May 22, 2024

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/18/2024

Cannabis industry sees Florida's marijuana referendum as potential game-changer

While 24 states have legalized recreational marijuana so far and at least 38 have legalized its medical use, Florida presents the industry with a jewel of an opportunity. The Sunshine State has one of the fastest-growing populations in the U.S., a well-established medical marijuana business with more than 800,000 patients, and is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Some 135 million people visited Florida last year from both domestic and international destinations. [Source: U.S. News & World Report]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Economic backbone: Educating the Fed

Gregory Haile, 46, is the former president of Broward College. He was recently reappointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for a three-year term and is deputy chair of its board of directors. He spoke to Florida Trend recently about his role on the Fed board and his journey from growing up in Queens in New York City to achieving national prominence as a Fed board member and as a leader in higher education [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida denied flexibility on CDL skills testing

Federal regulators are not convinced that the potential for lost wages for prospective truck drivers outweighs the safety benefits of current rules on how states must administer CDL skills tests. In a notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration denied a petition by Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles asking that the state be exempted from a federal regulation. [Source: Freight Waves]

The 2024 hurricane season forecasts are alarming. Can history teach us what to expect?

All the early predictions are calling for a very active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. Warm water temperatures provide the fuel storms need to develop and strengthen. Can history give us an idea of what to expect this year? Forecasters with Colorado State University looked at five "analog" years based on above-normal sea surface temperatures and the presence of La Nina. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida reefs part of more concerning global ‘coral bleaching event,’ NOAA says

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a new warning about the impact of climate change on our oceans. NOAA says we are experiencing a new “coral bleaching event” for the second time in the last decade. More than half of the world’s coral reefs have seen bleaching in the last year. That includes in parts of Florida. [Source: WFTV]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Eatonville’s bid ranks high to be home of Florida Museum of Black History
Eatonville’s bid to become the home of the Florida Museum of Black History grew far stronger this week as state officials ranked it among the top contenders and a new agreement in a legal dispute removed the largest impediment to the town’s preferred museum site. “Location is no longer an obstacle,” said Eatonville Mayor Angie Gardner, adding she believes the town’s bid to now be the best.

› Retrieval of boats sunk by Hurricane Ian near Fort Myers Beach: messy and mind-boggling
The sunk boats now being retrieved from the Matanzas Pass don't look like they have been under water for a year and a half. More like decades. This has been a different kind of boat parade. Muddy, rusty, bruised and battered. They are disfigured, hideous, unrecognizable hunks of junk. What they really are is a hellish reminder of the fiercest and deadliest hurricane to ever cross over Southwest Florida.

› Here’s how Florida’s tourist tax, big for Rays and beaches, works in Pinellas County
Budget season for local governments is around the corner, and with it the usual talk of property values and the tax bills local homeowners can expect to face. But in Pinellas County, over the next few months, the pot of money that may get the most talk outside government chambers is one that most residents don’t supply: the tax dollars generated by visitors staying at hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as Airbnbs.

› Miami Wilds sues, accusing Miami-Dade mayor of caving to please conservation voters
The filing is the first time Miami Wilds has tried to assign motives for Levine Cava switching positions last year on the long-standing plan to let private developers build a water park on existing zoo parking lots in South Miami-Dade. The mayor’s spokesperson issued a statement Tuesday rejecting the claims by Miami Wilds.

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In case you missed it:

Florida Trend Video Pick

Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue
Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue

Tourism leaders are celebrating a big win as Marion County has seen a record-breaking couple of months when it comes to tourist development tax revenue.

 

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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