Florida officials have agreed to allow Trulieve to open more dispensaries than allowed under state law in a move that CEO Kim Rivers calls a win for patient access.
Quincy-based Trulieve, one of the state’s licensed vertically integrated cannabis businesses, challenged a limit on the number of storefronts that was included in a 2017 law aimed at implementing the state’s medical marijuana program, which was broadly legalized in 2016 through a constitutional amendment. Each licensed operator was initially limited to 25 dispensaries, but could gradually open more as the number of eligible patients in the statewide database increased, according to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report. The cap then rose to 35 dispensaries, and is set to expire in 2020, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Trulieve currently operates 26 dispensaries, and challenged the state’s limit under two main arguments, Rivers said. First, the company had 14 storefronts open before the legislature changed the law and imposed the cap.
“When the law was initially implemented, each license holder in Florida had an unlimited number of storefronts that they were allowed to open, along with cultivation and processing facilities to support those storefronts,” Rivers said. “Trulieve is one of the initial license holders in Florida, and we immediately began building out all facets of the business, including dispensaries, because we took very seriously the mandate from the legislature and from the Department of Health to provide patients access to medical cannabis.”
In the subsequent legislative session, lawmakers issued the limit on retail locations, as well as new zoning regulations that allowed local governments to either ban dispensaries completely or zone them as they would a pharmacy.
“Had we known that there was going to be a limitation or a cap placed on the number of locations, we very well may