August 2018

CANNABUS¬NESS BY THE NUMBERS Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Florida Office Of Medical Marijuana Use Florida’s Large and Growing MMJ Market Dominated by a Handful of Players F lorida’s emerging medical mari- juana market is off to a red-hot start, though just a small number of companies are reaping the rewards. More than 100,000 patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program during the past year, a staggering figure that far surpasses growth seen in other MMJ markets throughout the country. Florida’s MMJ program remains in its infancy, but patient counts could eventu- ally reach 500,000 – a scenario that’s become more realistic now that a ban on smokable flower is being contested in court. The beneficiaries of Florida’s large and growing MMJ program are limited, how- ever, as the state has adopted regula- tions that effectively create an oligopoly, where the market is dominated by a small number of businesses. While many states set strict caps on the number of com- panies allowed to produce and sell MMJ, the sheer size of Florida’s market creates an unprecedented opportunity for busi- nesses that manage to secure a license. Here’s a closer look at the situation: Number of patients added to Florida’s MMJ program from June 2017 to June 2018, a 601% increase. As of June 1, more than 117,000 MMJ patients were registered in the state. 100,762 By Eli McVey Number of potential MMJ patients in Florida if the pool reaches 2% of the total population. Michigan – the second-largest MMJ market in the United States behind California – currently has 270,000 MMJ patients, approxi- mately 2.7% of the state’s total population. 419,000 Number of companies currently licensed to pro- duce MMJ in Florida. The state is expected to grant eight additional licenses, though no time frame has been established for when these licenses will be awarded. By comparison, 130 licensed businesses produce and sell all MMJ in Arizona, a state with a similar number of medical cannabis patients. 13 Percentage of Floridians living in a town or city with an MMJ dispensary. 16 % Number of MMJ dispensaries in Florida as of June 1. Two companies operate more than half the dispen- saries in the state: Trulieve and Surterra Wellness. 39 10 • Marijuana Business Magazine • August 2018