Florida is sometimes referred to as “God’s Waiting Room” because of its heavy concentration of elderly retirees. There is about a 100% probability that these elderly residents have pain, arthritis, anxiety, sleep difficulties or any of the other qualifying conditions that allow one of the 2,214 approved physicians to prescribe marijuana. It is not surprising that 213,871 residents have already been issued their Medical Marijuana Use ID cards.
At the beginning of 2019 there were 168,981 with ID cards. Consistently since then, about 3,000 residents have received ID cards each week, and now there are 213,871 Floridians registered as medical marijuana users. At the current rate, by the end of 2019 there will be over 300,000 medical marijuana users in Florida.
The United States Census Bureau estimated Florida’s mid-year 2018 population at 21.3 million; and, 4.28 million or 20.1% are aged 65 and over. The total population of Florida is also increasing at a 1.7% rate.
These demographic characteristics make Florida an ideal marketplace for purveyors of medical marijuana for the foreseeable future. It is, therefore, not surprising that multi-state-marijuana operators, or MSOs, have focused attention on Florida.
History of Medical Marijuana in Florida
The Florida legislature enacted the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act (CUA) effective June 16, 2014, Chapter 381.986, Florida Statutes, which allowed the sale of “low-THC cannabis” (below 0.8% THC) to patients diagnosed with severe seizures or muscle spasms and cancer. Concurrently, the Florida Department of Health adopted Chapter 64-4, Florida Administrative Code, to implement the ACT.