A Cannabis Gold Rush is coming to Florida

According to the Small Business Association (SBA) small business recently created 2 million jobs. It was not large corporations driving this train. Small business created nearly 2 million of the roughly 3 million private sector jobs generated in 2014. More than 7 million of the 11 million jobs created during our recovery have been generated by startups and small enterprise. “U.S. Small Business Administration studies show small firms employ just over half of the private-sector workforce, and created nearly two-thirds of the nation’s net new jobs over the past decade and a half.” Small business should be promoted in Florida, but instead it is suppressed within the medical marijuana business. Representative Matt Gaetz and Senator Rob Bradley continue to pick the winners and the losers in this nascent market. Is this democracy or small business at work?

If job creation is the goal in Florida shouldn’t Florida House and Senate members be promoting small business in Florida? Governor Scott’s goal is to create 1 million jobs in Florida, and put out in a December 18, 2015 press release “Thanks to our focus on cutting taxes and making it easier for job creators to succeed, our businesses are creating jobs faster than we expected.” Is that correct? In Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where Scott inked deals to create 5,456 jobs in exchange for $25.2 million in tax incentives and breaks only 61 jobs have been created. Medical marijuana in Florida would create over 50,000 jobs within a free market.

If Representative Gaetz and Senator Bradley were not tag teaming to keep Florida’s medical marijuana market limited to just five growers, and imposing patient caps before allowing other growers, we could create 50,000 jobs post a successful Amendment Two ballot vote in November. Florida’s Financial Impact Estimating Conference, put together by economists, and presented to the Governor, proclaims the following estimates.

The estimates were based upon 440,552 patients, 130,844 caregivers, and 1,993 registered treatment centers. Based upon these projections and a reasonable application fee of $15,000 for treatment centers, $100 for registered caregivers, and a biannual fee of $2,500 the Department of Health could take in the following.


• $29,895,000 application fee for treatment centers
• $13,084,400 caregiver registration fees
• $4,982,500 in treatment center renewal fees


The Economic Impact projection was the Department of Health – Office of Compassionate Use would require $2.9 million in 2017 and $2.7 million in 2018. With an expanded market they would have an overage of $40,079,400 dollars.

To date the Office of Compassionate Use has taken in $1,820,000 when 28 nurseries submitted $65,000 each on a non-refundable license application. With an expanded program, recommended application fees, the Office of compassionate Use could instead take in $42,979,400 in the first year. In essence the DOH’s Office of Compassionate Use would be more than self-funded.
Passage of Amendment Two, and allowing a free market, would generate thousands of jobs to include edible creator, concentrates processor, courier and delivery, security, reviewers, trimmers, administration, regulations and inspectors, web and software, dispensary owner, cultivation, seed harvester and sales, consulting, and training. Ancillary jobs such as air conditioning repairman, horticulture supplies, plumbers, solar panel sales, logistics, greenhouse sales, and real estate sales would all prosper. A sales tax projection of between $11.8 million to a maximum of $356.8 million has been forecasted. According to SimpleHired, a web based hiring group, the average salary in the cannabis field is $47,000 dollars.
Allowing a medical marijuana free market in Florida is exactly what Governor Scott has called for…jobs. You have to wonder why Representative Gaetz and Senator Bradley are blocking jobs in Florida by refusing to hear amendments to bills like those put forth by Senator Clemens and others.
Requirements for $65,000 application fees, 400,000 plant counts, $5 million performance bond, 250,000 patient caps before allowing only three more growers, coupling all business under these growers, and limiting the number to five growers does not promote small business, the biggest creator of jobs in this nation.
Oprah Winfrey stated it best when she said “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”
Vote Yes on Amendment 2 in November, and demand Representative Gaetz and Senator Bradley  to allow for an open market in Florida where jobs are created and small business thrives.
By Bill Monroe, Founder of  Florida for Medicinal Marijuana