How to Open a Dispensary in Florida

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Legalization of medical cannabis in Florida passed by more than 70 percent of the vote. Cannabis dispensaries, aka Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers must operate as nonprofits to be eligible for licensure.

Currently, the state is in the process of expanding its medical cannabis program, issuing additional licenses for MMTCs per every 100,000 registered patients. Despite the booming industry, actually starting a cannabis dispensary in Florida is quite complicated. The following is everything you need to know about starting a dispensary in Florida.

Legalization in Florida

When was cannabis made legal

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Florida became the 26th state to legalize a medical cannabis program by passing Amendment 2. The law allows patients to consume a variety of cannabis products, including dry flower. The amendment was approved by 70% of voters. This changed the state law to allow approved medical users to use psychoactive THC cannabis, when before the law did not allow this.

The Department of Health released a full set of standards for medical marijuana treatments centers (MMTCs) on July 3, 2017. Some things still need to be finalized, such as whether or not MMTCs will be considered nonprofit or not.

How Many Dispensaries Operate?

There is no limit set on dispensaries allowed in the state of Florida. Five were initially approved, but due to errors, seven were issued. The old law had a provision stating that once more than 250 thousand patients registered, three more dispensaries could be added. As of right now, six dispensaries are operating in the state.

What is my Expected Profit?

Currently there is no financial information regarding sales of medical cannabis in Florida. There are forecasts speculating numbers as high as 1.524 billion by 2021.

Profits of the cannabis industry in Florida

Profits of the cannabis industry in Florida – Image powered by

Opening a Dispensary in Florida

Dispensaries in Florida are classified as “Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.” These businesses are authorized to grow, possess, sell and transport cannabis products.

Licenses are obtained by the Florida Department of Health. The Florida Department of Health also handles all regulations, dispersing of licenses, as well as forfeiture.

Licensing Requirements

In January 2017 Florida’s medical cannabis law was revamped and amended. This will allow for 10 more medical cannabis treatment centers, aka dispensaries to open in the state. When the next increment of 100 thousand new eligible patients is added to the patient registry, another license for a cannabis treatment center will become available.

Of those ten dispensary licenses, only 2 or 3 will be open to new applicants, because of the five that are still waiting for licenses after having applied in 2015. Dispensary licenses will be dispersed evenly throughout the state of Florida.

Financial Requirements

Before applying for a dispensary license, interested parties must pay a non-refundable fee of 60k. Under the amended state law, it is up to the Department of Health to decide the integration of the licensing process.


It’s going to take a long time. Applicants from 2015, are still awaiting licenses three years later. Once you receive a license, allow another year to get your business running.

 Consulting Companies

The following companies provide a wide range of different services and can help you get your dispensary up and running.



  1. Russell Stoltmann on

    Only dispensaries that can be opened are by 13 approved Lisence growers everyone else cannot apply due to Florida state qualification so wheather you have $60,000 is a nullified point until the law changes

  2. I understand the cost of the license, its designed to be available to only those who are serious about getting into the business. But this also creates an environment for those who are selling illegally to be the ones opening stores. This of course will also keep those of us who don’t have that kind of money to invest out of the business as well. Though you can also decide to partner up with a few other people who you can divide the license cost among.

  3. I agree $60,000 is absurd for sure I could see $5,000 to $8,000 maybe $10k but 60000? The reserving that for the wealthy is all by setting the price that high total BS

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