Legislation had been introduced in the Metro Council to restrict the number of florist and to set prices for flowers. In explaining why he is sponsoring the legislation, Councilman Ben Bought told me, “The Professional Florist Association brought this bill to me and said it was good for their profession and was needed to protect the industry. I signed it.”
A florist associated with the PFA, Rosy Stems, explained the need for the bill. “We have seen all of these new florist “shops” spring up in places like Krogers and in little kiosk in shopping malls. Many of these people aren’t even professional florist; they are just clerks selling flowers. They operate with low overhead. How is a professional florist with their free-standing shops and employees and delivery vans going to compete with these people? It is unfair competition. They are going to drive the professional florist out of business. Many of these people don’t know an orchid from a daisy. It is a disgrace to our profession.”
The bill pending in the council would require all new florists to appear before the Florist Regulatory Board and show a need for a new florist shop before being allowed to open a new shop. Also, all new florist shops would have to be in a dedicated space of at least 850 square feet. The new minimum price for a dozen roses would be $34.95.
“I believe is supporting our businesses,” said Councilman Protect Friends, another supporter of the bill. “This bill has the support of the Chamber and the established floral industry and I am going to support it.”
The above is not real, but it is no different than how the city fixes prices to benefit luxury limousine service and how they squash competition in taxis service.