Navigate to our accessibility widget

Friday February 2, 2018

Updated on 8/2/2021

By Michael Walters

Sign welcoming visitors to Florida, the Sunshine State News

As progressive cannabis reform spreads across the United States, more and more people are experiencing the copious benefits marijuana has to offer. From individual well-being to socioeconomic conditions, the cannabis plant is improving the lives of thousands of Americans on a daily basis.

We are in the midst of a cannabis renaissance so to speak, where cannabis industries are growing and flourishing in their respective states. In Florida, however, a different outcome may unfold if the proper measures are not taken into consideration moving forward.

In November 2016, Florida legalized medical marijuana, becoming the first southern state to adopt cannabis reform laws. But how are their cannabis laws progressing? Let’s take a closer look.

Florida Cannabis Industry Overview

From the time when Florida’s medical cannabis laws went into effect in January 2017, the state has seen a massive influx of patients who are interested in becoming part of the medical marijuana registry. Over the past year, there has also been a sharp increase in the amount of doctors authorized to prescribe medical cannabis.

In November 2016, there were nearly 300 doctors, a number that now stands at more than 1,200.

One of the biggest pros of Florida’s legalization of medical marijuana, aside from safe and legal access to cannabis for patients, is the promising future of Florida’s cannabis market. Florida’s medical marijuana industry is growing and has the potential to become a large market in the medical cannabis sector. In fact, some experts predict Florida will reach $1 billion by the year 2020 due to their large population and high elderly demographic.

Florida Population
Florida's population and elderly demographic make it prime for a medical cannabis industry boom. photo credit

Since legalizing medical cannabis though, Florida’s marijuana industry has experienced trouble legitimizing operations and truly getting off the ground. Limited access to products (most importantly, the ban on smoking flower) coupled with an extended patient approval process is diminishing the validity of Florida’s fledgling cannabis market.

Not only do these factors result in frustration but they also deprive qualifying patients of access to medical cannabis. With 1,200 doctors in place and a framework to execute, it’s a surprise that Florida’s state government has not yet dialed in their approach to speedy processes.

Wait times are reaching up to two months long for approval, and Florida’s medical patients are struggling to get the medicine they need. As the medical cannabis industry continues to move forward in Florida, one way to help advance laws is to encourage more patients to sign up and give input on the process. Doing so will allow lawmakers to quantify the struggles patients are having and hopefully help push progressive measures to alleviate the issues.

Getting Your Florida Medical Card

It is apparent several changes need to be made to Florida’s medical marijuana industry, and there are already activists lobbying for new measures to improve the system. In the meantime, we’re here to guide patients through the various processes needed to obtain a medical marijuana card and start purchasing cannabis products.

Before you apply, be sure to check out PotGuide’s article on how to get your medical marijuana card in Florida.

Inside, you’’ find everything you need to help you navigate the process of obtaining a card. As you’ll see in our guide, one of the most crucial aspects of applying for a medical marijuana card in Florida is finding a doctor.

Finding a doctor in Florida
Finding a doctor is the first step towards getting your medical marijuana card in Florida. photo credit

Simplifying the Process

Even though there are ways to make the application process a breeze, holdups on government approvals are slowing things down. And, on top of that, many patients are dissatisfied with the fact they cannot smoke their cannabis.

However, there are people fighting to improve the system. John Morgan, an Orlando trial lawyer is currently challenging Florida’s ban on smoking cannabis in the form of a lawsuit.

Lifting Florida's Smoking Ban
Lifting Florida's smoking ban would help many patients get a full-spectrum cannabis experience.

Interested in learning other ways to get involved? There are lots of proactive measures you can take to support the medical marijuana industry and help ensure it moves forward in the right direction. First and foremost, one of the easiest things to do to get involved is to speak with your local government. Although this method probably won’t yield immediate results, helping elected officials understand the issues you’re experiencing can create a spark for reform.

Another way to help progress Florida’s medical cannabis industry is to support and attend cannabis events across the state. Cannabis events are an awesome way to engage with like-minded individuals and get involved with the cannabis community. Even better, you’ll be able to learn about the cannabis industry and see firsthand how it’s coming along!

All in all, Florida’s medical cannabis industry definitely needs some improvements. Luckily, there are many people who are fighting to better it on a daily basis. With the right effort and determination, Florida’s cannabis market has the potential to develop into something that every patient will appreciate. Until then, we’d encourage patients to keep applying for their medical marijuana cards and sharing their input with others to help promote progressive reform for all to enjoy.

What are your thoughts on Florida's medical cannabis industry? Comment below!

Photo Credit: Al Muya (license)


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

More From This Author

Related Articles