Florida’s legal cannabis program has gained plenty of investor attention as the potential for this segment of the US cannabis market continues to expand.
The US cannabis industry is largely fragmented because the plant remains illegal at the federal level. Despite that obstacle, several states across the country have implemented medical and recreational cannabis legislation allowing for cultivation, processing, commercial sale and consumer use.
While this legislation differs greatly from state to state, one state’s medical cannabis industry has seen unprecedented growth: Florida.
Cannabis – Will The Fortune 500 Join The Party?
Our Exclusive FREE Report Contains Information You NEED To Know About Cannabis Stock Investing!
The coastal state’s journey to cannabis legalization has been a challenging one. In 2016, over 70 percent of Floridians voted for a constitutional amendment to allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
However, in the 2017 legislation that created the state’s legal medical cannabis framework, then-Governor Rick Scott banned smoking medical cannabis. It wasn’t until March 2019 that Ron DeSantis, the current governor of Florida, lifted the ban on smokable marijuana.
In the face of those challenges, the Sunshine State has developed one of the most attractive medical cannabis markets in the country. In fact, Florida’s medical marijuana space is one of the fastest growing in the country.
Read on to learn more about the investing opportunities in Florida’s legal cannabis space and the top marijuana stocks to look out for.
Florida medical cannabis: High-growth market
Florida’s large population — the third biggest in the US — is a factor in the attractiveness of its cannabis market. The state is also the fourth largest economy in the US with a gross domestic product of just over US$1 billion in 2020.
A 2020 report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics shows the US legal cannabis industry is expected to grow by 18.2 percent between 2019 and 2025 to reach US$33.9 billion. Florida ranks among the jurisdictions that will contribute the most to that growth.
“The Total Available Market, or TAM, is one of the most critical factors for any industry,” states Dustin Robinson, founding partner of Mr. Cannabis Law, in an article written for Green Entrepreneur. “Florida’s marijuana industry happens to have one of the strongest TAMs in the world.”
As of a June 2021 update from Florida Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), the state had 569,450 qualified medical marijuana patients and 2,542 qualified physicians.
Florida’s patient count is a small percentage of its population of 21 million, but it has been steadily growing since the drug was legalized in the state in 2016. In fact, the patient figure has more than doubled in the past two years.
According to Robinson, there are almost 300 retail locations in Florida, with another 500 locations expected by the end of 2022.
Beacon Securities analyst Russell Stanley has said Florida boasts a healthy list of addressable medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis, unlike the medical marijuana programs in other states.
“Some other states have had trouble expanding their programs, in part because it’s been very difficult for patients to get access to product,” Stanley told the Investing News Network. “Other states have had restrictions on which healthcare practitioners can recommend it and what they can recommend it for.”