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Regulators Continue Meetings on Florida Medical Marijuana

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Florida Medical Marijuana Proceedings

Florida regulators met again twice this week to try to ascertain the potential tax collections from the sale of medical marijuana in Florida. They also met to decide the wording of the constitutional provision summaries asking voters whether to approve the legality of medical marijuana or recreational marijuana in Florida. The sale of medical marijuana in Florida should begin early next year after the five new dispensaries are approved and have had sufficient time to grow their first crops to maturity. This timeline could be delayed if those not awarded a dispensary license challenge the awarding of dispensary licenses to competitors. If new legal challenges arise, sale of Florida medical marijuana would not begin until all legal proceedings concluded, thereby delaying the availability of medical marijuana in Florida for many additional months.

Florida Medical Marijuana Tax Projections

Tax collections on the sale of medical marijuana would, of course, increase drastically if the United for Care or other marijuana initiatives were to be voted into the Florida constitution on the November, 2016 ballot, and Florida regulators are working to project and calculate that additional revenue. To date, Florida regulators have not provided hard estimates as to the projected tax revenue they expect from the sale of medical marijuana in Florida but they have projected that, under the current law allowing for the use of low-THC marijuana on a limited basis, the state would collect anywhere from almost $18,000,000 to almost $75,000,000 in additional taxes each year.  Of course, this amount would greatly increase if the laws allowing for increased Florida medical marijuana use also expand (whether through changes in law adopted by the Florida legislature or through constitutional amendments).  It seems clear that the additional state tax revenue attributable to sale of Florida medical marijuana will exceed $100,000,000 very quickly, perhaps even in the first year.

For more detail on the projected number of Florida marijuana patients and projected tax revenues click here.

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