Florida is becoming one of the most important marijuana markets in the country…
Even though it’s a medical-use only state, Florida is becoming one of the fastest-growing cannabis markets in the United States.
As of May, over 210,000 individuals were signed up as medical patients. New York launched its medical program about 18 months earlier than the Sunshine State, but New York only has about half the patients enrolled.
That’s because of a couple of reasons.
There are more stringent rules in place for prescribing opioids, so more doctors in Florida may be willing to prescribe medical cannabis instead. Also, Florida has a huge senior population, and more seniors are turning towards marijuana to help with their ailments.
Finally, government officials have seemingly taken baby steps as the sale of cannabis flower was just recently legalized. However, those baby steps have so far been working out.
With a more cautious approach, the framework that has been built in Florida has ultimately allowed for a more successful rollout of medical cannabis than in other states.
By 2021, the Florida marijuana market is projected to be worth more than $1 billion. That would be about 10% of the entire North American market from 2018.
The Leaders in the Florida Cannabis Market
In Florida, a cannabis company can have a total of 35 dispensary licenses.
In the chart below, I’ve included the companies with the most open dispensaries. Having the most open dispensaries isn’t a guarantee that these companies will be successful, but for a good company with a presence in this important state, we expect some of these companies to become very profitable investments in the long term.
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As you can see, Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL, OTC: TCNNF), is leading the way with 31 open dispensaries. Kim Rivers is the CEO of Trulieve, and we just featured her in our monthly issue of the Cannabis Investor’s Report.
SurTerra is a private company, but with so many open dispensaries in the Sunshine State, it would give a company an instant foothold in this important state.
Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (CSE: CURA, OTC: CURLF) has received some negative attention because of a letter from the FDA, but I give a full report on the bigger picture for the company here. Its position in Florida is only going to help the company.
As you know, we also recently took a look at Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (CSE: LHS, OTC: LHSIF). Despite having fewer dispensaries open, it has the second highest sales for smokable cannabis in the Sunshine State.
However, there are a few reasons why LHSIF hasn’t made it into our model portfolio. For those of you with our NICILytics stock rating system, you can see our full analysis report of Liberty Health right here.
Conclusion on the Florida Market
Overall, I like seeing a company enter a medical-only state like Florida.
It allows the company to build a framework and be ready for recreational legalization, and the chance to legalize recreational cannabis in Florida could be on the ballot in 2020.
The Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing a petition to legalize cannabis from Regulate Florida that has gathered more than 76,000 signatures. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and Regulate Florida would still need more than 766,000 signatures to get the amendment in front of voters.
But it’s a start, and remember that Florida has mostly taken baby steps in legalizing.
Overall, this is another confirmation that recreational legalization in states is a question of “when” and not “if.”
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
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6 responses to “These Companies Are Leading the Race in the Florida Market”
August 09 2019