As demand for medical cannabis increases, Florida regulators request more staff and money

The demand for medical cannabis is increasing, but the fees Florida charges aren’t enough to keep up with licensure and regulatory costs, state budget documents show.

As a result, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has included a $6.2 million increase for the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) in its state Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 legislative budget request (LBR).

The push to increase funds comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he doesn’t think the state has been charging enough for the medical cannabis treatment center licenses. But increasing the costs of the licenses to keep up with growing may require a statutory change and approval of a supermajority of the Legislature.

Meanwhile, the DOH says it needs to hire an additional 31 full-time employees for the OMMU in its Tallahassee headquarters, as well as new regional offices due to the increase in demand for medical cannabis.  

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