Florida continues to expand its medical marijuana field, gets ready to add 22 new licenses

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The state has steadily grown its medical marijuana market and is helping shape the industry

After five years of being tight-lipped, Florida’s medical cannabis industry is ready to open up for new businesses to enter the equation. The state has now set an application date for 22 more entrants to enter the market and continue to meet growing patient demand.

Beginning April 24, state health officials will begin accepting applications for up to 22 new licenses. The news was shared by Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration late last week. As a result of this move, the number of vertically integrated operators active in the state will double.

State law provides that each individual operator has the opportunity to run multiple sales and cultivation operations. Until last year, these locations exceeded 400, and that number is likely to grow much larger now that new operators will opt for a piece of the pie.

According to the MJBiz Factbook, Florida reported annual medical cannabis sales of $1.5 billion, making it one of the largest in the US. This growth has still been stagnant since 2017 as more new entrants have been unable to apply to enter the Sunshine State’s industry. While it is true that there are about 780,000 registered patients in the state, DeSantis had left the state’s medical marijuana permits “in limbo” since taking office.

The governor may have realized that keeping pace with the number of registered patients in the state means having to give new players a chance. These new licenses come at a time when the state’s leading multi-state operator Trulieve Cannabis is betting heavily on a future adult-use market.