Emergency rule establishes April application period for new Medical Marijuana Treatment Center licenses
Florida puts a hard cap on medical marijuana dosing.

Marijuana and cannabis oil bottles isolated
A total of 22 licenses will be available during the April 2023 batching cycle.

The Department of Health has established an application window for the April 2023 batching cycle for new Medical Marijuana Treatment Center applications.

An emergency rule (64ER23-1) sets the application window for applicants from April 24 at 9 a.m. until April 28 at 5 p.m.

The application guidelines, set forth in a previous emergency rule (64ER22-9) established in December, require a $146,000 nonrefundable application fee to the state for new medical marijuana entities wishing to do business in the state. That rule will apply to the application period established for the April 2023 batching cycle.

The application fee under the December rule is more than double the previous fee.

The December rule did not provide a timeline for application batching cycles. The new rule clarifies the timing.

A total of 22 licenses will be available during the April 2023 batching cycle.

Applications must be submitted to the Department in accordance with the previous emergency rule.

The state is projecting 1,044,072 patients will qualify for medical marijuana treatment and register with the state by June 2024.

Taylor Patrick Biehl, a lobbyist with Capitol Alliance Group, previously told Florida Politics businesses are eager to operate in Florida and medical marijuana companies are no different.

“We’ve been anticipating this for the past several years,” he said, adding the emergency rules now allow for expansion.

It’s not only application costs that will increase. The state appears to also be increasing the costs for businesses to stay licensed. Medical marijuana treatment centers currently are required to pay $60,063.

In determining the fee, the state will calculate how much money it spent regulating the industry over the previous two fiscal years and subtract from that the amount it collected in application fees. The sum will be divided by the number of medical marijuana treatment centers licensed.

It’s not clear how much the state has spent regulating the industry over the last several years, but the Department of Health included a $6.2 million increase for the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) in its most recent budget request to state legislators. About half of that will be spent on hiring an additional 31 staff at its Tallahassee headquarters. It also wants to staff new regional offices.

The other half will be spent on outside contractors that administer the seed-to-sale tracking systems; produce medical marijuana identification cards; conduct background screenings; review licenses; and provide outside legal work.


Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Paul Passarelli

    February 3, 2023 at 10:49 am

    I don’t know how to process thin information. It requires some significant mental juggling to grasp the full issue.

    1) I’m not a fan of pot or it’s effects on people’s psyche.
    2) Compared to other illegal drugs, pot is quite benign, when compared to tobacco, I have to wonder why the former is still highly restricted, and the latter can be had in almost any retail store.
    3) My Libertarian proclivities say the Government should have absolutely no say in the matter.
    4) I recognize how lucrative an industry that crap is. Meaning that even when it was completely illegal, it was still prevalent thanks to a thriving black market.

    If it weren’t for item #1 I’d consider it a promising investment. I think the ‘non-refundable’ aspect of a $146,000 application fee is a steep barrier to entry. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But the fact that applicants will pay it speaks to how strong #4 is.

    I have no dog in this fight. So, as a Florida taxpayer, I hope the OMMU is able to turn a significant portion of that $3.2M over to the state treasury. Otherwise they are no better than any other drug cartel middlemen, exacting their cut for protecting low-level drug sellers! Maybe worse.

  • Claude Kirk the younger

    February 5, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    I’ve got the Govornor investigating how many Republicans were seduced into investing in Florida’s marajuana industry. A lot were hand in hand with Nikki Fried before she was elected Ag. Comish. There were other big players which a lot of Republicans invested big bucks with but I’m not at liberty to provide their names due to none of your business reasons. We are not going to let any heads roll until we have their replacements fully comitted to take their place.

Comments are closed.


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