TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two new emergency rules from the Florida Department of Health will expand how many businesses can be licensed to sell medical marijuana products in Florida. The new rules were set Friday and published Monday.
Currently, there are only 22 companies in Florida that are licensed to dispense medical marijuana products. Of those, just 19 have dispensing locations, according to documents from FDOH‘s Office of Medical Marijuana Use.
The new rules set by the Department of Health for Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers will require a non-refundable application fee of $146,000 to be licensed to dispense medical marijuana in the state. However, that fee does not cover the actual license itself, only applying to the application.
The rules also state that going forward, MMTC licensures will be approved in what the state calls a “batching cycle,” with all licenses to be issued at the same time, once approved. Licenses can be renewed every two years.
In total, Florida has 501 dispensary locations currently in operation. Most of the locations are operated by Trulieve, MüV, Ayr Cannabis Dispensary, Curaleaf, and Surterra Wellness. The rest of the companies on the list have fewer than 30 dispensing locations, statewide.
Going forward, an FDOH representative said Florida will also give licensing preference to applicants who own at least one facility for canning, concentrating, or processing citrus fruit or citrus molasses, and “will use or convert the facility or facilities” to process medical marijuana.
An updated renewal fee for applications due between Jan. 1, 2023 and Dec. 31, 2024 was also posted, showing the new fee is $1.33 million, according to state documents.
The previous renewal cost was $60,063 every two years, based on rules established in December 2019 by FDOH. While questions remain about how many will be allowed new licenses will be opened in 2023, an exact number has not yet been determined by the department.