Florida Issues Medical Cannabis Rules, Opening Doors for New Businesses

Florida regulators this week announced new rules for medical marijuana programs.

Tampa local news station FOX13 reports. The State Department of Health announced Monday that it has “began the process of issuing up to 22 medical marijuana licenses, in a highly anticipated move that could double the size of Florida’s medical cannabis industry.” , also announced an “emergency rule”. This makes it much more expensive for a marijuana operator to renew his license every two years, increasing costs from about $60,000 to over $1 million. ”

State agencies have issued additional emergency regulations that change the financial commitments of prospective pharmacy applicants. according to florida politics, “New entities wishing to operate in Florida’s lucrative medical marijuana market will file a $146,000 non-refundable fee with the state to compete competitively with the state under new emergency rules issued Monday. You must submit an application to be reviewed.”

outlet report “The initial application fee is more than double what the licensee paid initially, but reflects what the state charges so-called Pigford applicants,” said Gov. has complained in the past that he doesn’t think the state is charging enough for lucrative medical marijuana licenses.”

florida politics Provides more background On what the change means for prospective applicants:

“It’s not just application costs that are increasing. The state also appears to be increasing the cost for businesses to maintain their licenses. Medical marijuana treatment centers now have to pay $60,063 in fees. To make that determination, the state calculates the amount of money it has spent regulating the industry over the past two fiscal years, subtracts the amount it has collected in application fees, and divides the total by the number of licensed medical marijuana treatment centers. increase.

“Although it’s not clear how much the state has spent on regulating the industry over the past few years, the Department of Health has announced a $6.2 million increase to the Medical Marijuana Use Authority (OMMU) in its latest budget request to state legislators. About half of that will be spent on hiring an additional 31 staff at our Tallahassee headquarters, and we also hope to staff our new regional offices, and the other half will be on sales from Seed. Expenditure to an outside contractor who manages the tracking system to, produces medical marijuana ID cards, conducts background screenings, verifies licenses, provides outside legal services. “

More than 70% of voters in Sunshine State approved an amendment in 2016 to legalize medical cannabis treatment for patients with eligible conditions. In the six years since, state officials and legislators have continued to tweak and amend the new law.

Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Health “announced a long-awaited rule setting THC dosage and supply limits for products that physicians may order for medical marijuana patients.” Public radio station WUSF reported in August.

“The emergency rule sets a 70-day total supply limit of 24,500 mg of THC for nonsmoked marijuana and sets dosage caps for various routes of administration, including edible, inhaled and tincture,” WUSF said. “The rule, which was sent to patients and doctors on Friday and took effect Monday, also implements state law imposing a 2.5-ounce limit on the purchase of smokeable marijuana for a 35-day period. The rule states: THC limits have been set for non-smokable products, but limits for whole flowers and other products that can be smoked are based on weight, and they are based on levels of THC, the euphoric-inducing component of marijuana. The emergency rule also creates a process for seeking overrides for patients who believe a physician should exceed the limit.The rule specifies how a patient or physician may appeal if a request is denied. I have not.”

DeSantis, who was re-elected last month, has faced backlash and pressure from supporters who have called on states to lift dosing restrictions.

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