TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis issued eight more licenses for medical marijuana on Wednesday, bringing the total number issued to 22.
All of the eight companies who won the licenses had sued the state after they initially applied in 2014 under a different program, but were not awarded.
Adam Elend, co-owner of Tampa medical marijuana company Florigrown, issued the following statement after the licenses were issued:
“If you look at the scoreboard, so far 15 licenses have been blatant giveaways to 30 year nurseries who have never proven their qualifications to anyone. Desantis has 8 of those 15. So I guess it’s his cartel now. It’s the same old story. A cartel means no competition. And that means high prices, low availability, and stifled innovation. This is not a win for patients. It’s also not a win for the legislature. The settlement clearly violates their medical marijuana law, and they’ve said this session that they wanted to see these 11 licenses go to application. It’s not a win for the program. It does nothing to correct the obvious errors in the implementation that are grinding it to a halt. It just continues the status quo, where most of the licenses are being sat on while hedge funds lap them up for $60M+. So who is it a win for? Beyond those new cartel members, I’m just not sure.
Stay with News Channel 8 as we update this developing story.