After years of pushback and intense litigation, Florida’s Billion-dollar Medical Marijuana Industry will double in size as the Florida Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use (“OMMU”) just released an Emergency Rule setting forth the new 2023 Application Window. From April 24, 2023, to April 28, 2023, Applicants vying for a coveted Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (“MMTC”) license will be able to submit their competitive applications to the OMMU.
Although the OMMU declared that the upcoming application periods will arrive in “batches,” leading many to believe that only a limited number of licenses would be awarded in the first application round, Emergency Rule 64ER23-1 sets forth that twenty-two (22) MMTC licenses will be available in the April 2023 application round!
For those that have waited over five (5) years to enter into Florida’s booming Medical Marijuana Industry, this is a time they are certainly excited for; however, this application process will not be quick nor easy. To demonstrate, the last application period for an MMTC license had only twelve (12) applicants, who applied pursuant to the Pigford/BFL designated class, and went as follows:
- Application Guide dropped (10/13/2021) – 49 Days Later
- Rule Stating the Application Submission Period dropped (12/01/2021) – 110/114 Days Later
- Application Deadline (03/21/2022 – 03/25/2022) – 28/32 Days Later
- Deficiency Letters from OMMU (04/22/2022) – 21 Days Later
- Corrections to Deficiency Letter must be provided (05/13/2022) – 130 Days Later
- Approval/Denial of Licensure (09/20/2022)
Further, even after the OMMU released their Notice of Intent to award the designated Pigford/BFL MMTC license to applicant Gwinn Brothers Medicinals, the license is still tied up in litigation five (5) months later after the other eleven (11) applicants sued the OMMU. With the OMMU allowing up to twenty-two (22) MMTC licenses in the April 2023 application round, experts anticipate this process to take even longer.
Presently, there are twenty-two (22) licensed MMTCs in Florida; however, under § 381.986, Fla. Stat., four (4) new licenses should have been provided each time the state increased in 100,000 registered patients, which demonstrates the toll litigation and delays have caused on Florida’s Medical Marijuana Industry. With nearly 800,000 registered patients since Florida lawmakers approved regulations in 2017, the OMMU is tripling its own office in size to increase its infrastructure and staffing as shown in their request for more than $14 million in this year’s budget as the OMMU estimated seeing over 1 Million registered patients by June 24, 2023.
With the steady increase in all aspects of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Industry and the deadline to apply in the 1st batch set forth by the OMMU, now is the time to ensure your spot in Florida’s Billion-dollar market by working with a Team of experts. Contact us at email@example.com to discuss your options!