By Pace LaVia • February 11, 2020

Florida Cannabis Regulations: License Applications, Forms, Links, and Other Resources

This document is intended to provide an overview of Florida cannabis regulations as they apply to growers, processors, labs, and dispensaries. It includes some basic information on how to get a medical cannabis license in Florida as well as a comprehensive list of links to forms and applications and additional resources. This information was last updated on 2/11/2019.

In this post, we’ll provide a brief historical overview of Florida cannabis regulations and elaborate on the current state of affairs in Florida before getting into regulatory information. Many of these regulations are expected to be revised. This being considered we have decided to focus on regulations related to applications for Florida cannabis licenses, inspections, violations, and associated fines since these aspects of Florida’s regulations are expected to remain more or less unchanged. 

Table of contents:

  1. History of Florida cannabis regulations
  2. Florida medical marijuana statistics
  3. Florida medical marijuana vertical integration requirement
  4. Florida medical marijuana license for sale
  5. Florida MMTC background check
  6. Florida MMTC inspections
  7. Florida cannabis regulations violations
  8. Florida cannabis regulations fines 
  9. Florida MMTC license suspension and revocation
  10. Florida MMTC license renewal requirements
  11. Florida MMTC license applications and form
  12. Florida cannabis industry news

A brief history of Florida cannabis regulations

The one thing that remains constant about Florida cannabis regulations is constant change. There have been earnest attempts to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana and to reform Florida cannabis policy for almost a decade. As a result, since the legislature first implemented a medical CBD program back in 2014, the state’s regulations have been going through a continuing metamorphosis. 

In 2014, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature attempted to appease medical cannabis advocates by instituting a high CBD, low THC cannabis oil program for people with epilepsy, cancer, and chronic muscle spasms. This was a step up from a previous program that only allowed the use of CBD oil for use by terminally ill patients. 

However, in November 2016,  Amendment 2 passed with about 71 percent voter approval, setting the stage for a full-blown medical marijuana industry in the state.

The measure placed regulatory duties with the Florida Department of Health and gave the state legislature the power to draft cannabis policy. 

In January 2017, The Health Department released draft rules. The proposed rules immediately prompted a backlash from cannabis advocates who rightly claimed the regulations weren’t in line with the language of the initiative that was approved by voters. 

Regardless of criticism, in June of 2017, Florida lawmakers passed the Medical Use of Medical Marijuana Act or SB 8A. This measure required Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to run vertically integrated operations (seed to sale). The measure placed a cap on the number of MMTCs until April 1, 2020. It also prohibited the sale and use of smokable marijuana. 

In early 2019, incoming republican Governor Ron DeSantis ordered the state legislature to end the ban on smokables. DeSantis also expressed concern over the vertical integration requirement referring to the policy as the creation of a drug cartel.

In mid-March of 2018, smokable marijuana officially became legal in Florida. The bill ordered by Gov. Desantis in January also allows for the sale of smoking paraphernalia such as pipes and rolling papers at state dispensaries. By mid-November 2019, Florida dispensaries had sold more than 1,250 pounds of dried marijuana. 

In May 2019, the Florida Legislature approved a bill tasking the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with creating hemp regulations for the state. By mid-summer, the DACS had submitted its hemp plan to the US Department of Agriculture. Hemp licensing and cultivation is expected to officially begin in 2020. 

As of July 2019, Florida’s medical marijuana industry was dominated by a handful of public companies — Trulieve, Curaleaf, Parallel (formerly Surterra), MedMen and Cresco Labs. However, if the vertical integration and limited licensing rules are struck, smaller businesses will then have an opportunity to enter Florida’s medical marijuana market. 

And Florida’s cannabis laws are still in a state of flux to this day. As a result, stakeholders in the industry must keep a constant watch for changes to those laws. 

Several polls have shown that Florida voters support full legalization. However, an attempt to put an adult-use marijuana ballot initiative on the 2020 ballot was scrapped when organizers of the Regulate Florida initiative realized they could not gather enough signatures in time to put the measure on the ballot. 

A legalization initiative is now expected to make its way onto the 2022 ballot. However, as of the beginning of 2020 Florida lawmakers were still batting around the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana via an act of the legislature. 

Florida medical marijuana statistics

According to MJ Business Daily, medical cannabis sales in Florida are expected to reach $425 to $525 million in 2019. That number is up from $225 to $300 million in 2018. And according to Arcview Market Research the Florida medical marijuana industry is projected to surpass $1.1 billion in annual sales by 2022. The estimate will be substantially higher if the state legalizes recreational marijuana.

By the end of 2017, there were 1,290 direct full-time jobs in the state’s medical cannabis industry. In 2018, Florida added the greatest number of full-time cannabis jobs of any state — more than 700 percent growth. And by January 2019, more than 10,000 Floridians were employed at 14 state-licensed MMTCs. Cannabis employment is expected to increase by another 50 percent to more than 15,000 jobs before the end of 2020.

The increase in cannabis jobs in Florida is in line with the near-tripling of Florida’s medical marijuana patient roll. According to the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use, the state had more than 270,000 medical marijuana cardholders as of September 2019, with over 2,500 physicians qualified to prescribe medical marijuana and 200 dispensaries. Those number continues to rise. 

Florida MMJ vertical integration requirement

One of the most endangered aspects of Florida’s cannabis regulations is the vertical integration requirement. As written by the Florida legislature, the state’s medical marijuana regulations require medical marijuana dispensaries to cultivate, process and transport their products. 

In ___, as a result of a lawsuit filed by a company whose application was rejected, a state court ruled the vertical integration requirement to be unconstitutional. In July 2019, state regulators turned to the 1st District Court of Appeal where a three-judge panel upheld the lower court ruling. The state once again appealed the ruling and the issue is expected to be settled in Florida’s Supreme Court by mid-2020. One judge involved in the case called the current system an “unlawful vertically-integrated oligopoly.” 

Lawmakers in Tallahassee have since introduced two bills intended to end vertical integration.

Florida state Sen. Perry Thurston has introduced SB 212. If passed, the bill will set in motion a major turn of events. It will not only end the vertical integration requirement, but the measure will also actually prohibit dispensaries from producing their own products. It will also prohibit treatment centers from owning or operating dispensaries. 

A second bill, HB 149, introduced by Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini would take a different approach entirely. The measure would require cultivators, processors, and dispensaries to be licensed as medical marijuana treatment centers. It would also remove the limit on the number of licenses awarded within a geographic area and would favor minority farmers and citrus companies. 

The measure would also require a performance bond of $5 million for each applicant, or $2 million if the applicant serves 1,000 or more patients, effectively keeping licensing out of reach for mom-and-pop and boutique operations. However, this measure is not expected to gain much traction.

Florida medical marijuana licenses for sale

Because of the limited number of licenses in Florida, they are in high demand and therefore extremely valuable. As of April 2019, only 14 licenses had been issued in the state. Eight additional licenses were awarded as a result of lawsuit filed against the state Department of Health. Although there more than 20 license holders today, only 13 are actively operating. 

Many of the license holders have no intention of doing business in the state but are rather intending to “flip” the licenses for a major windfall. Florida cannabis licenses have sold in the past for as much as $67 million

Two Florida cannabis licenses went on sale at the end of 2019. One license, listed for $40 million, allows the owner to operate no more than 30 dispensaries. The other license, listed for about $55 million, allows the holder to operate up to 35 dispensaries. 

Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Applications

The application for Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Registration is divided into three parts: 

Part I requires the applicant to provide basic information about the applicant and application. Part II requires the applicant to provide the OMMU with detailed items to demonstrate the ability to operate as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center by providing information such as technical ability, cultivation knowledge, and experience. Part II of the application will be evaluated using a blind grading method. And part Ill provides information on application submittal, the required application fee, and includes the applicant signature page. 

MMTC Background Screening

Required Background Screening.

(a) No person may serve as an employee, owner, or manager, as those terms are defined by this chapter, of an MMTC unless and until the person has undergone and successfully passed a background screening, as provided in s. 381.986, F.S.

(b) An MMTC that allows a person to serve as an employee, owner, or manager without successfully passing a required background screening will be subject to discipline under this chapter.

Background Screening Procedures 

(a) An MMTC must request and obtain clearance from the department before allowing any individual to serve as an employee, owner, or manager of the MMTC.  

(b) To request clearance of a prospective MMTC employee, owner, or manager, an MMTC must provide, via email to OMMULicenseOperation@flhealth.gov, a request that the department process the individual’s background screening report. The MMTC’s request for clearance of a prospective employee, owner or manager must include the full name of the person(s) submitting to background screening together with Form DH8016-OMMU-12/2019, “Waiver Agreement and Statement” incorporated by reference and available at https://knowthefactsmmj.com/rules-and-regulations/, which must be completed and signed by the prospective employee, owner, or manager.   

(c) Persons required to undergo background screening must submit accurate demographic information and a full set of fingerprints to a Livescan Service Provider and, at the time of submission, give to the Livescan Service Provider the ORI number FL924890Z (DOH – OFFICE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE).  

(d) Once generated, the background screening report will be sent directly to the department. The department will not process the background screening report unless and until it receives a clearance request from an MMTC, as provided in paragraph (2)(b). If an MMTC does not request clearance from the department within six months from the date the prospective employee, owner or manager submitted fingerprints to a Livescan Service Provider pursuant to paragraph (2)(c), the department will be unable to process the background screening report and the individual will again be required to submit fingerprints to a Livescan Service Provider pursuant to paragraph (2)(c).

(e) After receipt of the background screening report, the department may issue to the individual requests for additional information or clarification necessary to complete the background screening process. Upon assessing the background screening report and any additional information received from the individual, the department will issue notice to the individual stating whether the individual passed the background screening. The department will also issue notice to the MMTC advising whether the individual has been cleared to serve as an employee, owner, or manager of the MMTC. 

(f) If an individual’s fingerprints are rejected twice for image quality, the individual shall participate in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s name check procedure for fingerprint submissions rejected twice due to image quality.   

(g) An MMTC must retain in its records clearance notices from the department for all employees, owners, and managers currently serving the MMTC and must retain the notices for at least five years after the employee, owner, or manager is terminated, removed, or otherwise separated from the MMTC.

Fingerprint Retention Fees and Notifications.  

(a) The annual fee for participation in the AFRNP is $6.00 per individual record retained. There is no fee for the initial year of participation.  

(b) The department will direct FDLE to enter and retain the fingerprints of all MMTC employees, owners, and Managers in the ARFRP. MMTCs must notify the department in writing within 30 calendar days of the termination or separation of any employee, owner, or manager so that the individual’s fingerprints may be removed from the AFRNP.

Voluntary Disclosure of Arrest Reports and Continuing Background Clearance.

(a) After becoming aware of the arrest of any employee, owner, or manager of the MMTC for any of the disqualifying offenses provided in s. 435.04, F.S., or for an offense under chapter 837, chapter 895, chapter 896 or similar law of another jurisdiction, the MMTC shall provide notice to the department. Such notice shall be provided to the department in writing within 48 hours of becoming aware of the individual’s arrest and shall include the following information: 

  1. Name of the arrested individual; 
  2. Position or job title of the arrested individual; and
  3. A copy of the arrest report, if available. 

(b) If the department receives an arrest notification concerning an MMTC employee, owner, or manager that renders the individual ineligible to serve as an MMTC employee, owner, or manager, the department will provide written notice to the MMTC. Within 24 hours of receiving written notice from the department, an MMTC must terminate the employee or manager or remove the owner from his or her position. 

Renewal Application Requirements for MMTCs.

Each licensed MMTC seeking renewal of its MMTC license shall submit a renewal application to the department using Form DH8017-OMMU-12/2019 “Application and Instructions for MMTC License Renewal,” herein incorporated by reference and available here, together with a renewal fee of $60,063.00.

Renewal applicants may not submit variance requests, pursuant to Rule 64-4.023, F.A.C., as part of the renewal application. 

The following are grounds for denial of a renewal application:

(a) Failure to submit the $60,063 renewal fee;

(b) Failure to provide documentation required by the “Application and Instructions for MMTC License Renewal”;

(c) Failure to timely correct errors or omissions or supply required information to the department upon request made pursuant to s. 120.60, F.S.;

(d) Failure to meet minimum statutory requirements; and

(e) Any deficiencies or violations that are grounds for revocation or denial pursuant to statute or department rule.

MMTCs initially licensed between July 31, 2017 and October 31, 2017, shall submit an “Application and Instructions for MMTC License Renewal,” which must be received by the department no later than February 28, 2020, and biennially thereafter, at least 30 days, but not more than 60 days, before the license expires. 

All other MMTCs shall submit an “Application and Instructions for MMTC License Renewal,” biennially, which must be received by the department at least 30 days, but not more than 60 days, before the license expires.  

An MMTC’s “Application for Medical Marijuana Treatment Center License Renewal,” renewal fee, and supporting documentation, must be delivered to the department’s Agency Clerk, at the address provided in the “Application and Instructions for MMTC License Renewal,” no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on the deadline established in section (4) or (5), as applicable.  If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the deadline shall fall on the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.  

Renewal applications that are not received by the department’s Agency Clerk, at the address provided in the “Application and Instructions for MMTC License Renewal” on or before the date and time set forth in this rule, will not be considered.

Florida MMTC Disciplinary Guidelines and Fines

Approval and renewal violations.

  1. Attempt by any person or entity to procure initial medical marijuana treatment center approval by bribery, fraudulent misrepresentation, or extortion. Any violation, revocation or denial of approval and $5,000 fine. 
  2. Attempt by any person or entity to renew a license by bribery or fraud. For the first violation, revocation of the license with the ability to reapply upon payment of a $5,000 fine to permanent revocation. After the first violation, permanent revocation with a $5,000 fine. 

Improper Dispensations and Misuse of the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR). 

  1. Dispensation by a MMTC of more than a 70-day supply of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis to a patient or caregiver. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  2. Failure of a MMTC to enter an employee name or unique employee identifier into the MMUR for each dispensation of low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, or cannabis delivery device. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  3. Failure of a MMTC to verify in the MMUR, prior to dispensing to the patient or their caregiver, that a physician has entered a valid order for low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, or a cannabis delivery device for that patient. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  4. Failure of a MMTC to verify in the MMUR, prior to dispensing to the patient or their caregiver, that: (1) the patient has an active registration in the MMUR, (2) the patient or the patient’s caregiver holds a valid and active identification card, and (3) that there is a sufficient number of milligrams of recommended product remaining to fill an order. Failure to verify any of these three requirements constitutes a violation. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  5. Failure of a MMTC to record in the MMUR the: (1) date, (2) time, (3) quantity of medical marijuana dispensed, (4) form of medical marijuana dispensed, (5) type of marijuana delivery device dispensed if applicable, and (6) the name and MMUR identification number of the patient or caregiver for each dispensation. Failure to record any of these six requirements constitutes a violation. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  6. Dispensation of low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, or cannabis delivery device by a MMTC to a qualified patient who is younger than 18 years of age. First violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.  
  7. Dispensation or selling of any other type of cannabis, alcohol, or illicit drug-related product, including pipes, bongs, or wrapping papers, other than a marijuana delivery device required for the medical use of marijuana as specified in a physician certification, by an MMTC at a dispensing facility. First violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.  
  8. Dispensation of low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, or a cannabis delivery device from the premises of a MMTC between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. First violation, $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  9. Creates a patient or caregiver in the MMUR using misleading, incorrect, false, or fraudulent information. Any qualified ordering physician who violates this subparagraph is subject to a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR. This penalty does not prohibit any further appropriate action by the department or respective board against the qualified ordering physician. 
  10. Creates a duplicate patient or caregiver in the MMUR. Any qualified ordering physician who violates this subparagraph is subject to a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR. This penalty does not prohibit any further appropriate action by the department or respective board against the qualified ordering physician. 
  11. Failure to update the MMUR within 7 days after any change(s) is made to the original physician certification to reflect such change(s). Any qualified ordering physician who violates this subparagraph is subject to a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR. This penalty does not prohibit any further appropriate action by the department or respective board against the qualified ordering physician. 
  12. Improper disclosure of personal information of a qualified patient or caregiver. Personal information includes the patient and caregiver names, birth dates, telephone numbers, addresses, electronic mail addresses, social security numbers and biometric identifiers. Violations of this subparagraph by an MMTC or an approved law enforcement MMUR user, first violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine and a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation of access to the MMUR. Any physician who violates this subparagraph is subject to a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR and this penalty does not prohibit any further appropriate action by the department or respective board against the physician.
  13. Misuse of or improper access to the MMUR. Misuse or improper access includes: 

a.Failure of a MMTC or other approved user to establish or enforce policies and procedures restricting access to the MMUR only to those individuals authorized by section 381.986, Florida Statutes, and whose access has been approved by the department;

b.Failure of a MMTC or other approved user to establish or enforce policies and procedures preventing personnel from sharing login and password information or accessing the MMUR on another individual’s account; and

c.Use of data from the MMUR for cold-calling or otherwise soliciting patients or caregivers. 

Violations of this subparagraph by an MMTC or an approved law enforcement MMUR user, first violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $500 fine and a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation of access to the MMUR. Any physician who violates this subparagraph is subject to a 180-day suspension from access to the MMUR and this penalty does not prohibit any further appropriate action by the department or respective board against the physician. 

Florida MMTC operational violations

  1. Failure of a MMTC to maintain qualifications for approval. Suspension or revocation of MMTC license. 
  2. Endangering the health, safety, or security of a qualified patient by a MMTC. First violation, a letter of warning and a fine up to $500; second violation, $1,000 fine; subsequent violation, $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  3. Employment of an owner, officer, board member, manager, or employee by a MMTC who has been rendered ineligible under section 381.986(9), Florida Statutes, or who has been convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the business of a medical marijuana treatment center. First violation, a $250 to $500 fine and license suspension. Subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine and license suspension to a $5,000 fine and license revocation. 
  4. Employment of an owner, officer, board member, manager, or employee by a MMTC whose license or the authority to engage in any regulated profession, occupation, or business that is related to the business practices of a medical marijuana treatment center has been suspended, revoked, or otherwise acted against by the licensing authority of any jurisdiction, including its agencies or subdivisions, for a violation that would constitute a violation under Florida law. First violation, a $250 fine to $500 fine and license suspension; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine and license suspension to a $5,000 fine and license revocation. If the license or authority to engage in a regulated profession, occupation, or business has been reinstated or otherwise cleared of disciplinary obligations, the department will consider such reinstatement as a mitigating factor. 
  5. Making or filing a report or record that the MMTC knows to be false. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $1,000 fine; subsequent violations, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  6. Willfully failing to maintain a record required by section 381.986, Florida Statutes, or department rule or regulation. First violation, letter of warning and a fine up to $500; second violation, $1,000 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  7. Willfully impeding or obstructing an employee or agent of the department in furtherance of his or her official duties. First violation, letter of warning to a $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 to $5,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  8. Engaging in fraud or deceit, negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the business practices of a MMTC. First violation, letter of warning and a fine up to $500; second violation, $1,000 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  9. Making misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent representations in or related to the business practices of a MMTC. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $1,000 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  10. Making misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent representations in its advertising. Advertising means the act of providing consideration for the publication, dissemination, solicitation, or circulation of visual, oral, or written communication, to induce directly or indirectly any person to patronize a particular MMTC, or to purchase particular medical marijuana or a medical marijuana-infused product. Advertising includes marketing, but does not include packaging or labeling. Advertising proposes a commercial transaction or otherwise constitutes commercial speech. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; second violation, $1,000 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  11. Violating a lawful order of the department or an agency of the state, or failure to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena of the department or an agency of the state. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  12. Employment of a qualified physician by a MMTC or independent testing laboratory. First violation, from a letter of warning to a $500 fine; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  13. Use of a pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide other than those permitted for use by department rule or regulation. The presence of an unapproved pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide in the proximity of a MMTC facility or a failed test for an unapproved pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide constitute the use of an unapproved pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide. In addition to the mitigating or aggravating factors listed in subsection (2) below, the following factors will be considered:
  1. The toxicity of the unapproved pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide; 
  2. The number of plants exposed; and
  3. The number of individuals exposed. 

For the first violation, from a $1,000 to $5,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and license suspension; subsequent violations, from a $1,000 to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and license suspension or revocation. 

  1. The wholesale of low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, low-THC cannabis products, or medical cannabis products to any entity other than a licensed MMTC. The sale of each plant or cannabis product constitutes a separate violation. From a $1,000 to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  2. Operating a cultivation, processing, or dispensing facility without prior authorization from the department. First violation, a letter of warning and fine up to $500; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  3. Operating a number of dispensing facilities that exceed the provision of section 381.986(8)(a)5., Florida Statutes. First violation, a letter of warning and fine up to $500; subsequent violation, from a $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  4. Failure to notify the department of a sale of a dispensing facility slot within 3 days of sale. First violation, a letter of warning and fine up to $500; subsequent violation, $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  5. Failure to possess a valid certification of registration issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to section 581.131, Florida Statutes, unless the licensee was licensed under the provisions of section 381.986(8)(a)2.b., Florida Statutes. First violation, a letter of warning and fine up to $500; subsequent violation, $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  6. Failure to employ a medical director to supervise the activities of the MMTC. Any violation, $1,000 fine to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  7. The wholesale purchase of marijuana or low-THC cannabis from, or a distribution of marijuana or low-THC cannabis to, another MMTC, without the MMTC seeking to make a wholesale purchase of marijuana submitting proof of harvest failure to and approval from the department. Harvest failure means a catastrophic loss of growing plants that presents a substantial risk of severe impact of a MMTC’s ability to supply patients with low-THC or medical cannabis products. Any violation, a $1,000 to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  8. Contracting for services related to the operations of a MMTC in violation of section 381.986(8)(e), Florida Statutes. Any violation, $1,000 to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  9. Failure to notify the department in writing at least 60 days prior to the anticipated date of a change in ownership of a MMTC. Any violation, $1,000 to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  10. Executing a change in ownership of a MMTC without prior department approval. Any violation, from a $1,000 to $5,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  11. Failure to execute a recall as required by the department. Any violation, a $1,000 to $5,000 fine up to a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  12. Operating a MMTC dispensing facility within 500 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school, unless the county or municipality approves the location through a formal proceeding. Any violation, from a $1,000 fine up to a $1,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  13. Growing low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana in an environment other than an enclosed structure. Any violation, $500 fine per plant to $500 fine per plant and suspension or revocation. 
  14. Growing low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana in the same enclosed structure as other plants. Any violation, a $500 fine per plant to a $500 fine per plant and suspension or revocation.
  15. Failure to inspect seeds and growing plants for plant pests that endanger or threaten the horticultural and agricultural interests of the state, or failure to notify the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services within 10 calendar days after a determination that a plant is infested or infected by such plant pest, and implement and maintain phytosanitary policies and procedures. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  16. Failure to perform fumigation or treatment of plants, or remove and destroy infested or infected plants, in accordance with Chapter 581, Florida Statutes, and any rules adopted thereunder. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  17. Processing of low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, low-THC cannabis products, or medical cannabis products in an environment other than an enclosed structure. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  18. Processing of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis in the same enclosed structure as other plants or products. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  19. Failure to package low-THC cannabis products or medical cannabis products in compliance with the United States Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1471 et seq. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  20. Failure to label low-THC cannabis products or medical cannabis products in compliance with section 381.986(8)(e)10.f., Florida Statutes. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  21. Failure to reserve two processed samples from each batch and retain such samples for at least 9 months in compliance with Section 381.986(8)(e)10.d., Florida Statutes. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  22. Failure to maintain a security system or video surveillance system in compliance with section 381.986(8)(f), Florida Statutes. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  23. Failure to ensure at least two MMTC employees, or two employees of a security agency with whom the MMTC contracts, are on site at cultivation, processing, and storage facilities at all times. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  24. Failure to establish or enforce policies and procedures which require each employee to wear a photo identification badge at all times while on the premises. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  25. Failure to establish or enforce policies and procedures which require each visitor to wear a visitor’s pass at all times while on the premises. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  26. Failure to establish or enforce policies and procedures which require an alcohol and drug-free workplace. Any violation, a $1,000 to $10,000 fine to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  27. Failure to report to local law enforcement within 24 hours after the MMTC is notified or becomes aware of the theft, diversion, or loss of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis. Any violation, a $1,000 to $10,000 fine to a $1,000 to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation. 
  28. Failure to establish or enforce policies and procedures which require the safe transport of low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana to MMTC facilities, independent testing laboratories, or patients or caregivers in compliance with section 381.986(8)(g), Florida Statutes. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation. The minimum requirements for safe transport are:
  29. Maintenance of a transportation manifest for each delivery, which must be retained for at least 1 year;
  30. Ensuring that only vehicles in good working order are used to transport low-THC and medical cannabis; 
  31. Ensuring that low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis is locked in a separate compartment or container within the vehicle;
  32. Ensuring that at least two persons are in a vehicle transporting low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis, and that at least one person remains in the vehicle while low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis is being delivered; and 
  33. Ensuring that all employees transporting or delivering low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis receive specific safety and security training. 
  34. Materially deviating from an application for licensure without prior approval from the department. Any violation, a $1,000 fine to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 fine to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  35. Failure to comply with a record inspection request from the department within 14 days. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  36. Failure to ensure that all employees are at least 21 years of age or older. Any violation, a $500 fine to a $500 fine and suspension or revocation.
  37. Failure to ensure that all marijuana and marijuana products are secured in a secured, locked room or vault. Any violation, a $1,000 to $10,000 fine up to a $1,000 fine to $10,000 fine and suspension or revocation.
  38. Displaying marijuana or marijuana products in a waiting room of a dispensing facility, or dispensing in a waiting room of a dispensing facility. Any violation, $500 fine to $500 fine and suspension or revocation.

Circumstances which shall be considered for the purposes of mitigation or aggravation of penalty shall include the following:

(a) Severity of the violation; 

(b) Danger to the public;

(c) Actual damage, physical or otherwise, to the patient; 

(d) Effort to prevent the violation; 

(e) Effort to correct the violation, or the refusal to correct or stop the violation; 

(f) Level of cooperation with the department’s investigation into the violation; 

(g) The number of previous violations for failure to comply with provisions of the Florida Statutes or department rules or regulations;

(h) Efforts to conceal violations; and 

(i) Any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. 

Where several of the violations occur in one case, or several cases being considered together, the penalties shall be cumulative and consecutive. 

A MMTC may not avoid penalty for a violation or application of the provision for subsequent violations by changing the corporate structure, for example, by adding or dropping a partner or converting to another form of legal entity when the individuals who own, operate, or control the MMTC are substantially similar. 

Florida MMCT Inspection Procedures

The department may conduct random and unannounced inspections of any MMTC facility or vehicle utilized by an MMTC. An MMTC’s refusal to allow entry or inspection is grounds for discipline under this chapter.

An MMTC must allow department personnel complete, immediate, and unrestricted access to enter, inspect, monitor, and observe all areas and operations of an MMTC’s facilities, vehicles, and all areas where MMTC records are kept. MMTCs must allow department personnel to interview MMTC personnel during any inspection. MMTC personnel must cooperate with the department’s inspection and provide responses to inquiries.

An MMTC must maintain at its facilities records necessary to substantiate its compliance with section 381.986, F.S., the department’s rules, and the specific representations in the MMTC’s application(s) on file with the department, including any department approved amendments or variances. The MMTC must make all such records available to the department for review during any inspection.

During any inspection, an MMTC must demonstrate compliance with section 381.986, F.S., the department’s rules, and the specific representations in the MMTC’s application(s) on file with the department, including any department approved amendments or variances.

If during any inspection the department identifies any deficiencies or violations of section 381.986, F.S., the department’s rules, or the specific representations in the MMTC’s application(s) on file with the department, including any department approved amendments or variances, the department will send written notice of the violation to the MMTC identifying the deficiencies or violations. Within seven calendar days of receipt of a written notice of a deficiency or violation, the MMTC must deliver to the department a written corrective action plan to resolve the deficiencies or violations. The corrective action plan must include, at a minimum, the action steps the MMTC intends to take to resolve the deficiency or violation, the specific deadlines for each action step, and the additional steps the MMTC intends to take to prevent future deficiencies and violations.

Upon review of the corrective action plan by the department, the MMTC may be required to take specific additional action steps to cure the deficiencies or violations. The MMTC must comply with and perform all such additional steps as directed by the department.

An MMTC is subject to additional inspections by the department to confirm that the deficiencies or violations have been resolved and that the corrective action plan has been implemented.

An MMTC’s failure to resolve any deficiencies or violations identified during an inspection in the time period required by the department or specified in a corrective action plan is grounds for disciplinary action pursuant to this chapter.

MMTC Fines, Suspension, and Revocation

Pursuant to section 381.986, F.S., the department provides within this rule disciplinary guidelines that will be imposed upon licensed MMTCs. The purposes of discipline are to punish MMTCs for violations; to deter them from future violations; to offer opportunities for rehabilitation, when appropriate; and to deter other applicants or licensees from committing violations.

The department may suspend or revoke an MMTC license, or refuse to renew an MMTC license, if the department finds that an MMTC committed a violation as provided in section 381.986(10)(f), F.S. For any such violation, the department may revoke or suspend an MMTC’s license for a period of time based upon the seriousness of the violation. Factors to be considered in determining the seriousness and length of the revocation or suspension include:

(a) frequency or number of occurrences;

(b) potential for rehabilitation;

(c) any prior violations;

(d) impact on the department;

(e) potential and/or actual harm to a qualified patient or a member of the public;

(f) willfulness and deliberateness of the violation;

(g) severity of noncompliance;

(h) length of noncompliance;

(i) any good faith effort made to prevent a violation; and

(j) any corrective action taken by the MMTC related to the current violation or prior violations.

The department may, in addition to suspension, revocation, and any other penalties imposed under this chapter, impose a fine of up to $10,000 per violation, as set forth in the schedule provided in subsection (9). The schedule of fines is meant to serve as a guideline. The department will use the factors set forth in subsection (2) to determine the amount of the fine to impose within the range outlined in the schedule. The maximum fines listed in the schedule reflect the maximum fines that the department may impose per violation, per day. Where there are multiple incidents resulting in more than one violation of the same provision, the department may impose a fine, up to the maximum, for each violation, per day.

Unless otherwise ordered by the department, an MMTC, during any period of license suspension, shall not cultivate, process, transport, or dispense marijuana, or allow patients or customers to enter the MMTC’s premises. Unless otherwise ordered by the department, an MMTC, during any period of license suspension, may continue to possess, cultivate, or process marijuana. The MMTC must fully account for all marijuana and must safeguard any marijuana in its possession or control during suspension. During suspension, the MMTC must maintain its premises in compliance with all representations in the MMTC’s application on file with the department and all requirements set forth in section 381.986, F.S., and department rule. Following a suspension, the department may allow the MMTC to resume operations by written notice after the MMTC has complied with any corrective action directives from the department.

During any period of license suspension, an MMTC must place on all of its dispensary facilities in the front window, or on the front door, a notice indicating the length of the suspension and the reasons therefor. The notice shall measure a minimum of 8.5 inches in height by 11 inches in width and the lettering shall be at least 14-point font. The department will create and furnish the notice to the MMTC. If the MMTC maintains a website, the MMTC shall prominently display on the MMTC’s homepage the identical notice. The notice shall be maintained in place at the dispensaries and on the MMTC’s website until the period of suspension ends.

The issuance of a suspension under this part does not relieve the MMTC of the obligation to timely comply with all license renewal requirements. A license suspension does not toll the MMTC’s license renewal deadline.

No MMTC whose license has been revoked may apply for licensure under s. 381.986, F.S., and this chapter for at least five years from the date of such revocation. However, if an MMTC’s violation of statute or rule is a contributing factor to the death of a patient, the MMTC will be permanently barred from applying for licensure.

If an MMTC’s license is suspended or revoked, no part of the application fee, supplemental licensure fee, or renewal fee will be returned.

The department will use the following schedule as a guideline for disciplinary fines. The complete statutory requirement may be found in the statutory provision cited directly in the violation column.

Applications, Forms, and Procedures

Additional reading



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