In 2020 alone, Florida’s medical cannabis program created approximately 15,000 jobs, and a new analysis revealed that, in total, approximately 31,450 Florida residents are now employed in this industry.
A report authored by Leafly & Whitney Economics shows that the total sales of cannabis last year was valued at $1.23 billion. These statistics show that Florida outdid every state with a legal marijuana program except Colorado and California, where robust adult-use programs exist.
According to the Office of Medical Marijuana, the state agency charged with overseeing medical cannabis in Florida, a total of 170,000 people registered as medical marijuana patients in 2020 in Florida. This number brought the total of active card holders within the state to 485,693. That growth is projected to retain its momentum to an extent that annual sales may hit the $6 billion mark every year between now and 2030.
That notwithstanding, Leafly & Whitney Economics experts are of the opinion that those numbers would pale if the state opted to establish a recreational cannabis program, or at least get rid of the cumbersome and even potentially unconstitutional way in which medical marijuana is currently regulated.
Since the state has a population of approximately 22 million residents, an adult-use mechanism would swiftly double the number of people consuming marijuana. Subsequently, sales would surge to $2.1 billion each year, and taxes for both the state and local governments would total $800 million a year.
One of the regulations that is contentious in the current medical marijuana law stipulates that state regulators can issue up to 22 licenses to vertically integrated entities, or those that can handle marijuana from seed to the time products are sold. A Tallahassee appeals court declared this provision unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court of Florida is set to hear this case early next month.
However, state legislators aren’t waiting for the highest court in the state to pronounce itself on this matter; they are taking a legislative route to reform the system. For example, SB562 and HB593 are aimed at stopping retail outlets from manufacturing the medical marijuana products that they sell. In other words, the vertical integration under the existing law would be rolled back.
Each of those bills is expected to go through a total of four committees before a floor vote is scheduled, and none of the requisite committees has indicated when it will discuss the bill before it. However, Senate President Wilton Simpson says that another bill that could put a cap on THC concentrations in marijuana products is likely to be discussed soon. This particular bill was vehemently opposed by veterans as well as key Republican members of Florida’s Senate. It remains to be seen how all those bills will fare.
As cannabis gains momentum around the world, companies such as Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT) are on course to grab a big share of the market before others whose product range isn’t as unique.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/GPFT
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