Updated: March 2022
Effective January 1, 2015, Florida legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes under the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. Recreational marijuana, also commonly referred to as “adult use” cannabis to distinguish it from medical marijuana, is not legal in Florida.
The Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) is responsible for writing and implementing the Florida Department of Health’s rules for medical cannabis, overseeing the statewide Medical Marijuana Use Registry, certifying cannabis testing laboratories, and licensing Florida businesses to cultivate, process, and dispense cannabis.
Below you will find information regarding licensing procedures for medical marijuana treatment centers. We keep this page up-to-date when new information becomes available. Please note that this page is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.
In Florida, a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) license authorizes the license holder to cultivate, process, dispense, and deliver cannabis.
Cultivators, also commonly referred to as growers or producers, are responsible for growing cannabis. Once harvested, mature plants are transferred to processors.
Processors—also known as manufacturers—take harvested cannabis from cultivators and create derivative extracts for edibles, concentrates, topicals, and prepacks. Once finished, their products are transported to dispensaries.
Dispensaries sell cannabis and cannabis products in a legal, regulated setting.
Licensed MMTCs are vertically integrated and are the only businesses authorized to dispense medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis. Before operating, each MMTC must receive authorization at three stages: authorization to cultivate, authorization to process, and authorization to dispense.
To apply for an MMTC license, an applicant must be at least 21 years old. Additionally, applicants must:
Each person planning to serve as an employee, owner, board member, or manager of an MMTC applicant must first undergo a background check, submitting their fingerprints to a LiveScan service provider. After receipt of the background report, the Florida Department of Health (“department”) may request any additional information necessary to complete the screening process.
Next, the prospective MMTC must submit a completed application—physically or electronically—and pay a nonrefundable application fee. If their application is approved, the applicant has 10 business days to post a $5 million performance bond. This bond must be payable to the department, written by a licensed surety company, and written so that the nursery name on the bond corresponds exactly with the applicant’s name.
If the applicant fails to post the bond within the required timeframe, or if a bond is canceled and the applicant fails to file a new bond, their MMTC application approval will be revoked.
Submission of an MMTC application authorizes the department to enter and inspect the prospective facility at any reasonable time during the approval process. The inspectors may review the records required and identify samples of any cannabis or derivative product for laboratory analysis—the results of which will be forwarded to the department.
If the department identifies a violation during an inspection, the MMTC has 20 calendar days to write to the department and outline the corrective action(s) taken and the date of the correction.
The MMTC must request cultivation authorization within 75 days of application approval. No less than 30 calendar days prior to the initial cultivation of cannabis, the MMTC must notify the department that it is compliant and ready to begin cultivation.
No less than 10 calendar days prior to the initial processing of cannabis, the MMTC must notify the department that it is compliant and ready to begin processing.
An MMTC must begin dispensing derivative products within 210 days of cultivation authorization. No less than 10 calendar days prior to the initial dispensing of derivative products, the MMTC must notify the department that it is compliant and ready to begin dispensing.
Click here for a map of Dispensing Organizations
Most states require an extensive seed-to-sale cannabis tracking system to monitor cultivation and dispensing inventory. Our cultivation seed-to-sale-tracking solution provides comprehensive data tracking with an emphasis on compliance. Customized to meet the unique regulatory frameworks in each state, BioTrack also features an all-in-one business tool to help you operate every aspect of the cultivation business by itself, or as part of the vertically-integrated cannabis business.
The edibles food establishment permit allows medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) to manufacture and dispense edibles. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services oversees and issues this permit.
In Florida, edibles are defined as commercially produced food items made with cannabis oil that are manufactured and dispensed by MMTCs.
Only licensed MMTCs can apply for the edibles food establishment permit.
Before applying for the permit, the applicant should review the Food Establishment Minimum Construction Standards to verify that their facility meets all required regulations. Before beginning operations, all food establishments must also meet the training and process control requirements for the type of product and process they are conducting.
The permit application must include a list of edibles to be produced, as well as documentation demonstrating an approved water and sewage (septic) system. Within two weeks of submitting an application, a field inspector will contact the applicant to schedule an on-site inspection.
Once the inspection is complete and an application is approved, the MMTC must pay all permit fees in order to receive its permit.
Most states require dispensaries to track and trace all of their cannabis-related products for regulatory and compliance reporting requirements. Our cannabis POS and inventory management system provides comprehensive seed-to-sale cannabis tracking with a focus on compliant data points. If your state requires seed-to-sale systems to stay compliant, BioTrack has you covered. Our system is customized to meet the unique regulatory frameworks in each and every state.
As of March 2017, all patients and legal representatives must obtain a Registry Identification Card to fill an order for low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, or a cannabis delivery device at one of the state’s dispensing organizations.
For more information on How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Florida, click here.
Q&A – CANNABIS LAWS
Who can purchase cannabis in Florida?
Permanent and seasonal Florida residents aged 18 years and older, or minors with a caregiver who is at least 21 years old, can purchase medical cannabis from certified medical marijuana treatment centers. They must present their Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card to make a purchase.
Are there qualifying conditions for medical cannabis patients?
Yes. Patients must visit and be treated by a physician who has completed the required training, and be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition to use medical cannabis in Florida. You can find a list of qualifying conditions on the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) website.
Q&A – RETAIL CANNABIS LICENSING
What state agency is in charge of retail cannabis licensing in Florida?
The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use is in charge of retail cannabis licensing.
What are the application fees and costs for a cannabis retailer license?
General applicants must pay a nonrefundable application fee. They are also responsible for all background check fees.
Pigford/Black Farmers Litigation applicants must pay a nonrefundable application fee of $146,000. They are also responsible for all background check fees.
Q&A – CANNABIS TRACKING AND REPORTING
What is the official state cannabis verification system in Florida?
Florida plans to use BioTrack as its official cannabis verification and monitoring system. Our cannabis and hemp traceability system has extensive tracking and reporting capabilities to assist state and local governments with enforcing regulations, collecting taxes, verifying product quality, and preventing illegal cannabis diversion and inversion.
What are the tracking and reporting requirements for cannabis retailers in Florida?
Cannabis retailers must track and record when their cannabis is cultivated, processed, dispensed, and transported. Additionally, they must document each instance where cannabis is destroyed, stolen, diverted, or lost.
Upon dispensing cannabis, a medical marijuana treatment center employee must record the date, time, quantity, and form of medical cannabis dispensed, as well as the name and registry ID number of the patient or caregiver purchasing the cannabis.
What are the inventory control system requirements for cannabis retailers in Florida?
The tracking system must trace cannabis from seed-to-sale and allow the Florida Department of Health real-time, 24/7 access to data.
Is BioTrack compliant with Florida’s cannabis tracking, reporting, and inventory control requirements?
Yes. Our extensive seed-to-sale software allows licensed operators to remain compliant while identifying key data points to streamline and optimize inventory management at each phase of the operation. Some of our features include:
Whether you’re utilizing a locally hosted server or our state-of-the-art cloud hosting service, rest easy knowing that your data security is one of our top priorities. This is why BioTrack was the first publicly traded seed-to-sale software company to complete both a SOC 2 Type I & Type II audit.
Adherence to state and local cannabis regulations in all active markets. Print compliant labels, enforce sales limits, and verify recommendations quickly and accurately. Regular system updates ensure compliance if regulations change.
Take advantage of over 100 advanced reports to make profit-minded decisions based on predictive yields, sales trends, average wait time and more. Need to upload financial reports to an accounting system? Easily export reports, save in the desired format, and upload.