Florida high court wants to hear more in medical marijuana licensing case

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A court case that could open up stand-alone licensing opportunities in Florida’s vertically integrated medical marijuana market isn’t going to be decided anytime soon.

In a rare move, the Florida Supreme Court – which held oral arguments on the issue in early May – scheduled a second set of oral arguments for Oct. 7.

Industry officials had expected a ruling this summer.

The case, filed by Tampa-based Florigrown, has been dragging on since the summer of 2018, when Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson declared that licensing limits imposed by a 2017 law violated the MMJ constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters in 2016.

At one point, Dodson told Florida regulators to quit stalling and issue additional licenses, but the state instead decided to fight his ruling.

Under the current vertically integrated structure and licensing caps, a handful of operators control a Florida medical cannabis market that Marijuana Business Factbook projects will reach $775 million to $950 million in sales this year.

Florida-based Trulieve by itself has a market share exceeding 50% and operates 51 of Florida’s 258 dispensaries, according to the state’s latest weekly update.