Marijuana Business in Florida: Rising Use and Increasing Dispensaries

As recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Florida, the state is seeing an increasing number of cannabis dispensaries that cater to patients who need to purchase marijuana for medical use. The medical use of cannabis initiative was approved in Florida in 2016. Under the initiative, only patients with doctors' recommendations or treatment of epilepsy, cancer, and some other specific illnesses, including HIV, are qualified to access marijuana.

While many industries amassed losses and declined during the heat of the coronavirus pandemic, the dispensary business in Florida soared. Economic experts revealed that there were numerous home deliveries for Cannabis as people were forced to stay home due to the unprecedented health crisis. As of last April, more than 700,000 Florida residents were approved for their cannabis cards. This shows a rally as the figure has more than doubled since early 2020. At this stage, should we expect the number to surge further?

According to data compiled by the Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use, the sales of medical marijuana in Florida have skyrocketed since the pandemic. Smokable flower sales jumped by a whopping 83%, while sales of other medical cannabis products grew 21%. The Department recorded the gains between the week ending March 6th- ahead of the implementation of the lockdown guidelines - and August 28th. Florida also saw an addition of almost 80,000 new medical marijuana patients during the period.

The cannabis business in Florida is set to explode, especially with the new rule that permits the manufacture of edibles. The industry started on a high note his year, starting with more than 600,000 registered medical marijuana users. As the rally persisted, there were records of new registrants at the rate of 3,700 patients weekly through the first three months of the year.

As a result of the increasing demand for medical marijuana, cannabis companies are expanding their presence to meet consumers' needs. One of the largest multi-state cannabis operators in the US, Trulieve, boasts more than 115 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida. The cannabis company has been consistently enlarging its footprint in Florida, opening up dispensaries in different locations. Most recently, Trulieve started a new dispensary in Boca Raton. It also plans to launch more in Coral Springs, Miami-Dade, and Broward in Holywood. Claucous Alfaro, the engagement manager at Trulive for Florida, which has the most dispensaries in-state, said, "the goal is to get to the patient population in Florida to 1 million patients. In his statement, the executive said he expects his goal to come into fruition "hopefully by the end of next year."

Binske, known as a luxury cannabis brand, has intensified its efforts to establish itself in South Florida. The company partnered with Trulieve, and the deal covers the sale of its products and proprietary genetics at all Trulieve dispensaries. Other approved medical marijuana companies in Florida include Cannabist, Cookies Florida, Inc., Curaleaf, Fluent, and Gold Leaf. Others are Green Dragon, Green Sentry Holdings, GrowHealthy, GTI (Rise Dispensaries), HT Medical Cannabis, Insa-Cannabis for Real Life, Jungle Boys, The Flowery, etc.

Beginning on August 29th, 2022, the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use has updated its rule on daily doses allowed for each form of marijuana use. Per the new law, all Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers in Florida are not allowed to dispense over a 70-day supply of marijuana within any 70 days. Also, the updates prohibit dispensing an over 35-day supply of marijuana in the form of smoking within any 35-day period apart from approved exceptional cases.

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