We are a full-service cannabis and psychedelic licensing company specializing in helping businesses enter new markets to achieve their long-term goals. Cannacore Group has more than 19 years of combined knowledge and experience in the Cannabis Business Application Process. From Florida to California, we have achieved continuous success in obtaining cannabis business licenses with an 85% success rate! 

What do we do?

  • Work with lobbyists and advocates to work toward nationwide cannabis legalization.
  • Collaborate and advise groups on how to achieve their goals in attaining cannabis business licenses in new and expanding markets.
  • Identify new markets to target, put together an all-encompassing business plan, and bring in additional resources as needed, including funding and an operational team.
  • Provide proven Standard Operating Procedures included in the application process as well as after attaining the license.

It is important to have proper guidance while navigating, entering or operating in the cannabis industry. Whether you need an expert to help you enter the industry or if you are already an operational business in the space and need consultation, we are here to lead the way. We handle each step of the Cannabis Business Licensing process. From working with your team to identifying new market opportunities, putting together a strong team using our expansive network, drafting a thorough application, challenging agency action (if needed), business structuring, tax planning, and consulting to keep your business compliant and successful. 

Cultivate, Process, Dispense, Testing Laboratory and Transportation

The type of licensing required for a cannabis business depends on the state as well as the type of business conducted. For example, a business that cultivates cannabis requires different licensing and permits than a business operating a dispensary. However, in some states, such as Florida, the entire process is “vertically integrated,” which means the business cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis under one (1) license. We can help you to interpret and apply the laws as well as write an application for your business to apply to the state to cultivate, process, dispense, test and/or transport cannabis.

As the licenses granted per state are limited, the license grant process is highly competitive, which is why it helps to have an expert on your side from the onset. As most states limit the number of licenses they will grant, it is vital to stand out amongst the other applicants during this merit-based process. 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 consultants like Cannacore Group to help guide them.

Background of Florida Market

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) (2014). 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 and scored 26 applications 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 § 381.986 to broaden the laws to make additional licenses available as well as allow for the production and sale of high-THC medical marijuana.

Today, after several constitutional, legislative, and regulatory changes, there are 22 licenses called Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (“MMTC”) that serve the Florida patient population with 546 dispensaries currently operating across the state of Florida. In accordance with Florida Statute § 381.986(8)(a)4, within six (6) months after the registration of 100,000 active qualified patients in the registry, the Department is mandated to issue four (4) additional MMTC licenses. However, as the patient registry has garnered over 800,000 qualified patients since its initial beginnings, Florida has continuously faced obstacles with underserving the patient population as the state has only maintained 22 licenses to date. With the new application period set for this year, we hope to see the Florida medical marijuana market expand its outreach to serve those who desperately need access to their medicine. 

Upcoming License: Florida

After years of waiting for Florida to release new Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Licenses (“MMTC”), the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (“OMMU”) has announced that the upcoming application periods will arrive in “batches.” Emergency Rule 64ER23-1 established that twenty-two (22) MMTC licenses will be available in the April 2023 application round!

The OMMU will begin accepting applications from April 24th, 2023, until April 28th, 2023. The five (5) day window to submit the application will start from Monday (April 24) at 9:00 AM (EST) to Friday (April 28) at 5:00 PM (EST).

The Application fee will be $146,000.00, and a renewal fee of $1,332,124.42.

Some of the general applicant requirements are as follows:

  • Five (5) Year Florida Business Registration
  • Certified Financial Statements
  • FDACS Certification
  • $5 Million Performance Bond
  • Secured Premises
  • Strong Diversity Plan
  • Level 2 Background Screenings

Due to the high application fee and numerous statutory requirements, our team anticipates the OMMU will receive approximately one hundred (100) applicants in the first round for the coveted twenty-two (22) MMTC licenses. With the steady increase in all aspects of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Industry and the deadline to apply in the first batch set forth by the OMMU, now is the time to ensure your spot in Florida’s billion-dollar market. 

Efforts To Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Florida

As more states begin the journey to recreational or adult-use, Florida has taken the spot as the largest and most lucrative medical marijuana state in the country, garnering over $1 billion dollars in revenue. Due to its vast population and prominence as a tourist state, there is no question that Florida’s next steps into the recreational market could lead Florida to becoming the largest marijuana market in the country. Although Florida maintains a 6% state sales tax, if the recreational market regulations implement an increased tax like other states such as Colorado have, there is no question that Florida will be a top competitor against California and Washington. As a result of its promising future in the adult-use market, there is no wonder that current licensees are pushing toward legalization, so they can become the top contenders in Florida’s ever-flourishing industry.

According to News 4 Jax, support for recreational marijuana has increased by 12% since November 2019. As a result of the favorable changes, and initiatives filed in September 2021 and August 2022, the possibility of the legalization of recreational cannabis could find its way on the 2024 Ballot. The 2021 initiative legalizes cannabis for adults aged twenty-one (21) or older for personal use, to possess, use, process, transport marijuana, marijuana products and marijuana accessories, permits cultivating nine (9) live marijuana plants per adult with eighteen (18) plants maximum per household. The 2022 initiative (from Smart & Safe Florida) allows for adults twenty-one (21) years or older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise. Further, this initiative allows Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, and other state licensed entities, to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute such products and accessories. Two signature thresholds are needed for the 2022 initiative to have a ballot position – to meet the necessary statewide total signatures, and Congressional District signature totals in at least fourteen (14) of Florida’s twenty-eight (28) Congressional Districts. The statewide goal of 891,589, is halfway completed, totaling approximately 416,933 valid signatures. The Congressional District goal for each district can be viewed here. (https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/initiatives/initSignDetailCounty.asp?account=83475&seqnum=2&ctype=CSV&elecyear=2024)

Once these signature thresholds are met, 60% of Florida voters need to express their interest in legalizing recreational marijuana by voting “Yes!” in the November 2024 election.