Cannabis License Attorney in Florida

What is a cannabis license attorney?

In 2014, the Legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, creating Florida Statute § 381.986. The law granted the Department of Health the power to adopt rules necessary to implement the law. See Fla. Stat. § 381.986(5)(d) (2014). Further, the Department of Health was required to grant five nurseries licenses to dispense medical marijuana, one for each region in the state. See Fla. Stat. § 381.986(5)(b). The Office of Compassionate Use, now referred to as the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (“OMMU”), came into existence as the entity within the Department of Health that oversees the licensing and other portions of the Medical Marijuana Program. The Department of Health then promulgated rules under which a nursery could apply for a Dispensing Organization license, now referred to as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (“MMTC”) license. Together, these laws and rules laid out the medical marijuana licensing scheme.

In the 2015 application cycle, the Department of Health received a total of 28 applications and scored 26 for licenses. Then, in 2016, a proposed constitutional amendment passed by 71.3% of Florida residents broadened the scope and use of medical marijuana in Florida and granted the Department of Health rulemaking authority under the Florida Constitution. The Florida Legislature amended Section 381.986 to broaden the laws to make additional licenses available as well as to allow for the production and sale of high THC medical marijuana.

Currently, there are 22 Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Licenses in Florida. Each licensee is required to be vertically integrated, which means cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana.

PS Law Group can help you interpret and apply the laws as well as write an application for your business to apply to the state to acquire a license to cultivate, process, dispense, test, and/or transport marjuana. As the licenses granted per state are limited, the licensing process is very competitive, which is why it helps to have an expert on your side from the onset. Our team will collaborate with you to design a successful business structure to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations, including tax regulations. If needed, we will help your company resolve any agency actions brought forth by any federal, state, or local government agency.

Cannabis Legalization

Paula Savchenko, Esq., has been on the front lines of cannabis legalization since graduating from law school in 2017. When she is not assisting her clients in securing cannabis business licenses across the United States, she speaks and writes regularly on all legal aspects of the cannabis industry. Most recently, Paula spoke at a seminar regarding the New Jersey Cannabis Licensing process with some of South Florida’s proficient leaders in the cannabis industry. The PS Law Group works with lobbyists and advocates to work towards nationwide cannabis legalization.

How to get a Marijuana License in Florida

Upcoming Medical Marijuana Applications in Florida:

Number of Licenses Available: 19

You can view the 2015 application here: 2015 MMTC Application.

PS Law Group can work with you to put your application and business plan together.

The MMTC Application has 16 parts to it that we can assist you with. The baseline threshold for applicants is: (1) Submit an application; (2) Submit a nonrefundable fee of $60,830.00;

(3) Possess a nursery registration from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the past five (5) years; (4) All owners, officers, board members, and managers must pass a Level-2 background screening. There are several additional requirements that we can discuss with you.

Currently, Florida will begin accepting applications for one (1) MMTC license between March 21st, 2022 at 9:00 AM to March 25th, 2022 at 5 PM solely for applicants identifying as a class member under Pigford/BFL.

Upcoming: If you are interested in applying in the Florida market, now is the time to get started with your business plan as the OMMU is establishing a new application process to award up to nineteen (19) new MMTC licenses in Florida—predicted to happen by 2022 or 2023. We will update the site once the application process does open up. In addition, if you are interested in acquiring a Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Center License, then contact us to discuss your options.

Marijuana Business Plan

Creating a Marijuana Business Plan can be challenging as there are several obstacles for business owners to overcome such as compliance with federal and state regulations, banking services, and specific taxing provisions. Here at PS Law Group, our team will help you identify new markets to target, collaborate and structure your business plan, and bring in additional resources as needed including, funding and an operational team. From pinpointing your direct and indirect competitors to demonstrating stable and consistent finances, PS Law Group will help your MMTC application stand out from the rest.

Cannabis Operating Procedures

Why is a Standard Operating Procedure essential to your MMTC?

A MMTC’s Standard Operating Procedure (“SOP”) is a crucial instrument to demonstrate to state and federal agencies the quality of the policies, procedures, and standards that your MMTC will operate under. As there are several state and federal regulation requirements, a MMTC’s SOP must display its compliance with certain standards in production, transportation, and distribution by including, but not limited to, the MMTC’s:

  • Hiring Process
  • Security Procedures
  • Point of Sale Procedures
  • Recordkeeping Procedures
  • Transportation Procedures

As the SOP is the foundation of establishing your MMTC, PS Law Group can provide your business proven standard operating procedures included in the application process, as well as after attaining the license.

Who can grow marijuana in Florida?

Although medical marijuana became legal in Florida in 2014, personal cultivation of marijuana is still punishable as a felony. See Fla. Stat. § 893.13 (2021). Personal cultivation of marijuana is deemed a 3rd-degree felony under Florida law that carries a maximum jail sentence of five (5) years and a maximum fine of $5,000.00. See Fla. Stat. §§ 893.13, 775.082, 775.083. Such punishment can be increased depending on the number of cannabis plants in your possession or if there is a minor present where the marijuana is being cultivated. See Fla. Stat. § 775.084.

However, the cultivation of marijuana can be done through setting up a MMTC that follows the proper federal and state regulations in Florida. At PS Law Group, our team will walk you through each step of acquiring a MMTC license by consulting you on your business structure and ensuring your business is compliant with regulatory requirements.

Who can a Marijuana License Lawyer help?

In May 2021, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the requirements set forth by the Legislature that MMTCs shall “cultivate, process, transport, and dispense marijuana for medical use” was in compliance with the Florida Constitution. See Fla. Dep’t of Health v. Florigrown, LLC, 317 So. 3d 1101 (Fla. 2021). Unfortunately, requiring each MMTC applicant to perform several specified functions in order to be licensed places a heavy financial burden on smaller businesses and individual operators. No matter the size of your business, PS Law Group is here for you to help you create a successful and formidable business structure that will make you a favorable applicant when applying to be a MMTC.

So, what is Florida’s “vertical integration” model?

The “vertical integration” model requires medical marijuana companies to be fully responsible for all aspects of the business from cultivation to transporting and selling. See Fla. Dep’t of Health v. Florigrown, LLC, 317 So. 3d 1101 (Fla. 2021).

How much is a Cannabis License in Florida?

To apply for a cannabis business license in Florida, the application fee is $60,830.00. In addition to the application fee, the state of Florida requires the applicant to have five (5) million dollars in reserve to show financial stability prior to opening your business’ doors.

Contact a Florida Cannabis Licensing Lawyer today

Getting licensed is never simple—there are very specific requirements and guidelines that differ by state and it’s usually highly competitive, which is why most successful applicants work with firms like us to help guide them. Contact us at ____ to get a jump start on your application today!

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