Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Just the prospect of medical marijuana in Florida is attracting prospectors

As reported in this local article, headlined "'Ganjapreneuers' scramble for chance at Florida medical marijuana industry," just the possibility of a robust medical marijuana market in Florida is generating a lot of economic buzz in the Sunshine State. Here is how this article starts:

When Cannabis-Rx bought a Super-Walmart-sized boat plant here last month, the real estate investor said it was destined to become one of America's largest pot "cultivation parks."  Only one problem: Florida's vote on legalizing medical marijuana is still six months away.  And it could take twice that long before a patient lights the state's first legal joint.

Regulators have said next to nothing about how medical marijuana in the Sunshine State would move from seed to sale.  That hasn't slowed a rush of investors giddy for Florida's potentially vast legal-weed industry.   Entrepreneurs have in the last year filed for more than 80 Florida business licenses with marijuana-scented names.  There is a Cannabis Clinic, a Cannabis Club, a Cannabis Consulting, a Cannabis Collective, a Cannabis Law Group, a Cannabis Hemporium and a Cannabisunshine Corp.

"It's like the early days of the Internet," said Walt Blenner, an attorney for Paul Caputo, a Palm Harbor dentist who has filed for three Tampa Bay business licenses with "medical marijuana" in the name.  "Some people are jumping full-speed into this … and we're all sitting around trying to figure out what's going to happen next."

Pot pioneers are already making money in the 21 states, plus the nation's capital, that now allow medical cannabis.  America's legal-weed market is expected to bloom to $2.5 billion this year, and pass $10 billion in 2018, according to analysts with ArcView Group, a canna-business investment network.

The stakes are especially high in Florida, which analysts say could become the second-largest medical-marijuana state in the country behind California, with hundreds of thousands of patients and $780 million a year in sales.

Some prior related posts:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2014/05/just-the-prospect-of-medical-marijuana-in-florida-is-attracting-prospectors.html

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