as one of the country’s first to be powered by solar was ranked as the region’s top master-planned community. Analysis of the Southwest Florida housing market through June shows Babcock Ranch as the region’s leader by more than 20%, with 295 annual starts, according to a press release.

› Olive Garden’s unlimited pasta deal sells out in seconds
Olive Garden sold out its unlimited pasta pass in a matter of seconds Thursday afternoon, including 50 that will give the buyer a lifetime of the restaurant’s pasta for $500. Olive Garden, which is owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, has more than 850 locations.

› July home sales continue mixed results in Jacksonville area
The First Coast housing picture continued its trend of mixed results in July. There were 2,820 housing sales for Northeast Florida for the month. That’s up from July 2018, but down from June’s monthly housing sales, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. There were 2,977 home sales in June and 2,820 homes sold in July of last year.

› UberEats is fueling a ‘ghost’ restaurant trend in the Tampa Bay area
Tampa Bay has about 50 virtual restaurants on the UberEats app now, and that number is growing. Uber Eats is guiding restaurant owners to use their existing ingredient inventory to spin off different brands to help them move more meals out the door.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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