Florida voters have approved cannabis for medical use on November 8, 2016 and Florida became the first state in the South with a full-scale medical cannabis program. The new amendment states that patients with illnesses of the “same kind or class as or comparable to” serious illnesses, such as cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy would be eligible to access medical marijuana.
Under a 2014 law that legalized a limited form of medical cannabis, patient don’t have access to medical cannabis until they’ve been seeing their doctor for at least three months.
With new amendment it will be available to open Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC). These entities can cultivate, process and distribute medical cannabis and related products.
The medical cannabis sales would be $10.7 million in 2017, $277.7 million in 2018 and $1.1 billion in 2019.
Florida Department of Health has already approved (January 2017) a seventh medical cannabis license and could be on the verge of adding at least one more.
Once the patient registry reaches 250,000, an additional three licenses will be made available, one of which will be designated for black farmers.
Dispensaries are open in Tallahassee, Clearwater and Tampa but according to the Florida League of Cities, 55 cities statewide have zoning moratoriums in place either banning or restricting dispensaries. Eight additional cities are considering moratoriums. Most moratoriums are temporary as cities and counties await new regulations from Amendment 2’s passage.
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