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How to apply for a dispensary license in Florida

If you’re thinking about how to start a marijuana dispensary in Florida, it’s important to understand the strict requirements for both applying for and receiving a Florida dispensary license. Medical marijuana was legalized all the way back in 2015, and despite the fact that recreational use remains illegal in Florida, the demand for cannabis is extremely high.

Opening a dispensary in Florida is virtually impossible, presently. The application process is managed by the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), who provides an online application form that they are not accepting at this time.

They’ve only awarded a limited number of Florida medical marijuana dispensary licenses in the few years it’s been legal. In fact, it’s been reported that only five companies own 82% of the dispensary market.

However, just because it’s not possible to obtain a Florida dispensing license right now, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare to apply. The OMMU website reports that the state is planning on issuing 19 Florida dispensary licenses, though they have not specified a date for this to take place. 

Also, recreational marijuana advocates are making headway with the state government, and it’s more than likely that Florida will follow suit and become the next state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

When that time comes, it’s anticipated that the state will reopen the application process, and will have to approve a number of licenses in order to keep up with demand.

Florida requires cannabis dispensary applicants to submit a business plan with the application that identifies the cannabis construction firm in Florida or an outside state that they plan to have build their dispensary. Builders can be sourced from states outside of Florida, but they must be licensed to build within the state.

Site-specific designs, as well as itemized budgets for each project, are required submissions with each application.

If you’re considering opening a cannabis dispensary in Florida, or you’re applying for an Florida dispensary license, contact us today to discuss how we can help meet your unique building needs.

If recreational retail marijuana laws pass soon, the guidelines for applications may change. However, take the time now to review the state’s guidelines thoroughly, develop your business plan, secure funding and identify a builder for your project now. These are just a few steps you can take now to position your business well once applications are accepted again.

How much is a dispensary license in Florida?

The cost for a dispensary license in the state of Florida is significantly higher than in other states. This, along with the fact that Florida isn’t accepting applications, has ensured that the approved number of licenses remains low. 

The amount of dispensaries open in the state of Florida is in the low hundreds. That’s an extremely small amount for such a large state.

The good news 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 bigger to handle more clients, and attached to grow operations that are very large. 

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

Learn more about how to get a grower’s license in Florida.

How to open a dispensary in Florida prior to submitting your application

If you’re considering opening a cannabis dispensary in Florida, it’s important to plan ahead, identify a cannabis construction company in Florida ahead of time, and monitor the state’s website for open calls for applications.

Aside from finding the right cannabis construction company, prior to submitting your application you’ll need to be prepared to meet the following requirements:

  • The state of Florida requires that your business entity be registered in the state for at least five years prior to submitting your application.
  • You must demonstrate a public need by building in a location that is accessible and qualified for medical marijuana patients.
  • All applicants must submit and pass a Level Two background check.
  • While you don’t need a license to work at a dispensary in Florida, the MMTC requires that each facility must have a medical director to supervise.
  • A diversity plan is also required with your application, and needs to address how you’ll involve minorities, minority businesses and veteran businesses. This involvement needs to be addressed in your plan for ownership, management and employment.

The state of recreational marijuana laws in Florida

Since the future of cannabis in Florida, and the ability of more people to work and operate in the industry, hinges on the passage of recreational cannabis, it’s important to know where things stand.

Presently, a group called Regulate Florida is accepting signatures for a petition that they hope to present to the state supreme court in January 2022. 

Despite the fact that proposed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use was defeated back in April of 2021. But a proposed law has already been submitted that is effectively asking for the same thing. It’s anticipated that this law will be debated when the state legislature reconvenes in November of 2022.