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MedMen's Tallahassee store. Image via MedMen.

APolitical

MedMen temporarily closes most Florida stores

Five of the company’s eight retail locations are temporarily closed.

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.

The closure notifications on each location’s website offered limited information.

“MedMen … is temporarily closed effective Sunday May 3rd. Thank you for your patience and support, please check back for updates on MedMen.com.”

It’s not clear whether the closures are related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or if they will affect six other stores the company plans to open throughout the state in Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, downtown and Southside Jacksonville, Miami Beach or Orlando.

A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, the company has been doing well despite the pandemic.

The company had its best month in the state in April, according to Politico, with 123,817 ounces of medical cannabis flower sold, which was a 52% increase from January sales before the pandemic hit.

The company shows some evidence of decline with its former CEO Adam Bierman resigning in January and director for government affairs for the Southeast U.S., Nick Hansen, left at the end of March.

The company, despite rapid growth in the state, had been spending heavily on the Make It Legal Florida ballot initiative with more than $6.1 million in direct and in-kind contributions to the committee behind a push for adult-use cannabis in Florida.

That campaign would have legalized cannabis for adult use regardless of medical need by requiring sales to be conducted in already existing medical marijuana storefronts, a move that would have been lucrative for companies such as MedMen. However, that push was sullied when the campaign failed to get enough petitions to make the 2020 ballot and pushed efforts back to 2022.

MedMen has not made a contribution to the campaign since the end of February when it provided $5,000 in in-kind contributions for staffing.

The last time the company cut a check to the campaign was mid-December.

The campaign halted its 2020 effort in mid-January.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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