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May 13, 2020: Florigrown Heads to Florida Supreme Court, MedMen Continues to Struggle in Florida's Medical Marijuana Market, and Cannabis Dispensary Cap is Lifted

Florida's Cannabis News Podcast

Release Date: 05/13/2020

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Florida's Cannabis News Podcast

Wednesday May 13, 2020

Top Stories:

// MedMen Closes Cannabis Dispensaries

Highlights:

Florida’s medical cannabis market is one of the nation’s fastest growing. Described as an oligopoly, and that’s because 13 out of 22 licensed vertically integrated operators actively operate over 200 dispensaries to over 300,000 registered patients.

Well known multistate operators have set up shop in Florida—Trulieve, Curaleaf, Surterra Wellness, Green Peak Innovations, MedMen are all license holders. Investment firms and multistate operators have paid millions to acquire a Florida medical cannabis license. MedMen paid $53 million to acquire their Florida license. Last month, Cresco Labs nearly struck a deal to acquire VidaCann—one of Florida’s active operators with 13 retail locations as well as a 70,000 square-foot cultivation and processing facility—for an all cash deal of $120 million.

These “super” licenses make Florida’s medical cannabis market unique. In 2017, during special session called by governor Rick Scott, the Florida legislature created “super” licenses by demanding a vertically integrated system where operators cultivate, process, and sell.

So Florigrown was an applicant for a license. And after being denied, they sued. Arguing not only is the DOH not acting properly by not taking applications, but the state enacted an unconstitutional law.

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A California-based medical marijuana dispensary has temporarily closed five of its eight Florida locations.

MedMen listed temporary closures on its website effective Sunday.

Locations are shuttered in Jacksonville Beach, Key West, Orlando, Sarasota and Tallahassee. Three stores in Pensacola, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach remain open, according to the company’s website.

MedMen is in some trouble. Vaping crisis led to the cannabis capital crunch. Then covid-19 hit the United States. This virus is going to kill a bunch of companies. One of these could be MedMen. They’ve taken on a ton of debt and their operating cash flows are nearly gone (iAnthus). Both companies realized too late the challenges of too much debt. Their lender is the name (Gotham). Now, their only solution is to take on more debt. That’s not good.

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Florida medical cannabis licenses have become known as “super” licenses for three reasons.

  • First, Florida’s licensing structure is vertically integrated. Licensees are required to oversee the entire supply chain, including cultivating, processing, dispensing, and delivering. Vertical integration provides licensees with significant control from seed to sale. Vertical integration is unique—most states with cannabis programs have a horizontal licensing structure, which means licenses are specific to certain segments of the supply chain. For example, in Illinois, you could apply for a cultivation license or a transportation license.
  • Second, there is a limited number of licenses. In 2014, the Florida legislature created the “super” licenses, originally issuing only five. Over the course of the past five to six years, more licenses have been issued. Today, only 22 licenses have been issued, 13 of which are actively operational. Operators who acquired a license in 2014 got a substantial head start over operators who received their license in later rounds.
  • Third, licensees can open an unlimited amount of retail dispensary locations. Most states with cannabis programs place a cap on the size and number of facilities for growing, processing, and dispensing. Until this month, Florida allowed each licensee to open 25 dispensaries and an additional 5 dispensaries for every 100,000 patients who register for Florida’s cannabis program.

**Latest Patient Count from Florida's Office of Medical Marijuana Use

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This week, Florigrown heads to the Florida Supreme Court. MedMen, popular in marijuana stocks and cannabis stocks and cannabis news, closed five dispensaries. A few were near the florida georgia line.

On Florida's Cannabis News Podcast we talk about products like cannabis oil, cannabis seeds, and cannabis sativa.