Planet 13 Sets Sight on Medical Cannabis; Eyes Florida Location
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Planet 13 Sets Sight on Medical Cannabis; Eyes Florida Location

The retail juggernaut signed a lease for a dispensary near Jacksonville, initiating its planned roadmap to Florida.

March 18, 2022

One of the largest cannabis companies in the world by market cap is seeking out its first medical cannabis retail facility in Florida.

Las Vegas-based Planet 13 Holdings, a vertically integrated multistate operator, announced March 17 its plans to set up a medical dispensary in the town of Orange Park, a suburb on Jacksonville’s south side.

The planned location is on a busy retail corridor next to a Walmart Superstore and near the scenic St. John’s River, a popular destination for tourists and local residents, according to the company.

“We’ve been heads down working hard on our Florida expansion,” Planet 13 co-CEO Bob Groesbeck said in a press release. “We are progressing well on locating and working on both cultivation and retail under a dual track plan to bring both online at the same time. This is the first signed lease of our initial six planned neighborhood style stores all focused on major population centers and heavily trafficked retail locations.”

The move will expand upon Planet 13’s Nevada footprint, which includes its Las Vegas dispensary that became the largest in the world at 112,000 square feet when it opened in 2018, and it’s 55,000-square-foot retail facility in Orange County, Calif. The company has multiple “superstores” in each state as well as cultivation, production and distribution licenses.

The pathway to its Florida expansion opened when Planet 13 entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. in September to acquire a license for $55 million to operate as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) in the state. Regulated by the Florida Department of Health, MMTCs are the only businesses authorized to dispense medical cannabis to qualified patients and caregivers in the state.

As of March 11, there were 22 companies with MMTC licenses with 409 dispensing locations across Florida, including 112 by Trulieve, according to the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use. License holders are not subject to restrictions on the number of dispensaries that may be opened or on the number or size of cultivation and processing facilities they may operate, according to Planet 13.

“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 in a September statement. “It was important for us to enter the market prior to a transition to adult-use to put the pieces in place to capitalize on this market in both the short and long term. We are excited to introduce our best-in-class retail experience and portfolio of popular products to the Florida market and to continue to build the Planet 13 brand across the United States.”

The company announced in October that it had closed the Florida license acquisition.