Potential for Florida’s growing medical cannabis industry has no boundaries


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Florida’s cannabis market thrived in 2018 and the success of legal weed looks set to continue in “The Sunshine State” throughout 2019.

Based on the results of a Dec. 21 state report, eight cannabis companies were operating 83 in-state dispensaries. That’s triple the amount of dispensaries that were approved a year prior, which was 25.

Five businesses manage 73 of the total 83 dispensaries. An additional four dispensaries only offer medical cannabis delivery services. Meanwhile, retail operations have not yet been developed by Florida’s remaining two approved licensees.

Listed below are the names of Florida’s leading medical cannabis facilities and the number of dispensaries they manage:

  • Trulieve: 22 dispensaries (Up from 13 last year.)
  • Curaleaf: 19 dispensaries (Up from two last year.)
  • Surterra Wellness: 17 dispensaries (Up from four last year.)
  • Knox Medical: Seven dispensaries (Up from six last year.)
  • Liberty Health Sciences: Eight dispensaries. (Last year the company operated zero dispensaries.)

The Marijuana Business Factbook 2018 predicted that Florida’s medical cannabis sales would hit $200 million to $300 million last year, a major increase from the $20 million to $40 million that the state was expected to harvest in 2017.

According to data from Statista, Florida’s medical cannabis market will rake in $2.5 billion by the year 2025. Last year, 63,045 patients had active medical cannabis identification cards in the state, a figure that has since soared to 165,072.

Thanks to oversight from the Republican governor-elect, Ron DeSantis, the market is highly likely to broaden opportunities for new companies this year. How? Because DeSantis’ administration suggests that a previous appeal, which ruled Florida’s medical cannabis caps as unconstitutional, could soon be overthrown.

During an interview with Marijuana Business Daily, the executive director of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida, Jeffrey Sharkey, revealed that the association wants to see the number of businesses rise to 30. Those businesses would have no caps on the maximum number of dispensaries they could open.

Despite the fact that medical cannabis is available in Florida, it is still illegal under federal law. A qualified ordering physician must adhere to the Florida constitution and statute in order to provide patients with a diagnosis and ascertain whether or not they are suitable candidates for weed-based medicines.