Black farmers still wait for promised medical marijuana license

Cbd Concept, Medical Marijuana, cannabis and blue background
Black farmers have been waiting more than five years after deal struck.

Nearly six years ago, the Florida Legislature set aside a medical marijuana license for a Black farmer like John Allen to join the burgeoning industry.

But the license still has not been issued by the Florida Department of Health, which regulates the industry, the Lakeland Ledger reported.

Twenty-two licenses have been issued but none so far to a Black farmer, despite the aim of the Legislature in 2016, according to the Ledger’s report. In the intervening years, the licenses have generated enormous revenues from some of the license holders — frustrating the Black farmers who wonder how they can catch up.

“The license should have been released going on five, now six years ago, where a lot of the white farmers are now $150 million to $175 million ahead of the game versus the Black farmers that have to start over at zero and are behind the ball again and the medical marijuana industry,” said Raymond Warthen, co-founder and president of Orlando-based Zion Infinite Farms, which has applied for a license. “It’s unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, several top marijuana cultivators have gained sizable market share within Florida’s $1.2 billion medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) industry, which is poised to reach $2 billion in annual sales by 2025.

A report in MJBiz Daily in June 2021 said, “The 14 active MMTC license holders operate 347 dispensaries with three — Trulieve, Surterra, Curaleaf — controlling more than two-thirds of the market.”

The top six medical marijuana treatment centers account for nearly 90% of all sales. The health department’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use lists 22 licensed treatment centers.

Florida Black farmers like Allen have struggled to participate in the medical marijuana industry because of laws they say are too narrowly focused for them to get into the business, with the seed-to-sale vertically integrated business requirement as one of the big ones.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Impeach Biden

    August 8, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Nikki Fried is a Democrat racist for not issuing these licenses.
    Vote BLUE if you support Racists like Nikki Fried.
    The Joe / Elliott show support this racist.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 8, 2022 at 9:25 am

      ^ Yet another stupid comment devoid of reality. Vote RED for idiots like this guy. He needs help .. medication.

      • Impeach Biden

        August 8, 2022 at 9:28 am

        Yet you can post all of your ridiculous BS. You are a fool Joe / Elliott.
        Vote BLUE to keep the Joe / Elliott show on their meds. I bet he has a medical marijuana card.

        • Joe Corsin

          August 8, 2022 at 10:16 am

          ^ This guy doesn’t know his balls from his azzhole.🍩

  • Impeach Biden

    August 8, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Scrubbed again by FP. Yet they allow the Joe / Elliott show to continue with their hateful rants.This site is probably affiliated with the “People’s Paper of Ft. Lauderdale”.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 8, 2022 at 10:19 am

      ^ Scrubbed for being a far right liar, dangerous manipulator, perpetuator of abominable chicanery.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 8, 2022 at 9:35 am

    Vote BLUE so Corsin can keep his medical marijuana card. I think they need to up his dose.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 8, 2022 at 10:20 am

      ^ Vote RED for dangerous neanderthals like this terrorist supporter

      • Impeach Biden

        August 8, 2022 at 10:27 am

        Terrorist supporter? I give you Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 8, 2022 at 9:36 am

    The FP site continues to support lunatics like the Joe / Elliott show.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 8, 2022 at 9:37 am

      Scrubbed twice now.

      • Elliott Offen

        August 8, 2022 at 10:23 am

        Take it to 4Chan dude. The right wing mega filth has been played out. Everyone sick of it. It’s garbage. You’ve been abused…seek therapy.

    • Elliott Offen

      August 8, 2022 at 11:50 am

      ^ Mad about perceived ack of free speech yet complaining that others shouldn’t have it….all in the same sentence? I tell you these people are mentally warped and dangerous. Need euthanasia for the sake of humanity.

  • YYep

    August 8, 2022 at 10:42 am

    I do not understand block the box and legalizing pot was for blacks in general changes

  • Ian

    August 8, 2022 at 11:36 am

    It’s disappointing that the AP failed to include the following:
    1. DOH has not yet implemented a competitve procurement to issue licenses. All current licenses were issued via prior licensees being grandfathered in or by settlements of lawsuits or administrative challenges.
    2. The reason DOH has yet to implement a competitive procurement is because whenever they try, lawsuits bring the process to a halt.
    3. Bullet #2 is the reason why no license has been issued to a black farmer as called for in statute.

    These are pertinent facts, and the AP and FP are both derelict for not reporting them.

Comments are closed.


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