U.S. Industry opportunities

florida

florida marijuana laws

Licensed medical marijuana treatment centers are authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana. There are 28 such licensed locations throughout the state–roughly one for every 3,000 patients, according to Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use. In May 2018, the Florida Department of Health filed a proposed rule to expand the application process to register additional medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC).

 

Although applications for additional MMTCs are not being accepted at the moment, the proposed rules and incorporated forms are currently available online.

 

The medical marijuana market in Florida is on pace to be valued at $110 million by the close of 2018. This value is expected to grow to $750 million by 2020. There is, however, a geographical discrepancy that affects Florida’s medical marijuana patients: most dispensaries are clustered in coastal areas or densely populated cities, which are difficult to access from more rural counties.

 

According to the Florida Department of Health, while over 100,000 patients have registered for medical marijuana licenses, there are only 1,583 physicians in the state database qualified to issue certification to qualifying patients. This is due primarily because physicians must successfully complete a 2-hour course and examination offered by the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association before being certified.

Voters passed a constitutional amendment known as the "Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative," (Amendment 2) in 2016. The amendment legalized medical marijuana for debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions as determined by a licensed state physician. Amendment 2 went into effect January 3, 2017.

 

The Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuna Use (OMMU) oversees Florida's medical marijuana program. The OMMU also writes and implements the department's rules for medical marijuana, oversees the statewide Medical Marijuana Use Registry, and licenses Florida businesses to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients.

 

Licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) are the only businesses in Florida authorized to cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis and medical marijuana.

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64-4.027 Pigford Class Application for Registration of Medical Marijuana Treatment Center 

This rulemaking provides a process and application for those qualified individuals or entities

under section 381.986(8)(a)2.b., Florida Statutes to apply for registration as a medical marijuana

treatment center.

 

Key Dates

On May 1, 2018, the Florida Department of Health filed a Notice of Proposed rule which provides for the registration of additional medical marijuana treatment centers. It is important to note that the rule and forms are proposed and are not in effect at this time.

 

On July 9, 2019, the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that Florida’s vertical integration of medical marijuana business licenses and current capping of the number of business licenses goes against Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in 2016. The appellate court found “it is in the public interest” to require health officials to register new medical marijuana operators “without applying the unconstitutional statutory provisions.” However, that finding “does not support requiring the department to immediately begin registering” medical marijuana operators at this stage of the proceedings.

Application Fees/Start up costs. The Florida Department of Health application for MMTC registration is administered by the OMMU and requires a $60,830.00 application fee. 

 

Available License Types

Licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) are vertically integrated and are the only businesses in Florida authorized to dispense medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis to qualified patients and caregivers. 

 

Each MMTC must receive authorization at three stages, (1) cultivation authorization, (2) processing authorization and (3) dispensing authorization, prior to dispensing low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana. The department is not accepting applications to become a dispensing organization.

 

Qualifying Conditions

The list that follows is not a comprehensive list of qualifying conditions. The conditions below are medical conditions that have been explicitly defined by Florida's medical marijuana law.

  • Cancer

  • Epilepsy

  • Glaucoma

  • HIV

  • AIDS

  • Seizures

  • Crohn's disease

  • Chronic muscle spasms

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

 

History 

Gov. Rick Scott signed a limited medical marijuana bill into law on June 16, 2014, SB 1030, also known as The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. It protects qualifying patients suffering from a very limited amount of disorders from the use and possession of CBD. The law authorized for a limited amount of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs). The state awarded seven organizations to grow, process and dispense the low-THC marijuana. 

 

In November 2016, Florida passed Amendment, 2 legalizing medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. In June 2017, Gov. Scott signed SB 8A into law, further implementing the medical marijuana program.

 

The bill included 10 new licensed MMTC in the state, in addition to the seven that already existed. It added another four MMTC licenses to be issued for every 100,000 patients added to the state’s medical marijuana registry. Each MMTC is allowed to grow, process, transport and sell medical marijuana. One MMTC license also allows the licensee to establish up to 25 dispensaries.

 

On March 18, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 182 to end the ban on smokable medical marijuana products.

 

On May 1, 2018, over six months after the October 3, 2017 deadline to issue new licenses, the Florida Department of Health filed a Notice of Proposed Rule allowing additional Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers. However, ongoing litigation delayed the state from moving forward. 

 

Other State Information

  1. Estimated market size i.e. population and financial 

  2. (research info:  search using keyword "marijuana market size"+"name of state")

Florida is the third-largest state by population and the second-largest state with legal medical marijuana. Since 2017, the Florida market has grown quite substantially. As of August 2019, patient counts were just above 337,000.

 

A Florida MMTC license allows each licensee to open 35 dispensaries. That limitation is scheduled to change in April 2020 in tandem with increasing registered patients.

  1. Amount/types of licenses issued/available

    1. (goes hand in hand with #3 below)

The current approved MMTCs are listed by the OMMU. The application period for approval ended July 8, 2015. The Department is not accepting applications at this time. 

 

Licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) are vertically integrated and are the only businesses in Florida authorized to dispense medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis to qualified patients and caregivers. 

 

Each MMTC must receive authorization at three stages, (1) cultivation authorization, (2) processing authorization and (3) dispensing authorization, prior to dispensing low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana.

 

  1. Adult use/medical/CBD only/ALL/none

There is currently no legislation in place for adult-use recreational marijuana.

 

In 206, Amendment 2 legalized medical marijuana for debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions as determined by a licensed state physician. Amendment 2 went into effect January 3, 2017.

 

SB 1726 was enacted on June 16, 2017 and directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to authorize and oversee the development of industrial hemp pilot projects at certain universities. Commercialization projects may be allowed after two years with certain conditions. This bill authorizes the universities to develop pilot projects in partnership with public, nonprofit, and private entities, and requires participating institutions to submit a report within two years of establishing a pilot program. 

 

In 2019, Gov. DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1020 (S1020), which set up a licensing program for hemp growers in the state. It also authorized the sale of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) as long as they have a certificate of analysis prepared by an independent testing laboratory certifying that the THC level does not exceed 0.3%.

 

The legislative findings specifically state that “hemp-derived cannabinoids, including, but not limited to, cannabidiol, are not controlled substances or adulterants,” and, “Products containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, including, but not limited to, cannabidiol, intended for ingestion are foods and not controlled substances or adulterated products.”

Estimated market size

In 2018, an estimated $3.4 billion to $5.7 billion in sales in Florida and $111.3 million in Central Florida for the dispensaries, depending on the form in which it was sold. Florida is an estimated $250 million medical marijuana market.

how to start a marijuana business florida

If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in Florida, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities. 

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