Florida set to award new medical cannabis licenses, but prices are going up

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The state is going to charge more to licensees in an effort to maximize its revenue

Florida’s medical marijuana market already seemed to have a huge outreach, but regulators believe it is not enough. Earlier this week, the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced a plan to issue up to 22 additional licenses for this market statewide. The emergency rule will allow regulators to accept new license applications in a batch process. More operators will be able to become part of this growing market in the Sunshine State.

The new rule would limit the availability of all new licenses at once. Notably, the non-refundable application fee for new licenses would increase to $146,000. While this seems like a hefty sum, the medical cannabis market in Florida has grown tremendously over the past few years and is considered a gold mine for many operators looking to increase their profits.

The DOH will be accepting applications for the batch cycle in a window that will be open for five days. In accordance with the emergency rule, the DOH will be responsible for publishing a separate rulemaking clearing the number of licenses to be issued per batch cycle.

This move has undoubtedly been eagerly anticipated by many cannabis companies looking for an opportunity to enter the state’s market. The retail footprint remains limited to more than 20 big-name operators, including hoarders Curaleaf and Ayr Wellness.

The only issue that has generated some controversy is the increase in renewal fees or applications for new licenses. The change comes on the heels of Governor Ron DeSantis making it clear that companies were not paying enough to have the privilege of operating in Florida. While the new rules “drew praise” in the Sunshine State, some industry leaders suspect that license fee increases could “draw pushback,” at least among established operators.

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