We are sure you have questions. And we do have some answers, but not all. Medical cannabis, with small exception, is still illegal in the state of Florida. No one knows what the rules will be until the Florida Legislature concludes this session. To help guide you a bit, below are some questions we are asked frequently about medical cannabis in Florida.
What is the Florida Cannabis Coalition?
- We are a Coalition of entrepreneurs that are advocating for the economic benefits of the cannabis industry under a compassionate capitalist model. Our members receive a variety of benefits including: education, consultations, and networking opportunities.
- We want to help you get into the cannabis industry and we won't do it by giving you a certificate and throwing you out to the wolves. We provide our members with the information they need to know, the help they may need to build their business, and the connections they need to get into this industry.
- Join today!
Is medical cannabis legal in Florida?
- The answer is yes and no. Currently there are 7 licensed dispensaries in the Florida and only a few of them have been able to open their doors. These dispensaries are only allowed to distribute High CBD cannabis to people who suffer from cancer and muscle spasms and High THC cannabis to terminally ill patients. Amendment 2 passed on November 8th of 2016 this will expand the number of conditions that qualifies you for cannabis and who qualifies for High THC cannabis. However, Amendment 2 has not been put into effect. Currently the Health Department is writing the regulations for Amendment 2.
What does MMJ mean?
- Medical MariJuana.
Do you sell cannabis?
- No. We are not a licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Center. We are a network of entrepreneurs who are advocating for the economic benefits of the cannabis industry under a compassionate capitalist model.
Why become a member?
- We are not a one-off seminar or a school. You don’t get a certificate to hang on your living room wall from us. We don’t even have all the answers. What we are is without a doubt the best start you can get in the medical cannabis business coming to Florida. You will learn new things, make valuable connections and gain the kind of business insights usually restricted to the most successful corporate boardrooms – simply by being a member of our group. Our educational program is taught by industry professionals with real experience in the cannabis industry and they are always enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with our members.
- Join today!
Why do I need a consultant?
- There are important decisions that also need to be made now. Immediately. Especially with this business of legal cannabis being entirely new. None of this has been done before. We are all pioneers. We are creating it as we go. That’s an amazing place to be, but at the same time such a wide-open landscape leaves us with an intimidating array of options. Sometimes too many options can be paralyzing, pulling us in every direction at once, always second-guessing the “other” option. It takes an experienced, objective set of eyes and to keep you moving in the right direction. Guidance and counsel are the most important elements of any business plan. Of any career. Michael Jordan still needed a coach. Guidance will ensure you have a plan flexible enough to roll with new developments and changing laws, viable enough to attract serious investors and sound enough to keep your exit strategy options open. Enough cannot be said about the importance of guidance in business. It is easy enough to look around and see all the successful business built around the world and seek to emulate the architects of such successes. It’s easy to fall victim to the survivor-ship fallacy when we only see the results of and seek advice from those who “made it”. All too often we fail to recognize the importance of what “not to do”. It’s our failures that make us wiser. Learning from the mistakes of others is infinitely more valuable than learning from their successes. After all, you can’t really say how much of their success was attributable to luck, timing or geography. But we can look back and say, “that was definitely a mistake”.
What are the licensing fees for medical cannabis businesses in Florida?
- The Health Department's Office of Compassionate Use is not accepting applications for the Compassionate Use Act. The fees for a license under the Compassionate Use Act were $300,000 in fees plus a $5 Million performance bond. Amendment 2 does have the potential to open up these rules for more people to be able to afford a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center; however, those rules have not been written yet. Anyone who tells you that they know how much a license is going to be is trying to scam you.
Can you help me find the people I need to help start my business?
- Absolutely. Our consulting network is built in such a way that we can provide you with experts in every aspect of business. We can surely send you in the right direction.
Where will dispensaries be permitted to operate?
- It depends. Amendment 2 is to be applied state wide. However, many cities and counties are considering putting down a moratorium on medical cannabis.
How can I spot a scam?
- Anyone promising you a sure thing is a scam. Anyone claiming to be able to sell you a license to operate a dispensary in Florida or some kind of pre-qualification to operate a business cultivating or distributing medical cannabis is lying to you.
Where will I be able to grow cannabis in Florida?
- No one knows. Some realtors have some very good ideas and are on top of the latest developments. Seeking their advice is a good idea. We do suggest purchasing some property, but that does come with a great deal of risk. Again, the rules have not been written yet, and that includes the rules for zoning. However, there are a great deal of entrepreneurs who are making educated guesses on where to buy property. Those who have guessed right will be held in the highest favor with the Health Department.
Can you teach me to grow cannabis?
- If you really want to learn how to grow cannabis you need to relocate to a state where it’s legal and put time in on a well-run legal grow operation. Study under a master grower and experience multiple harvests. That will get you a basic fundamental understanding from which you can build your knowledge and skill level over the years, learning about the cultivation of various strains, breeding for different compound ratios and maximizing yield while minimizing costs in specific climates. It’s a lot of work, a huge investment and chances are if you could drop everything and go learn how to grow cannabis you would have already done so. No one can teach you to grow cannabis in a day, and it will be a long time before you get good at it. There are, however, master growers out there who love to grow, but lack the facilities. If you have a facility, this might be someone you want to meet. We can introduce you.
- In addition, Florida Cannabis Coalition offers educational classes in cannabis cultivation as well as many other classes related to cannabis business management. Although we can't teach you to grow cannabis in a day, we can teach you the fundamentals. We can make sure you are as educated as possible when you begin the process of learning. Please visit our events section to sign up for one of our cannabis education classes starting soon.
Do you offer legal advice or accounting services?
- The Florida Cannabis Coalition can not. However, we have built out an extensive network of consultants that work with us. If you enter into a consulting agreement with us we will work together to provide you with the best possible service available in the State of Florida.
Can you help me learn how to run a business?
- Yes, but not in a day. There are two basic ways to get a business education, get into grad school and get your MBA, or learn from experience by running your own company. Either way, it’s not something you can learn in a day, week, month or year.
- You can, however, take advantage of the wisdom of others. You can make sure the team you assemble to help build your business consists of professionals who have the experience that only comes with having been there. People who have had both successes and failures dealing with the IRS, the DOJ, SEC, DOH and a host of other alphabet agencies and come out wiser for it.
- Our consulting network is built in such a way that we can provide you with experts in every aspect of business. We can surely send you in the right direction.
Will Florida have “collectives”?
- Maybe, but not likely. Collectives are ran largely as nonprofit organizations that provides services to their members. These services sometimes includes the dispensing of cannabis. The language in Amendment 2 calls for licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers. The structure of these treatment centers is yet to be seen.
What is an “ancillary cannabis business”?
- A business that serves the cannabis industry without directly “touching” cannabis. Examples include vaporizer pens, automatic trimming machines, hydroponic equipment, legal services, etc.
What can I do today to get a start on my Florida cannabis business?
- Legal cannabis in America is an entirely new business. We are inventing it as we go along. Even as laws develop, there are things that you could start doing today to build your business. If you are reading this you are already moving in the right direction. Let’s cover some of those actionable steps that will help you carve your own path to creating a successful business in Florida as cannabis becomes legal for medical use. Get educated. That doesn’t mean Googling “how to open up a cannabis businesses.” Be careful. A lot of information you’ll find on the Internet is very helpful, but at the same time it can easily be misleading, unsubstantiated and downright false. In this business, acting on inaccurate information can cost you your business and your freedom. What it does mean is transforming into a sponge. Learn everything you can about the business you want to be in. Learn from the people in it right now. Learn the products and businesses that make up your industry. Find your competition, your clients, your target demographics, your supply chain and talk to as many knowledgeable people as you can. That’s what we did. We attended every cannabis school, university, seminar and training session. We identified and connected with the major owners and operators of medical cannabis facilities, ancillary businesses, activists and investors. Meeting after meeting with lawyers, accountants, former law enforcement officers, politicians and business owners continues to jam our schedule. We are always learning. Get connected. And we’re always networking. Getting to know the players is critical. Who are the icons, the most successful and most influential people in both cannabis and in business? Seek their guidance. It’s easy to see the good decisions they made when building their businesses, but the real value is learning from their mistakes. Every successful business owner has made them, whether in cannabis, real estate or retail. Learning what NOT to do is crucial to success and it’s difficult to clarify. Making the right connections and talking to the right people makes all the difference. Florida Cannabis Coalition is intimately involved in the developments on the legislative level when it comes to cannabis laws in Florida. Simply subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook will keep you up to date on the latest laws. But if you are looing for help interpreting those laws and how they pertain to your business, then we can connect you with legal professionals who have chosen to specialize in various aspects of cannabis law. Get consulting. You need a very clear understanding of both current laws and regulations that pertain to the business you in which you want to be involved. Someone opening a restaurant needs to know all the health codes, commercial zoning codes, compliance regulations, tax obligations, etc. Opening a cannabis business is no different. There are specific sets of regulations and laws you need to know. Contact a lawyer and learn them. We have provided copies of all proposed Florida cannabis legislation in this book, but this is not legal advice. We strongly suggest you seek legal council to make sure you are covered and well informed. Use your voice. Even in our great democracy we don’t always get the chance to make a real difference. This is one of them. Not only will you be part of history, you will see the effects of this law in your day-to-day life. You will see it in how it affects your community, your local economy and the quality of life of people you know and care about.
Can I get a loan to open a medical cannabis business?
- Right now, that will be tough. Most banks won’t touch cannabis businesses even in light of the Cole Memo: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf You are looking at self funding, attracting large scale angel investors, or crowdfunding.
How can I make an illegal operation into a legal one?
- You can’t.
Will people be able to grow their own cannabis in their homes?
- Current Medical Cannabis legislation does not specifically allow for home cultivation of medicine.
Will I need a state ID card to get medical cannabis?
How can I get a state ID card to get medical cannabis
- Current Medical Cannabis legislation going through the Florida State Legislature requires patients and caregivers to register with the Florida Department of Health's Office of Compassionate Use prior receiving their medical cannabis ID card. Proof of Florida residency will be required. The only conditions that a doctor is allowed to recommend High CBD cannabis for are cancer and muscle spasms. Doctors may recommend High THC cannabis but only for patients who are terminally ill. This legislation is subject to change over the next 6 month under Amendment 2.
Won’t legalizing medical cannabis lead to more crime?
- On the contrary. The journal PLOS One published a nationwide study, which, upon examining data recorded between 1990 and 2006, determined that crime throughout the US dropped. In fact, the eleven states that authorized medical cannabis during that time saw no major increase in any of the following categories: homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, or vehicle theft. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas compiled their results from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data – wrote that declines in homicide and assault could be a sign of things to come as marijuana becomes more pervasive. “While it is important to remain cautious when interpreting these findings as evidence that MML reduces crime, these results do fall in line with recent evidence and they conform to the longstanding notion that marijuana legalization may lead to a reduction in alcohol use due to individuals substituting marijuana for alcohol,” the wrote, as quoted by Emily Badger of the Washington Post. “Given the relationship between alcohol and violent crime, it may turn out that substituting marijuana for alcohol leads to minor reductions in violent crimes that can be detected at state level.”