Since the implementation of medical marijuana laws in Florida, business is booming. Many patients have qualified and buy their medical marijuana products, from one of the 13 state-licensed marijuana dispensaries in Florida.
All of that could be in Jeopardy because of a requirement in state law, requiring food safety inspections, for all dispensary processing facilities. Most patients don't even know this is occuring across the county and may effect a dispensary near you!
The mandate states that all Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) to have 3rd party testing for their first year in business, to ensure "good manufacturing practices" however most haven't complied yet, because edibles aren't allowed yet in Florida. The initial regulation required all dispensaries to comply before they opened the doors for business, but was appended to allow for the inspections within the first year of business, instead.
The Department Of Health decided to become steadfast on the issue and mailed out reminders that any dispensary that doesn't comply, will be forced to halt production. Out of the 13 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida, over half may be in jeopardy of not meeting their deadlines.
Here is a quick breakdown of dispensaries already in compliance ans those that still need inspections to become compliant:
Four centers with dispensing locations across the sunshine state have already submitted documentation complying with the requirement.
Gainesville based Green Solution has already stopped processing cannabis, due to their non-compliancy with the mandate, as their year ended last month.
Knox Medical and Surterra dispensary deadline to comply is coming in July and August, but have yet to submit their completed compliance report to the OMMU. With a huge client base and growing presence in Florida, Knox will surely comply in time. Even a few days without being able to produce marijuana products could cost tens of thousands, or more.
Approved patients may not have to worry about their local dispensary running out of products to sell. Even if a dispensary had to stop processing new medicine they most likely have a stockpile to sell, while they get into compliance with the Department Of Health's, cannabis division, the Office Of Medical Marijuana Use.
If the DOH penalizes any dispensary it's only to stop making new medicines like vaping oils, tinctures, and other approved medical marijuana products.
Seems like another speed bump in the road to legalizing marijuana in Florida and the dispensaries and patients will surely be paying the price till then. More court battles are looming and there are sure to be more changes coming to the industry around issues like approved patients growing plants and smokable flower legalized.