FL gov signals intent to open medical cannabis market to more firms, products

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Florida’s new governor announced steps that would open up the state’s lucrative medical marijuana industry to additional businesses and new products.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, asked the Legislature to:

  • End a ban on smokable medical marijuana products, a move that could boost dispensary sales.
  • Loosen Florida’s restrictive licensing rules to allow more MMJ companies to enter the market.

Currently, Florida’s MMJ market is virtually controlled by a handful of vertically integrated companies.

If the Legislature doesn’t act, DeSantis said he would drop the state’s appeals of court decisions that held as unconstitutional Florida’s licensing structure and its ban on smokable marijuana.

In his remarks, DeSantis criticized the Florida Legislature for not implementing the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved a broad medical marijuana program in 2016.

“I don’t think this law is up to snuff,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

MMJ sales via dispensaries in Florida were expected to total $200 million-$300 million in 2018, according to projections in the Marijuana Business Factbook, up considerably from an estimated $20 million-$40 million in 2017.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily