Report: 8 nurseries shortlisted for new medical marijuana licenses

"This is more of the same, and that would be disappointing."

A total of eight new nurseries may be permitted to grow and sell medical marijuana under a new agreement being worked out by state officials.

That’s according to a report from POLITICO Florida’s Arek Sarkissian.

Sarkissian cites “a person close to the talks,” detailing the eight companies now on a short list drafted by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Those companies are Bill’s Nursery, DeLeon’s Bromeliads, Dewar Nurseries, Hart’s Plant Nursery, Perkins Nursery, Redland Nursery, Spring Oaks Greenhouse and Tree King Tree Farm.

Since the inception of the state’s medical marijuana program in 2014, growers have complained about the limited number of licenses available. Some of those concerns have developed into lawsuits.

A 2018 ruling by Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham paved the way for a new license to be issued to Nature’s Way Nursery of Miami. That was the last new license issued by the Department of Health.

According to POLITICO’s report, six of the eight companies on DeSantis’ new short list had looked to join in on that case following the ruling by Van Laningham.

The state’s setup so far has allowed a pair of companies, Surterra and Trulieve, to dominate the medical marijuana market.

A separate lawsuit, by Tampa-based Florigrown, challenged the constitutionality of a 2017 law which capped the available licenses and required a vertical integration licensing system.

In that system, marijuana providers are licensed to play a jack-of-all-trades by growing, processing and selling medical marijuana. Some companies are pushing for licenses allowing them to participate in one part of the process to release the hold on the industry by a select few organizations.

Florigrown CEO Adam Elend said no settlement agreement had been reached in his case — which is currently going through the appeals process — despite an urging by Gov. DeSantis that the state settle. Elend also criticized DeSantis’ new list of companies, pointing out they’re not so new to the scene.

“I know what these people have in common — they applied for a different program in 2014 and not the law we have now,” Elend said. “That would mean this is more of the same, and that would be disappointing.”

Staff Reports


  • Walter Ross

    April 16, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    I agree if the Governor hands out the new round of available licenses to the old applicants with different process it represents same granting without merit.
    There are reasons why those candidates werent awarded licenses in the first place.
    Is it the government being lazy as they dont want to evaluate all of the applications ready to submit since Oct 1 2017????
    Those applicants that have been working tirelessly for years spending $500,000 and more to be the best vertical license candidate waiting to apply under the new application rules.

    The fair way to be inclusive of both application rounds would be to require the old application petitioners to:

    * include everyone first and second round applicants in the award of “citrus point preferance” (2) licenses
    * resubmit first round old application information in compliance under current the second round application rules and laws.
    * waive the $61,000 application fee paid for by first round applications to re submit under new application guidelines.
    * any award of license to first round licenses are restricted from selling license to multi state cannabis operators like Natures Way did the minute they were awarded their license from the judge sold to highest multi-state operator. Prevent taking the money and running.
    That’s why there are still first round licenses for sale right now just a piece of paper waiting to take the money and run.
    * this process should recognize first and foremost focus on the award going to the company to be run by Floridians for Floridians and has the best vertical business structure, operations SOPs, compliance team, food safety, good manufacturing practices, qualified L2 employees and depth of industry experience from horticulture to healthcare to compete as the best producer in the Florida market place.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Farmhouse Tomatoes Inc

  • Rufus Maxwall

    April 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    There is another nursery I was surprised was not awarded a license working with FAMU in Tallahassee, FL. A black University, which would qualify for the black farmers category. working with Future Farm Technologies in Apopka,FL. My guess is this business never applied or was just not qualified. Any further comment?

Comments are closed.


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