Following the Florida Supreme Court docket upholding the state’s seed-to-sale medical marijuana mannequin, the Division of Well being is getting ready to challenge 15 new therapy heart licenses.
These concerned within the trade consider the enlargement will improve competitors and profit sufferers, however some lawmakers doubt whether or not the brand new gamers will truly make a dent in price and availability.
There are greater than 575,000 medical marijuana sufferers in Florida and the ever rising quantity has opened the door for 15 new MMTC licenses.
As soon as the affected person rely hits 600,000, a complete of 19 licenses will likely be accessible.
“This frankly doubles the dimensions of the trade,” stated Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Enterprise Affiliation.
Sharkey expects these licenses will likely be granted inside 18 months.
“I believe it’s going to have a big effect. I imply you’ll see folks actually changing into aggressive on this area,” stated Sharkey.
However of the 22 present license holders, 9 have produced zero, or nearly zero, product.
That’s one of many causes State Senator Jeff Brandes is skeptical extra license holders will make a noticeable impression on sufferers.
“Florida goes to be awash in medical marijuana licenses. The issue is, no one desires to place the capital in to construct the services and then web site the retail services and construct the processing crops essential to make this work,” stated Brandes.
With the Supreme Court docket upholding the state’s medical marijuana legislation, it could take legislative motion to undo the costly, however profitable, requirement for MMTCs to manage each a part of the method from seed-to-sale.
Quickly after taking workplace in 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis expressed disdain for the vertically built-in medical marijuana system put in place by lawmakers, saying they ‘primarily created a cartel’.
However legislative efforts to abolish the seed-to-sale mannequin lately have failed to realize traction.
State Consultant Carlos Guillermo Smith hopes its a problem the Legislature will transfer to deal with subsequent 12 months.
“We’d like extra competitors as a result of that can drive down the price of the product for sufferers,” stated Rep. Smith.
The Division of Well being instructed us it’s establishing an utility course of for the 15 licenses at the moment accessible, however it has not but begun accepting purposes.