Medical marijuana market balloons as Florida weighs recreational use | News | The Villages Daily SunPosted by On

As Florida inches closer to recreational marijuana with a 2024 ballot initiative, the Sunshine State is looking to double the size of its medical marijuana industry within the next six months.

Florida’s $2 billion medical-only cannabis market is already the nation’s most lucrative — and the state Department of Health has just spiked the biennial license fee from $60,000 to $1.33 million to grow, process and sell the substance.

Florida’s medical-only market is also the nation’s largest — its patient roster is 15 times larger than it was 5 years ago when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Medical Use of Marijuana law that removed smoking restrictions.

Today, the Sunshine State is home about 872,000 patients with ID cards issued by 2,741 physicians filled at 618 dispensaries, according to the state’s top marijuana regulator.

Citing a 71% increase in active patients over just the past two years, Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use is now hoping to process 22 more medical cannabis licenses by this summer, which would nearly double the number of operators.

A medical marijuana card costs $75 each time it is issued or renewed, which is required every six to seven months.

ID holders cannot own or purchase a firearm, and are banned from obtaining or keeping a commercial driving license

Doctors determine the…

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