Florida is issuing five more grower licenses in the state, and that may mean higher delivery costs for patients in South Florida. None of the new licenses are speculated to be issued in South Florida. The area has a high concentration of qualified patients.
The only available grower in Southeast Florida is Costa Farms in Miami, according to Sun-Sentinel. The current cost for a 600mg vape cartridge ranges from $74 – $90. Costs vary depending on the retailer.
Zachary Davis, attorney for Keith ST. Germain Nursery, said, “You can transport it down here, but that’s gonna have a real cost. And there’s security issues in transportation as well.”
George Scorsis of Liberty Health Services is contracted to grow at Chestnut Hill Tree Farm. He says the scale of the industry will help the big growers reduce costs statewide.
Scorsis said, “Our competitive advantage is that no one can grow at the cost structure we can grow. Yes, there’s a one time start-up cost in terms of our facilities, but all of us have built into our structure. We scale up, you’ll continue to see cost structures remain stable, if not drop or reduce.”
Growers hoping to obtain licenses say that patient access won’t be an issue, even though the growers aren’t in the most populated areas of the state.
Scorsis said, “Right from the get-go, we will have four dispensary-type models in the state. With those four alone, I will be able to service anyone in Florida within a 24-hour window because deliveries are permitted.”
Some say that a license should be awarded to a South Florida grower because it could create jobs and reduce transportation costs that are factored into the cost of the products.
Attorney Davis believes that some rural areas are “places that could definitely use a big production facility”.
Seven medical marijuana growers are currently operating in Florida. Five new cultivation licenses are to be issued by August 1. Another five should be awarded sometime in October. Four more licenses will be awarded for every new 100,000 patients moving forward.
Liberty Health Services purchased the operations of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm. This will give Liberty the largest producer in Florida.
Scorsis said, “Once I have 400,000 square feet, I will be bringing 300 new jobs to the community, including those from science backgrounds, those from ag backgrounds, administrative – good paying jobs.”