Florida Marijuana Business Licenses

Medical Marijuana in Florida

In 2014, the Legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, creating Florida Statute § 381.986. The law granted the Department of Health the power to adopt rules necessary to implement the law. See Fla. Stat. § 381.986(5)(d) (2014). Further, the Department of Health was required to grant five nurseries licenses to dispense medical marijuana, one for each region in the state. See Fla. Stat. § 381.986(5)(b) (2014). The Office of Compassionate Use, now referred to as the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (“OMMU”), came into existence as the entity within the Department of Health that oversees the licensing and other portions of the medical marijuana program in the Sunshine State. The Department of Health then promulgated rules under which a nursery could apply for a Dispensing Organization license, now referred to as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (“MMTC”) license. Together, these laws and rules laid out the medical marijuana licensing scheme.

In the 2015 application cycle, the Department of Health received a total of twenty-eight (28) applications, and scored twenty-six (26) of them to determine who was to be licensed. Then, in 2016, a proposed constitutional amendment — passed by 71.3% of Florida residents—broadened the scope and use of medical marijuana in Florida and granted the Department of Health rule-making authority under the Florida Constitution. The Florida Legislature amended § 381.986 to broaden the laws to make additional licenses available as well as allow for the production and sale of high-THC medical marijuana.

After years of tumultuous lawsuits due to the initial licensing round, the OMMU announced they would open an application round specifically for class members of the infamous Pigford v. Glickman, 185 F.R.D. 82 (D.D.C. 1999), and In Re Black Farmers Litig., 856 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2011) in 2021. The OMMU received a total of twelve (12) applications vying for the one (1) MMTC license permitted to be awarded under § 381.986(8)(a)2.b., Fla. Stat. On September 20th, 2022, the OMMU announced its Pigford/BFL MMTC Licensee, Terry Donell Gwinn, who will now join Florida’s booming medical cannabis industry as Gwinn Brothers Medicinal.

In December 2022, the OMMU announced its second general round of applications for MMTC licenses since 2015. Pursuant to Emergency Rules 64ER22-9 and 64ER23-1, there would be twenty-two (22) available licenses in the April 2023 batching cycle. The application closed on April 28th, 2023 at 5 PM (ET), for which the OMMU received seventy-four (74) applications vying for an MMTC license.

Upcoming Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses

Currently, the OMMU is not accepting applications for an MMTC license as the most recent application window closed on April 28th, 2023 at 5 PM (ET). However, the OMMU intends to have a second batching cycle for additional MMTC licenses.

You can view the 2022 Application Instructions here: MMTC Application

Based on the 2022  Application Guide, it has 6 in-depth parts to it that we can help you with. The baseline threshold for applicants is: (1) Submit an application; (2) Submit a nonrefundable fee of $146,000; (3) Valid registration with Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (DACS); (4) All owners, officers, board members, and managers must pass a Level 2 Background Screening; and (5) Florida Business Registration for the past five (5) years. There are several additional requirements that we can discuss with you. You can schedule a 30 minute phone call to further discuss your options!

Now is the time to get started with your business plan as the OMMU is plans to announce a second batching cycle for additional MMTC licenses – anticipated to be announced by the Late 2023/Early 2024. We will update the site once the Application Window is set. If you are interested in acquiring a Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (“MMTC”) License, then contact us to discuss your options.

Last Updated: July 20th, 2023

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