In the fall of 2021, the executive team at Planet 13 signed a definitive license purchase agreement with a subsidiary of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. to pick up a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) license in Florida. For the Las Vegas retail market juggernaut, the promise of sales in the Sunshine State became an important part of the Planet 13 story. It was a beacon for the company’s rapid growth.
“Florida has long been one of our most coveted markets with over 20 million residents, 130 million annual visitors and incredible consumer demand already demonstrated in the medical program,” Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler said when announcing the acquisition, which was completed a month later.
The MMTC license is vertically integrated and allows each holder to operate up to 25 dispensaries in the state. Already, Planet 13 has signed a lease on property near Jacksonville. The company has also scoped out Orlando, Miami and Tampa as potential locations in the future.
A major expansion on the other side of the country—in a limited-license landscape no less—is no small task. It’s taken a great deal of planning to land on the doorstep of a market like Florida, timing the acquisition of another multistate operator’s medical cannabis license just so.
In this quarterly Cannabis Dispensary supplement, Associate Editor Andriana Ruscitto walks us through the incremental journey of Planet 13’s corporate leadership. What started as a budding friendship across the political aisle in Henderson, Nev., slowly grew into a vision that, by and large, has come to define much of the cannabis retail experience in America.
Planet 13 touts itself as “the largest cannabis entertainment complex in the world,” and its flagship superstore is located just a stone’s throw from the famed Las Vegas Strip. For a local market that revolves around the ebb and flow of tourism (not unlike Miami or Orlando, hint hint), the sheer marketing reach and ubiquity of Planet 13 positions the dispensary as a must-see for anyone in town for business or pleasure. Ruscitto’s terrific feature explains how, precisely, the team accomplished that all-encompassing brand feat.
On top of the company’s cannabis products, Planet 13’s SuperStore is known for its interactive art installations and behind-the-scenes peeks into the inner workings of a vertically integrated business. It’s an experience, in much the same way that a trip to Vegas tends to be.
Not every dispensary needs to walk the path that Planet 13 is walking, but every dispensary needs to understand its brand and its relationship to the broader cannabis consumer base. That Planet 13 knows its corporate vision is one reason why the Florida acquisition news is so compelling. This isn’t just some slapdash M&A move; this is targeted growth in a U.S. cannabis market poised to make big waves once (if? when?) the state of Florida decides to legalize adult-use sales.