Article Detail

News & Knowledge

Florida Expands Medical-Cannabis Industry with New Rules

January 06, 2023

By: Tara Tedrow & Logan Opsahl

The long-awaited expansion of Florida’s medical cannabis industry appears to finally be in the works, with a potential major expansion of licenses on the horizon. Florida health regulators announced that the state is preparing to potentially double the number of licenses available for medical marijuana treatment centers (“MMTCs”) by allowing up to 22 additional licenses to operate. Application for licensure of MMTCs will also see considerable changes.

In a highly anticipated decision, the Florida Department of Health (the department tasked with regulating medical cannabis through the Office of Medical Marijuana Use) recently issued Emergency Rule 64ER22-9 (the “Order”) which will significantly alter application review and associated fees.

Rather than a single application round, the Order provides for a “batching cycle.” This will allow for the comparative review of multiple applications for a specified number of available MMTC licenses during a designated 5-day “application window” to be established by the Department.

The Department will also require a non-refundable application fee of $146,000. The fee, which will be due each time an applicant applies, is more than double the previous $60,830 application fee.

Following calls by Governor DeSantis for MMTC license fees to better reflect the market value of these licenses, the Department also issued  Emergency Rule 64ER22-10 which increases the costs of medical marijuana operators to renew their licenses. In Florida, MMTC operators are required to renew their licenses every two years.

The new renewal fee is based on a formula which includes the amount of money it costs the state to regulate the industry. According to documents released by the department, the new renewal fee will be $1,223,124.42 for all license renewals due between January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024.

If you have questions regarding or need assistance with applying for a MMTC license in Florida, please reach out to Tara Tedrow, Chair of our Cannabis & Controlled Substances Group, at tara.tedrow@lowndes-law.com


This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.
Tara
Tara Tedrow is a shareholder in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group and serves as chair of the Cannabis & Controlled Substances Group. She brings years of experience handling an array of complex legal matters for multi-billion dollar valued companies and entrepreneurs alike.
With a significant portion of her practice devoted to land use and development, Tara regularly advises clients on entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office and mixed uses. She works with local governments and regulatory agencies to address the needs of her clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence and property rights.

Often sought out for high-profile and high-stakes land development projects, Tara has delivered positive outcomes for clients ranging from large multi-national and U.S.-based companies to high-net worth individuals seeking land use entitlements. With over 15 years of competitive debate experience, she is uniquely suited to handle complex and controversial projects and public hearings that present a myriad of political and legal challenges.

Tara has provided developers and clients with legal counsel and representation in Section 70.51 mediations. Her experience in land use and environmental dispute resolutions offers a unique benefit to clients navigating the alternative dispute resolution process following denial of a development order, zoning approval and other land use matters around the state.

Well-known for providing legal and lobbying representation for a wide range of cannabis clients, Tara and her team work with physicians, lenders, real estate developers, landlords, ancillary service providers, banks, licensed adult use and medical marijuana companies, cultivators, processors, retailers and license applicants, helping them to navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape of marijuana and hemp regulations. She also assists clients in the national hemp industry in obtaining licensing and approvals for processing, retailing, cultivation and other forms of secondary byproduct monetization. Her deep knowledge of regulatory laws and understanding of operations and logistics for cannabis companies, along with her ability to make connections and build partnerships, bring strategic value to her clients. 

Tara is the only person in the state of Florida to be appointed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to both the inaugural Industrial Hemp Advisory Council created under Senate Bill 1020 and to the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee, which she currently chairs. A prolific presenter and speaker at industry seminars and conferences, she has served as the keynote speaker on industry regulations at over 60 events in the past two years. In the fall of 2018, Tara became the first professor in the state of Florida to teach a law school course on marijuana law and policy at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she continues to teach today.

Prior to joining the firm, Tara worked as a legal extern for the University of Florida General Counsel and Office of the Vice President as well as for the Orlando Juvenile Public Defenders Office. For over a decade, she has also worked professionally as a private speech and debate coach and taught at multiple national debate institutes, including the National Debate Forum at Emerson University, the National Symposium for Debate at Grinnell College and Victory Briefs Institute at UCLA.

Tara is a contributing writer at the Orlando Sentinel and has spoken about various real estate topics on Fox News.

To view Tara's information specific to Land Use or Cannabis, click the corresponding links below. 



Land Use
Cannabis
Logan

Logan Opsahl is an attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Department who focuses his practice on commercial real estate transactions, land use, eminent domain and local government issues. He represents developers, homebuilders, landlords, tenants and franchisees in a wide range of matters involving the acquisition, disposition, development and leasing of commercial real estate.

A third-generation Floridian, Logan is passionate about real estate development initiatives within the state, and he enjoys assisting clients navigate all aspects of real estate transactions, ranging from simple, straightforward deals to highly complex ones. He routinely handles the drafting and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, as well as retail and office leases. He also has extensive experience counseling clients on development agreements, site plan requirements and other development matters.

A significant portion of Logan’s practice focuses on the representation of both property and business owners against condemning authorities regarding the taking of property for projects related to road widenings, highway construction, natural gas pipelines and powerlines. He has successfully represented the interests of both landlords and tenants in a variety of eminent domain matters, including the taking of commercial properties, residential properties, agricultural properties, gas stations, HOA properties and vacant land.

Prior to joining Lowndes, Logan gained broad experience in municipal law and land use matters while serving as assistant city attorney and police local advisor to the City of Ocoee, where he reviewed development applications and provided legal counsel to city staff.

Logan earned his law degree, as well as a certificate in environmental and land use law, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. While attending law school, he was a member of Florida Blue Key and served as vice president of the Florida Moot Court Team and vice president of community service of the John Marshall Bar Association. He also served as a clerk for Justice Ricky Polston of the Supreme Court of Florida and worked in the General Counsel’s Office to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. He holds an undergraduate degree in both economics and political science from Florida State University.

In his free time, Logan enjoys fishing, boating, surfing, hiking and just spending time in the great outdoors of Florida.

Meritas Law Firms Worldwide logo