Flower in Florida

Calling all medical marijuana users of Florida-- your medicinal routine might be in for an upgrade. Since 2016, the road to legalization has been a bumpy one, but we have good news for you!

Despite lawsuits, appeals and all that extra stuff, Governor Ron DeSantis has been making moves in the right direction. He’s finally putting pressure on the government to follow through with our demands. Specifically, the idea that medicinal users have the right to use cannabis in whichever way they choose. Old lawmakers were making it unnecessarily difficult for the commercial cannabis industry to flourish-- here are some changes we may see taking place this year:


Flower in Florida

Although the majority of voters were in favor of medical usage of marijuana, its’ legalization hasn’t been without kickback from the state. Before leaving office, Former Governor Rick Scott chose to appeal the medical definition to purposely exclude smoking. Joining Attorney John Morgan and other activists in the  #NoSmokeIsAJoke fight, DeSantis announced that he will no longer allow lawmakers to stall the issue. He will be giving them until mid-March 2019 before he takes matters into his own hands and drops the appeal. Once finalized, dispensaries will be able to legally carry and sell flower, as well as, allow cardholding patients to smoke in public.

Vertical Integration

For my ganjapreneurs out there, here’s a money maker for you. Right now, Florida’s cannabis industry runs on a vertical integration system. For those that don’t know what that means, Forbes defines it as “companies that facilitate multiple points in the supply chain, such as cultivation and retail, rather than operating one specific phase, such as cultivation or retail.” In other words, one guy controls everything. There is only one license available that serves you from seed to sale. While this sounds convenient, it actually limits entrepreneurs looking to grow in the industry. and with only 5 licenses given out, you can see how this becomes a problem. This also means treatment centers must now take on all 3 roles as grower, processor and distributor without the use of outside suppliers.

As the industry stands now, Florida dispensaries are only allowed to sell products they make. In places where recreational usage is permitted, they usually run on a horizontal integration-- meaning that aspiring cannasseurs must individually get a license for production, sale, etc. Ending vertical integration leaves room for smaller companies to participate in sales. It also allows aspiring entrepreneurs and smaller businesses the space to grow in a growing industry.

With an increase of support, the government seems to be following through in Florida. As new information is revealed, we’ll be the first to let you know-- so stay tuned & as always, stay blazed.

daniel alexander