The cannabis market throughout the U.S. has grown with tremendous ferocity over the course of the past several years. With states choosing to legalize the use of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes all the time, it seems as though this is the era for legal marijuana. One of the newest states to work on producing a large cannabis industry is Florida. The Florida industry on cannabis has been growing extremely quickly, but there are a few challenges coming into play when looking at new growth for the market.
The Florida patient count as of June 29th stands at around 130,000. This number is staggeringly up by over 100% from where it was at that time as of last year. This growth represents around 2,500 patients per week, which is also increasing by a large amount. To put this into perspective, the medical marijuana industry in New York took almost 2.5 years to reach only 60,000 patients, while the Floridian industry has done that number in only about six months. One of the interesting facts about the growth in this industry is that the industry has been extremely restrictive to patients and those who would like to use the substance.
In addition, there are only around 50 dispensaries in the whole of the state that legally operate following the state regulations. This translates to only around 16% of Florida’s population living in an area where there is medical cannabis available. There are several changes however that are hoping to help affect the new industry in a positive way, allowing for increased amounts of growth overall in the near future.
According to one report “a Florida judge lifted a stay on smokable forms of MMJ and ordered the state Department of Health (DOH)
to write rules governing the cultivation, distribution and sale of marijuana flower. The state DOH and the governor have appealed the ruling, so smokable flower remains unavailable to MMJ patients – for now. If smoking flower is allowed, it could provide a massive boost to both patient counts and sales. A decision is expected by fall 2018.” This has been one of the largest issues in the market as the actual cannabis flower has a large effect on the medicinal benefits that a patent is attempting to attain from the substance.
The state has also put a large amount of regulation on the production of cannabis edibles. The edible market as well as that of other products that can be consumed in the cannabis sector has been growing very quickly, which has been impeded upon by the Florida regulations. The 100,000 patient milestone that the state recently reached has meant that the government locally needs to continue to figure out new ways to make the market as successful as possible. The 100,000 milestone also means that more dispensaries can be opened which is one of the biggest issues in the market as well. Having easy access to purchasing cannabis is the main reason that a market can flourish, thus the issue with consumers having no exposure to the market except in select spots around the state.
The cannabis market however is still very much in its infant stages which means that there is a large amount of room to grow over the course of the next several years. The issue of legislation has continued to be one of the primary issues around various cannabis markets in the U.S., but these things do take time. The hopes are high that new legislation can be formed to help push the industry to its full potential in the near future.