Florida Issues Medical Cannabis Rules, Opening Doors for New Businesses

Florida Issues Medical Cannabis Rules, Opening Doors for New Businesses
High Times

State regulators in Florida this week unveiled new rules for its medical marijuana program, a move that could result in a significant increase of the number of licensed businesses there.  Local news station FOX13 in Tampa reports that the state Department of Health on Monday “set in motion a process to issue up to 22 more medical-marijuana licenses, in a highly anticipated move that could double the size of Florida’s medical-cannabis industry,” while also announcing “an emergency rule that would make it far more expensive for marijuana operators to renew their licenses every two years, increasing the cost from roughly $60,000 to more than $1 million.” The state agency issued an additional emergency rule that will change the financial commitment of would-be dispensary applicants. According to Florida Politics, “new entities wanting to operate in Florida’s lucrative medical marijuana market will be required to submit a $146,000 non-refundable fee to the state and submit an application that will be competitively reviewed by the state under a new emergency rule issued Monday.” The outlet reports that the “initial application fee is more than double what licensees initially paid, but reflects the amount the state charged so-called Pigford applicants,” and that although “Gov. Ron DeSantis has been loath to increase operating costs for Florida businesses, he has complained in the past that he didn’t think the state charged enough for lucrative medical marijuana licenses.” Florida Politics offers more background on what the change means for prospective applicants:“It’s not only application costs that will increase. The state appears to also be increasing the costs for businesses to stay licensed. Medical marijuana treatment centers currently are required to pay $60,063. In determining the fee, the state will calculate how much money it spent regulating the industry over the previous two fiscal years and subtract from…

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