Florida is home to the highest number of medical cardholders on the East coast (roughly 600,000). The state has a similar population to New York, but far more registered medical patients than the Empire State’s 150,000. New York’s medical laws passed three years before Florida’s, so we’re not comparing apples to oranges here. The Sunshine State is second only to California when it comes to medicinal growth nationwide. Even with Florida’s overwhelming patient numbers, recreational sales and use remain illegal statewide. That means just 22 licensed medicinal operators are serving over half a million patients at 200 retail locations. And of Florida’s 22 legal licenses, just one is held by a Black or Brown owner. The state’s sole minority-controlled license belongs to multi-state operator Cookies, which originated on the West Coast. The lack of access for Florida’s Black farmers, in particular, shows direct negligence of Amendment 2, which first brought medical cannabis to the state. Part of the law requires that health officials grant a license to at least one applicant involved in the state’s ongoing Pigford cases.
Calvin Stovall, Leafly, 10/20/2021 04:20:00