If the Florida medical marijuana market were a race, all bets would be on Trulieve Cannabis.
The Tallahassee-based multistate operator accounts for a quarter of the 475 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
And while Florida’s MMJ program has been steadily growing since it opened in 2016 – it now stands at nearly 800,000 patients – the program has not been without state-implemented hurdles.
Recently, an emergency ruling by Florida marijuana regulators capped THC dosage amounts in MMJ products and limited the supply patients can receive over a 70-day period.
And the governor has suggested that marijuana businesses should pay more to operate in the state.
Despite the bumps, companies are still looking to gain a foothold in the third-most-populous state in the United States and a market with immense potential.
Cookies, a San Francisco-based multistate operator and national cannabis brand, entered the market with its first dispensary opening there on Aug. 13 in Miami.
Also that month, Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Green Sentry Holdings entered the market by closing its $67 million purchase of MedMen Enterprises’ assets in the state, including 14 dispensaries.
Both Cookies and Green Sentry Holdings certainly understand the market potential as efforts to legalize adult-use marijuana continue, with the August filing of a proposed ballot measure for 2024.
But the bigger question is …
Will anyone be able to catch Trulieve?
Though medical marijuana companies in Florida started on basically even footing, Trulieve has outgrown all of them and now owns almost a quarter of all dispensaries in the state.
We take a look at Trulieve’s growth in the Florida market with some key charts:
Graphic made with Flourish by MJBizDaily.
And if the race chart isn’t convincing enough, here is another view of how Trulieve outgrew its closest competitors since the opening of the Florida market:
Trulieve's locations translated into medical marijuana sales - and lots of them.
Available sales totals from May 10, 2019, to Sept. 16, 2022, show that the sheer number of Trulieve locations allowed the company to outsell its nearest competitor by almost four times.
Trulieve's weekly sales have also grown with the expansion of the company's footprint.
The company sold 81.7 million milligrams of THC through its 120 locations for the week ending Sept. 16, 2022, more than doubling its amount for the week of May 10, 2019.
But that didn't necessarily translate into growth per store.
As Trulieve added more locations, the average sale of medical marijuana by milligrams of THC declined.
Some of this can be attributed to cannabis market fluctuation, such as declines experienced during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It could also be attributed to the time it takes for new stores to open and get up to speed.
And some locations might never reach the revenue made at some locations.
Underperforming locations will always impact a number such as per-store average.
In the end, scale will keep bringing Trulieve more and more revenue.
All said, Trulieve likely will continue to dominate the Florida medical market.
It is easy to see why the company is throwing millions of dollars into a ballot proposal to legalize adult-use marijuana in Florida.
Trulieve will certainly be in a great position to gain even more traction if that is approved.
Andrew Long can be reached at email@example.com.