In 2016, Florida voters agreed on allowing for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Now in 2018, many of us are still asking questions, like:

  • I’m an entrepreneur. How can I get involved in the medical marijuana industry?
  • As an investor, what legitimate financial opportunities are available to me?
  • If I own or manage property what is my right/role/responsibility to tenants involved with the sale or consumption of medical marijuana?

If you fall into any of these categories and you’re still not sure where you stand, that is okay. The path to full-scale legalization and regulation of medical marijuana since Florida voters approved Amendment 2 has been — as Grateful Dead fans may recognize — a long, strange trip. From municipal moratoriums to moral backlash in the private sector, the state has been slow to determine its proper course as it pertains to the medical marijuana business.

But, as slow has this transition has been, the state is making progress. Florida’s medical marijuana business is here to stay and here’s the three things you need to know.

Florida medical marijuana

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Industry

Zoning

In the wake of the opioid crisis and illegal pill-mill operations, Florida has enacted strict zoning laws concerning the placement and operation of pain management clinics.

Licensing

Currently, the state requires anyone looking to operate a medical marijuana facility to undergo a complex licensing process. For some, this process remains the greatest step between having a legitimate cannabis operation under Florida law. Currently, the state requires medical marijuana business owners to have both a lease as well as employees that have already passed full background screens.

Medicinal Use

In addition to strict licensing and zoning, Florida also has strict rules pertaining to marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

  • Although legislators have gone back-and-forth on the issue, current state law preempts smokable marijuana as an allowed method for use.
  • You are only eligible for medical marijuana if you suffer from certain conditions and diseases including; cancer, seizures, muscle spasms, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, ALS, or any terminal illness.
  • Prior to applying for medical marijuana, you must first demonstrate that you have looked in to traditional treatment options for your condition. Then you must get a second opinion from a licensed doctor in order to be added to the state registry of medicinal marijuana patients.

Additional Resources

If you’ve got more questions about this new industry — either as a business owner, investor, landlord or tenant — contact our team.