Florida Marijuana Dispensary
Obtaining a license to operate a Florida marijuana dispensary is complicated and takes expert guidance, insight, and expertise.
Florida Marijuana Dispensary
This November, Florida voters approved medical marijuana, which is critical if you want to open a Florida Marijuana Dispensary. The measure requires the Department of Health to regulate medical marijuana treatment centers, which would cultivate and dispense cannabis to qualifying patients who have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition and have a physician’s certification and a valid identification card.
The passage of Amendment 2 by an overwhelming margin in November changed Florida’s constitution to allow more people to use higher-strength medical marijuana as of Tuesday. But don’t expect to be able to ask your doctor for a weed prescription this week — or even this month.
The Florida Legislature and Department of Health still have to work out rules and regulations that will govern the state’s nascent medical marijuana industry.
Yet already, about 200 doctors in Florida are qualified to prescribe marijuana, and their patients — eager for a new antidote to their pains, nausea and other ailments — are asking questions.
That industry is already operating under law passed in 2014 that permitted the growth and use of low-strength cannabis for people with a very limited number of specific conditions — including cancer or a physical medical condition that causes chronic spasms and seizures.
Medical cannabis products, which have a larger dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gives a user a “high,” are currently available only to patients who have been certified terminally ill by two doctors.
Now that Amendment 2 is in effect, the list of approved conditions for medical marijuana has expanded to:
▪ Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
▪ Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
▪ Crohn’s disease
▪ Parkinson’s disease
▪ Multiple sclerosis
But as the law stands, the expanded group of patients have access to the same format of medicine as before — oils, tinctures and capsules. No existing Florida law allows smokeable marijuana for patients; Amendment 2 doesn’t specifically address smokeable marijuana, so it’s unclear if it will be allowed.
The rest of the regulations that will put the amendment into practice have yet to be written, but the Legislature and the Department of Health have hard deadlines for writing them.
The legislature must figure out how to issue and renew medical marijuana cards, the “adequate” amount of marijuana to prescribe and all the fine print on how treatment centers can and should operate — all before June. Then they have three months to start issuing licenses and ID cards. If not, the amendment gives citizens the right to sue.
A new wrinkle the legislature will have to work out is the qualifications and standards for caregivers, people over 21 years old who will dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients.
Apart from the regulatory issues, the Legislature and local governments will have to grapple with zoning issues surrounding the expected increase in dispensaries opening. Some cities, like Hialeah and Miami Beach, have temporarily banned the opening of dispensaries while they develop their own zoning rules for where dispensaries can operate.
Wherever it’s available, medical marijuana is projected to be big business in Florida. A recent study by marijuana industry analysts pegged the 2020 medical marijuana market at $1 billion. And with big banks leery of regulations on accepting money from drugs deemed illegal by the federal government, much of that business is done in cash.
Questions? Need Additional Information?
Contact the experts at Denver Consulting Group.