State regulators in Florida this week unveiled new guidelines for its medical marijuana program, a transfer that would lead to a major enhance of the variety of licensed companies there.
Local news station FOX13 in Tampa reports that the state Division of Well being on Monday “set in movement a course of to challenge as much as 22 extra medical-marijuana licenses, in a extremely anticipated transfer that would double the scale of Florida’s medical-cannabis business,” whereas additionally asserting “an emergency rule that might make it far costlier for marijuana operators to resume their licenses each two years, growing the price from roughly $60,000 to greater than $1 million.”
The state company issued a further emergency rule that can change the monetary dedication of would-be dispensary candidates. According to Florida Politics, “new entities eager to function in Florida’s profitable medical marijuana market will likely be required to submit a $146,000 non-refundable charge to the state and submit an software that will likely be competitively reviewed by the state below a brand new emergency rule issued Monday.”
The outlet reports that the “preliminary software charge is greater than double what licensees initially paid, however displays the quantity the state charged so-called Pigford candidates,” and that though “Gov. Ron DeSantis has been loath to extend working prices for Florida companies, he has complained prior to now that he didn’t assume the state charged sufficient for profitable medical marijuana licenses.”
Florida Politics offers more background on what the change means for potential candidates:
“It’s not solely software prices that can enhance. The state seems to even be growing the prices for companies to remain licensed. Medical marijuana therapy facilities at the moment are required to pay $60,063. In figuring out the charge, the state will calculate how a lot cash it spent regulating the business over the earlier two fiscal years and subtract from that the quantity it collected in software charges. The sum will likely be divided by the variety of medical marijuana therapy facilities licensed.
“It’s not clear how a lot the state has spent regulating the business over the past a number of years, however the Division of Well being included a $6.2 million enhance for the Workplace of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) in its most up-to-date finances request to state legislators. About half of that will likely be spent on hiring a further 31 employees at its Tallahassee headquarters. It additionally desires to employees new regional places of work. The opposite half will likely be spent on outdoors contractors that administer the seed-to-sale monitoring techniques; produce medical marijuana identification playing cards; conduct background screenings; overview licenses; and supply outdoors authorized work.”
Greater than 70% of Sunshine State voters accredited an modification in 2016 that legalized medical hashish therapy for sufferers with qualifying situations. Within the six years since, state officers and lawmakers have continued to tweak and amend the brand new regulation.
Earlier this yr, the Florida Division of Well being “launched a extremely anticipated rule setting THC dosage quantities and provide limits on merchandise docs can order for medical marijuana sufferers,” public radio station WUSF reported in August.
“The emergency rule units a 70-day whole provide restrict of 24,500 mg of THC for nonsmokable marijuana and establishes dosage caps for various routes of administration comparable to edibles, inhalation and tinctures,” WUSF reported on the time. “The rule, which was despatched to sufferers and docs on Friday and went into impact Monday, additionally carries out a state regulation that imposed a 2.5-ounce restrict on smokable marijuana purchases over a 35-day interval. Whereas the rule lays out limits for THC in nonsmokable merchandise, the restrict for entire flower and different merchandise that may be smoked are primarily based on weight. They aren’t primarily based on ranges of THC, the euphoria-inducing part in marijuana. And the emergency rule creates a course of for docs to hunt an override for sufferers they imagine have to exceed the boundaries. The rule doesn’t establish a means for sufferers or docs to enchantment if the requests are denied.”
DeSantis, who received re-election final month, has faced pushback and pressure from advocates who need the state to take away the dosage limits.