how to open a dispensary in florida

7 min read

How to Open a Dispensary in Florida

November 8, 2022

Do you wish to know how to open a dispensary in Florida? The Sunshine State of Florida Legalized only medical marijuana in 2014. In order to purchase marijuana and marijuana products customers need to obtain a Medical Marijuana Card. Currently, Florida has 139 licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs). 

To open a dispensary in Florida and comply with local and state marijuana laws, you must be informed of every step of how to open a dispensary in Florida. You can get all the information you need from this guide.

Florida is on its way to legalizing recreational marijuana in a future election cycle. 

At the time of writing, Florida only permits medical license holders to open marijuana dispensaries. There is no firm date set for when the recreational use of CBD will be legalized; applications for both the recreational and medicinal CBD programs have now been closed.

More and more politicians and residents today have expressed support for initiatives like the campaign held by the Florida company Truliev Cannabis on August 8th, 2022, which filed a constitutional amendment with the state’s Division of Elections to let anyone 21 and older buy and possess marijuana. 

The Application Process

The application procedure hasn’t been made simple in Florida since more than 100 dispensaries are already in the state. As part of their MMTC application, you must additionally provide a comprehensive set of documentation. You must include the following in your application:

  • Business Plan;
  • Cultivation Plan;
  • Marijuana Processing and Manufacturing Plan;
  • Employee Manual;
  • Environmental Plan;
  • Financial Plan;
  • Fire Safety Plan;
  • Inventory Control Plan;
  • Record keeping Plan;
  • Patient Education Plan;
  • Product Safety Plan;
  • Security Plan;
  • Staffing Plan;
  • Suitability of Proposed Plan;
  • Transportation Plan.

How To Get a Dispensary License in Florida

You must get a license in Florida before you open a dispensary. You’ll be required to have a marijuana business license and take care of the standard legal procedures for starting a business, such as adequately registering it with the state and county where you wish to operate. 

The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) website details how to apply to start a dispensary. Candidates are still waiting for approval even though applications are not presently being accepted.

In Florida, there are stringent requirements to open a dispensary. You must adhere to the numerous conditions outlined above and demonstrate your suitability to operate and manage a dispensary using a scorecard issued by the OMMU.

You’ll have to provide information about your procedure, yourself, and the medical director. The application must be completed and forwarded to the Agency Clerk of the Department of Health with a number of materials and supporting documentation. However, consider that applicants’ requirements may change when dispensary applications reopen.   

Additionally, it is essential to note that new licenses will be granted in the future, and if you are ready to apply, you may skip the queue quickly. Furthermore, Florida continues to see an increase in the number of individuals who use medicinal marijuana, and recreational usage may one day be legalized. Learning about how to open a dispensary in Florida might still be helpful in this situation. 

Dispensary Laws in Florida

The following conditions for clinics and dispensaries were laid forth in a Notice of Proposed Rule that the Florida Department of Health submitted on May 1st, 2018.  

Only individuals with the required medical license can grow, process, and distribute medicinal marijuana.

To open a dispensary in Florida, applicants must:

  • Have been registered for a company of any kind for the last five years prior to submitting an application for a cannabis dispensary license.
  • Dispensaries must acquire a certificate from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to produce marijuana.
  • The scientific and technological challenges relating to the production and processing of marijuana must be understood by dispensary proprietors.
  • Before submitting an application for a license, dispensaries must have a secure location, the requisite supplies, and registered staff.
  • Owners are required to provide proof of their financial ability to maintain their dispensary as a going concern for at least two years.  
  • From owners to employees, everyone associated with your cannabis industry must be screened (level 2 background screening)

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Dispensary in Florida

The estimated price to open a dispensary in Florida in 2021 ranges from $250,000 to $750,000. Dispensary license cost for medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida is $60,850, much higher than other states in the US. It has ensured that the number of licenses awarded stays low and that Florida is not accepting applications.

In Florida, there are only a few hundred operating dispensaries. That is a relatively meager sum for such a sizable jurisdiction.

The positive side of such a situation is that if recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state of Florida, then they will have an extremely high need for additional facilities. These facilities will need to be much more significant to handle more clients and attach to grow substantial operations. 

The last time the state of Florida approved a dispensary license, the MMTC accepted a fee of $60,830.

Florida Dispensary Opening Procedures Earlier than Application Submission

If you have decided to open a dispensary in Florida, it’s crucial to prepare in advance, find a Florida cannabis construction firm beforehand, and keep an eye out for open calls for applications on the state’s website.

You must be ready to fulfill the following standards before submitting your application, in addition to choosing the best cannabis building company:

  • Your business entity must have been registered in Florida for at least five years before you may submit your application.
  • Building in an area that is suitable and accessible for medicinal marijuana users is required to show that there is a public need.
  • All applicants must submit and pass a Level Two background check.
  • Florida does not require a license to work in a dispensary, but the MMTC mandates that each facility have a medical director to supervise.
  • Your application must also include a diversity plan that outlines how you will work with minority groups, minority companies owned by people of color, and veteran-owned enterprises. Your ownership, management, and employment plans must account for this engagement.

The Cannabis Market in Florida   

Marijuana has a $1.2 billion market after being legalized for medicinal use by Florida voters, and it is expected to continue to expand steadily. 

Only 22 medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) now have state-issued permits to sell marijuana, making Florida’s medical marijuana sector infamously tough to break into. The businesses that the law permits to offer medical marijuana must also possess the necessary financial means to be vertically integrated, which means they cultivate, package, and sell the products recommended to patients. However, not all of them are operational;

Of the 22 MMTCs, 15 are permitted to dispense. Of the remaining 7,3 have cultivation authorization, 2 have processing authorization and 2 are listed as “n/a.” The state isn’t accepting MMTC applications at this time.

Weekly data is provided by Florida, which is fairly comprehensive. The OMMU recorded 361,826 patients as of July 2nd, which is 1.7% of the state’s whole population. Since the OMMU started disclosing it in 2016, the amount of transparency has significantly increased. The number of authorized patients in the state climbed from 41,724 at the end of 2017 to 79% and 301% in 2018 respectively. While growth has decreased over the previous year, it is still more than 50%.

Every week, OMMU provides a breakdown per MMTC of the 255 dispensing sites that are currently available. The amount of Medical Marijuana distributed (in milligrams of THC), the amount of Low-THC Cannabis (in milligrams of CBD), and Marijuana in a Form for Smoking are also provided (in ounces).

Security Options in Dispensaries of Florida

You will have to protect different zones of your marijuana dispensary in Florida in various ways to keep your most valuable assets – your people, equipment, and inventory secured from every angle.

Companies in Florida provide dispensary security equipment services that ensure dispensary access control systems. In Florida, your dispensary access control security measures must be of top quality. Thanks to sophisticated access control systems you can always control who is in your buildings.

The same companies provide commercial fire system safety for your retail locations in Florida. It protects not only your staff but also your inventory, equipment, and property. The systems detect and verify fires early in an emergency and dispatch assistance right away.   

Conclusion 

To open a dispensary in Florida is a fantastic opportunity for business people who aren’t afraid to put in the work, cut through some red tape, and pay some money upfront. Meanwhile, keeping up with the rapidly evolving federal and state restrictions might feel daunting, given how quickly the cannabis sector is expanding.  To make the difficult cannabis business procedure easier for you, this article will guide you through it step-by-step.