FL Draft Rules Include Lottery, $150K Licensing Fee

Florida could hold a lottery to decide which companies receive the five licenses to cultivate cannabis and sell cannabidiol extract, with the winners forced to pay a $150,000 fee for the permit.

These are two of the proposals included in 16-pages of draft rules the state developed for its new CBD-specific program, which governor Rick Scott signed into law in June. The law allows five operators to grow cannabis, synthesize it into CBD extract and then dispense it within five geographic regions of the state.

The draft rules, if approved, would create a narrow window for business opportunities for the cannabis industry. Under the proposal, only existing nurseries that have operated in Florida for at least 30 years and are capable of growing at least 400,000 plants could apply for licenses.

According to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, only 41 nurseries meet the criteria. If more than one nursery in one of the five geographic regions applies for a license, the state would hold a lottery for the regional license, according to the draft rules.

The five chosen businesses would have 30 days to pay a $150,000 licensing fee and post a $5 million performance bond. If a business fails, the state would start the selection process over for that region.

The remainder of the rules are similar to those found in other medical marijuana states. Background checks would be performed on operators and their staff; dispensaries and cultivation centers would need a comprehensive security infrastructure; and operators would have to implement an inventory-tracking system.

If a license winner is unable to begin cultivating cannabis within 60 days or dispensing CBD within 120 days of receiving its license, the state could revoke the license.

Florida would also rigorously test the cannabis. Any sample that has more than 8% THC content or less than 10% CBD content would be destroyed.

11 comments on “FL Draft Rules Include Lottery, $150K Licensing Fee
  1. Steve on

    This is one of the stupidest laws on the books yet. $150k for a license for an existing nursery and 120 days to begin dispensing CBD medication.

    If their lucky, it’s going to take the nurseries 120 days to get their first test crop harvested and that’s if they get it in the ground within a couple of weeks of obtaining the permit. Because weed (or should I say hemp in this case) prefers a mild climate, the best time to grow will be during the winter in Florida.

    Plus, who’s gonna pony up the $150k if they’re already running a profitable nursery. It’s just a way to keep smaller growers out of the mix and rewarding cronies.

    Reply
  2. Aaron on

    Leave it to florida legislature to do something so ludacris it will prevent children from getting the life saving medication they need! Obviously this is a ploy from the current administration to say “we tried it and it failed.” The only fail I see here is the governing bodies of this state.

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  3. Bill on

    It is difficult to fathom five million performance bond, full time medical director, pay for testing, 150K application fees, and other over reaching requirements just for a plant.

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  4. AppleNoose on

    While we can applaud the direction the state legislatures are finally moving to end this tyrannical prohibition, the rules they are installing will and should be challenged at every single local and state level. The rulemaking outlined by Florida is so ass backwards, and completely discriminatory, it will never be a success for patients or businesses. Period.

    The very fact that these rules and laws are being written by attorneys and bankers, instead of doctors and agriculture experts proves just how totally stupid and asinine the rules are.

    Good luck Florida applicants – I would not waste your time or money on this idiocy.

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  5. jesse on

    Have to agree with Aaron, thought it was weird that Gov. Scott was onboard with medical marijuana in Florida. The administration will just say “we tried and it failed”

    Reply
  6. Gordon Edgecomb on

    I see Governor Scott and his cronies in the legislature have made sure only the rich are going to be able to profit from the new CBD law. Only large companies in business 30 years,150,000k for a licence and only 4 individuals allowed.(I wander how many of those good old boys are republicans) I contemplate how any one unless they are growing hydroponically will be able to bring a crop to harvest in 120 days. From my research the flower period is 12+ wks. Good luck our only hope is Amendment 2. I wonder how the Governor and his boys will find a way to protect their cronies then.

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  7. Brook on

    You have to laugh at the obvious cronyism…. Really? 5 growers that have been in business 30+ years and an outrageous filing fee if $150k…if I lived in FL I file a lawsuit…right out of the box these self serving politicians “stack the deck”…if I had a family member in need I would seek the meds elsewhere ad it is already obvious the FL product will be cost prohibitive….what a joke!

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  8. Doc Deadhead on

    OK, it only takes 50 days to flower hemp and give it another 30 days veg you are at 85 days from seed so the timeline is do-able for the first small crop, concurrent crops can be vegged and flowered longer for better yields.

    The craziest thing is the 5 million performance bond at the cost of $35,000-$47,000. This means if you can not produce within 120 days THE STATE GETS 5 MILLION from your insurance company………..find an insurance company that will write this paper….not a chance.

    I have a friend in Fl that owns one of those nurseries and he said ” no fu**ing way are we chopping down all the efforts of the last 30 years just to be regulated to death in an industry that has no track record of profits”!

    In other words there is no current business doing this to go by for cost analysis and there have never been any feasibility studies done so how are the 5 supposed to know what their profit margins are going to be?

    My friend knows exactly what the profit margins are in his current industry and they have no intention of destroying 5 acres of current(under glass and secured) production just to try something at the cost of several million.

    ESPECIALLY when you can grow this product yourself for pennies(full med marijuana law in Nov.).

    There will be a few that might try this but the profit margins just are not there.

    Looks like with the new law it will be 300K for the permit, 50K for the bond, chop down all current nursery growth for the room to put 400,000 plants to the cost of possibly millions in future value, OBTAIN 400,000 cuttings or tissue cultures or seeds, easily 100K-300K, employ a massive staff for several months prior to distribution for a total cost of an easy million prior to market. BTW, lets not forget 24 hr security!

    Oh yea, the bring it to market thing. How are the 5 going to distribute millions of dollars worth of the oil around Florida…..do they have a guaranteed outlet for as much as they can produce or will there be a major bottleneck when the 5 need to unload a shi*load of the product all within 120 days?

    This whole thing is not workable from a business standpoint and will therefore fail giving yet another victory for the pot haters.

    Vote out he haters!

    Reply
  9. Jason Marion on

    $150K plus $5M performance bond? This sounds like Florida politicians are pushing out any possible small growers to pay back their cronies. How is anyone supposed to compete in a rigged market?

    Reply
  10. Clifton Middleton on

    These rules are an extension of the arbitrary and capricious laws against hemp in general. We want Free Market Hemp, medical, industrial and recreational. Maybe the Indians will do it.

    Reply

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