Florida Medical Cannabis Patient Growth Slows Again

Each week, Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), which is part of the state’s Department of Health, releases data on the program, including an active patient count, a qualified physician count, new approvals and an update for each dispensary. That data includes the number of dispensaries and the weight of sales each week. This is the first New Cannabis Ventures article in what we expect will provide updates every month. This article is based upon the update that was provided Friday as of 4/11. Readers who are interested in the  data going forward can visit the OMMU update page.

Patient Growth Is Slowing

Florida reported 878,724 qualified patients with an active ID card. This is almost 4% of the state’s population. While the patient count is growing, this was the slowest growth yet at just 8.4%. The count near the end of the year was nearly 865K, which was 10.7% above the level a year earlier. Here is the chart over the past four years or so:


The growth in qualified physicians has been very slow too. The 2503 qualified physicians as of 4/11 was up just 0.4%. Dispensary-count growth has been solid, with 629 locations. This is up from 615 at the end of December and by 12.5% from a year earlier. Patient growth, then, is slower than the growth in the number of dispensaries.

Units Sold Growth Is Strong

In the most recent week, Florida dispensaries sold 335.8 million mgs of THC, up 18.7% from a year earlier. They also sold 110,178 ounces of smokable flower, up 9.9% from a year earlier. Both of these grew faster than the patient growth.

As good of a job as Florida does in getting out weekly data by the dispensary company, it doesn’t connect directly to the revenue of the sales. In fact, Florida never discloses the dollar revenue for any period of time. Each month, we share a report based upon BDSA data. The last report was its estimate, based on point-of-sales data, for February. BDSA estimated that Florida generated $214.7 million from medical cannabis sales during the month, up just 5.8% from a year earlier.

OMMU data for the four weeks in February ending 2/29 indicated that medical cannabis with THC increased by about 17%. Doing that calculation for smokable flower shows that it grew about 13%. The slower revenue growth suggests that pricing has been negative. The strong growth in the number of stores and slowing patient growth along with the maturation of the industry explains this dynamic.

The Public Companies Dominate the Market

The 4 largest companies in terms of dispensaries open are Trulieve (134), Verano Holdings (74), Ayr Wellness (64) and Curaleaf (61). These four have 53% of all dispensaries. In the most recent week, they dispensed 67% of the medical cannabis products and 63% of the smokable flower.

The citizens of Florida will be voting in November regarding adult-use cannabis. In order to pass, 60% must approve it.

Exclusive article by Alan Brochstein, CFA
Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

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