It’s been almost 7 months, since our last industry overview, and frankly, we’re living in a totally different world since that update and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the reality of our world is certainly stressful and anxiety-laden at times, the fact is that the past 7 months have not been all bad for the cannabis industry; in fact, Florida’s cannabis industry has only continued to grow – proving itself to be a mutually beneficial industry for patients, MMTCs, and investors alike.
While my previous updates such as this one have focused almost entirely on the flower and product selection of each MMTC, that becomes increasingly time-consuming as each MMTC offers more and more products through time. With that being said, I will focus more on providing a “snapshot” of the MMTC and its operation at any given time. I’ll offer two sections for each MMTC: “strengths”, and “areas needing improvement”. Since my location in the western panhandle current doesn’t have access to all of the MMTCs, I will rely on social media consensus from patients (and my own observations) for the following operations:
- Columbia Care
- One Plant
- The Botanist
- Perkins Nursery, Inc.
State of the Florida Cannabis Industry: August 9, 2020
Qualified Patients (Active ID Card): 389,235
Numbers above provided as of the latest OMMU Update – 08.07.2020
As has been the case for pretty much the entire existence of the medical cannabis industry in Florida, Trulieve dominates the market; in fact, they have ramped up production and created an even bigger gap between them and the closest competitors as of the last update. All MMTCs now offer a flower product, and almost all of them have nearly constant availability of flower. Flower quality across the board continues to improve, and most of the major MMTCs now have multiple tiers and prices for different qualities of flower. To be frank, it’s truly a great time to be a cannabis patient in Florida, and it’s only going to get better this year.
Florida MMTCs: Brief Overview & Outlook
Top 3 Suppliers of Flower in Florida (by number of oz. sold as of the one week period before the last OMMU update):
- Trulieve – 20,161.865
- Surterra – 5,141.749
- Curaleaf Florida – 3,453.923
Love them or hate them (it seems to be either/or for most people), Trulieve remains the “giant” of the Florida cannabis industry, easily producing almost four times the flower of their closest competitor as of the last OMMU update.
In my opinion, Trulieve’s recent flower quality hangs up there with the best in the state when they really get it right and nail down a good batch. Some examples have been the recent releases of their “Sunshine TruFlower” (in collaboration with Sunshine Cannabis), and the newer genetics that they have recently released.
With over 55 storefront locations now, Trulieve has pioneered patient accessibility to cannabis in Florida. Their expanded product selection also ensures that there is an option for everyone, and most of the time, they have at least something available in each product category.
Trulieve’s main issues, based on patient complaints posted on social media, seem to be website functionality, longer than average wait times, and issues with patients receiving the exact strain they ordered due to it being sold out after their online order was confirmed.
All said, I’m generally a fan of Trulieve. They get it right much more often than they get it wrong, in my opinion – and they are often the first to voice their support for various social causes: including LGBTQ+ civil rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, Breast Cancer awareness, etc. I know this doesn’t necessarily pertain to anyone’s experience with Trulieve, but as a human being, I see value in using a large voice for just causes.
Full disclosure: I am also a shareholder of Trulieve stock, and encourage other investors to check them out as well. I see them retaining their position as Florida’s industry leader through at least the end of 2021 – possibly longer if vertical integration and/or no Adult Use Cannabis remain in effect in Florida.
Strengths: Accessibility, product selection, affordable options, customer service, return policy, using their voice for positivity and progress
Improve: Better website (I’m a huge fan of I Heart Jane), more consistency with online orders (not selling product to someone else), continue to deal with large volume of patients (and their safety during COVID-19)
Curaleaf has remained as one of the top 3 flower producers in Florida for the past 7 months, and their quality seems to steadily improve. The main issue that most patients complain about, is that there seems to rarely be flower (or the any of products that they want) in stock.
However, Curaleaf continues to grow, and recently made headlines by being the first Florida MMTC to offer sublingual tablets, and bringing the popular “Select” brand of vape carts to Florida.
I’ve personally tried one eighth of Curaleaf’s Afghani, and the quality was close to Trulieve’s average from around the same time period. It will be interesting to try them again in the near future, and see how they have held up.
Full disclosure: I am a shareholder of Curaleaf stock, and encourage other investors to investigate them as well. Their presence in multiple states that allow medicinal and adult-use cannabis, coupled with sustained growth, seems to be a good formula for growth – especially as more legislation for cannabis legalization is passed.
Strengths: Increasing accessibility, improving quality, innovative products
Improve: Better & more consistent pricing, better consistency with keeping products in stock, continue to improve product quality relative to price
RiSE continues to offer some of the best quality of flower in Florida, and patients regularly rave about it on social media; this has been consistent for well over a year now.
The issue is that only a select few patients are able to get anything from RiSE; they have not opened any new locations since our January update – there are only 6 storefront locations as of the time of this update, almost all of them in South Florida.
Perhaps one day they will expand, but for now, it seems RiSE is focusing on maximizing potential with their current locations (and possibly expansion elsewhere, as they are a Multi-State Operator in the USA) before they invest in expansion throughout Florida.
Strengths: Consistently outstanding flower product quality
Improve: Expand access throughout Florida, expand product selection
MÜV (Altmed Florida)
MÜV continues chugging along with its recently ramped-up flower production, retaining the #4 spot for flower production in Florida.
For me personally, MÜV has been somewhat “hit or miss” with the flower quality. It’s never been bad or terrible – it’s just their best batches are among the best in the state, but their others can be more average. If MÜV can nail down the consistency of their best batches, they will absolutely be mentioned up there with the best quality flower in Florida.
MÜV also leads Florida MMTCs with some of the most innovative products – like their cannabis inhaler, and some of the best selection of cannabis concentrates in Florida.
Strengths: Outstanding flower quality when they get it right, product selection & innovation
Improve: Be more consistent with flower quality
If you’ve read any of my recent GrowHealthy product reviews, it’s probably no secret that I’m a huge fan of their flower. In my opinion, the quality is unmatched – with the exception of some of Trulieve’s recent best batches – and they have been consistent since they opened up a location in my area back in April of this year.
Their parent company (iAnthus, of which I am also a shareholder) seems to be having quite a run of financial troubles in 2020. I’m not sure what this means for their future in Florida, but I hope they can get it together, because the quality of their product (particularly their flower) is truly something special. GrowHealthy could also do well to expand the variety of their concentrates, as they currently only offer distillate and RSO.
GrowHealthy has recently seemed to have trouble keeping products in stock due to a change in regulations for product testing. Hopefully, this will resolve itself soon.
Strengths: Outstanding flower quality, overall excellent product quality
Improve: More consistent with product stock, expand product variety (especially concentrates)
VidaCann gets the FLMCC award for “steady consistency” for this report. They’ve opened up 1 additional dispensary since our last update, but the quality of their products continues to remain steady in the midst of a growing and changing industry. When VidaCann is at its best, it has excellent flower, and its Tikun Olam line of products has some of the medicinal effects of all medical cannabis products in Florida.
VidaCann should work to improve its variety of concentrates, which it recently did by adding RSO to its product lineup – before, they only offered distillate.
Strengths: Consistently good flower quality, excellent medicinal effects of Tikun Olam product line
Improve: Larger product variety, particularly concentrates
Liberty Health Sciences
The biggest complaint about LHS continues to be its low quality of flower relative to the rest of Florida’s industry; however, there are indications here and there that this could be changing. The image above came from a post that hailed a much-improved cure, overall quality, and smell of LHS’s flower. Whether this is an outlier (as unfortunately has been the case many times before), or a sign of a new standard going forward, remains to be seen.
Beyond that, LHS continues to expand access with their distillate and vape lines with various partnerships, and recently, their partnership with Papa’s Herb announced the future release of their live resin in Florida.
Strengths: Increasing product variety, possibly increasing product quality, affordability
Improve: Product quality
While Fluent had ramped up production and was a contender for one of the top 3 flower producers in Florida as of the time of our last update, it has been largely left behind by the industry now. While others have ramped up their production by a factor of 2, 3, or even more, Fluent only produced just over 1,000 ounces of flower last week, while MMTCs like Surterra, GrowHealthy, and Curaleaf managed to charge ahead with growth.
Fluent has alienated many patients with the price of its concentrates, and the use of its own naming system for strains rather than using established and familiar strain names. The quality of their flower seems to consistently fall in above average to sometimes good, but it has not managed to repeat the statements it made with the batches of flower it released in early summer 2019.
Strengths: Storefront accessibility, consistent genetics/effects with products and strains
Improve: Better product quality relative to pricing, more affordable products
The Surterra of 2020 is certainly not the Surterra of 2018 or 2019 – this MMTC now regularly keeps flower and various concentrates like shatter and crumble in stock, and has fully embraced this change – a stark contrast from the previous stances of the company.
Surterra recently introduced a line of indoor grown flower ($45/eighth vs. their previous standard $30), and indications are that this stuff may actually hang in there with other producers in the state. I have not been impressed with any other flower I got from Surterra in late 2019 or early 2020, but I may have to try some of this new indoor line.
I fully welcome this new incarnation of Surterra Wellness that embraces cannabis in its natural flower form – and I’m sure their earnings reports do as well. With their flower production and storefront locations being second only to Trulieve, and a new focus on increased flower quality, Surterra might be a real contender for the “Number 2” position in the Florida MMTC rankings.
Strengths: Accessibility, products consistently in stock, affordability, improving product quality
Improve: Continue to improve product quality
Harvest has managed to do a complete 180 since our last update. At the time, nobody was talking about them or their flower – and what little talk there was, was negative – mentioning bad flower quality with no smell or taste, and weak effects.
A few months ago, something changed. I don’t recall exactly what shifted in Harvest’s operation, but suddenly, they started producing flower that had patients talking on social media – and they were actually saying good things.
Like RiSE however, Harvest is not accessible to many, with only 6 storefront locations. Hopefully, they will continue to expand and improve their product quality.
Strengths: Improving product quality, particularly flower
Improve: Expand accessibility and product selection/variety
One Plant is consistently mentioned among the ranks of the absolute best flower in Florida. Any time a batch of their staple MAC 1 flower is released, dozens of image flood social media, with influencers and patients alike pushing and raving about the product. There is no denying that these guys grow flower differently, and it appears that they and GrowHealthy might be the top 2 contenders for the best flower in Florida. (I haven’t been able to try One Plant as they do not deliver to my area, so unfortunately, I cannot offer my opinion here.)
Where One Plant continues to generate much controversy, and therefore shoot itself in the foot, is by making less than ethical statements on social media. I won’t go into too much detail here, but a quick search of One Plant in the Florida Medical Trees community (which I am one of the moderators for) will reveal just about anything you want to find. Be warned: the comments in many of the threads can take a toll on one’s mental health, so if you have depression and are easily triggered, tread with caution.
My personal view is that I would love to try One Plant’s flower, as it looks like it is seriously high quality. However, I will never support the ways they choose to message their patients & customers on social media, and some of the content of their marketing campaigns. I have pushed this issue a lot in the past, and will continue to voice my disapproval for any marketing/messaging that contains any sort of negativity, malice, or anything that doesn’t otherwise uplift or hinge on the quality of the product. Life in 2020 is challenging enough as it is; leave out all the negative fluff and focus on making more outstanding flower and expanding throughout the state. I am neither a fanboy or a “hater” – I am simply a reporter offering my perspective. I believe this MMTC could lead Florida’s industry if they would seriously focus on more positive messaging and interactions, and focus on expanding access and storefront locations.
I do commend One Plant on offering both ounce pricing for bulk purchases, and for offering grams, so patients can try more strains on a budget. These both should be industry standards.
Strengths: Excellent flower quality, loyalty rewards, bulk pricing, gram pricing
Improve: Work on social media messaging & advertising content
MedMen seems to be in deep financial troubles, and it is uncertain how much longer they will remain in operation.
The quality of their flower was around average to good, but it seems nobody is posting their products anymore.
It appears MedMen may be the first Florida MMTC to die. RIP? We will see.
Columbia Care Florida
Columbia Care is another name that gets tossed around for having extremely outstanding flower quality. A recent mold incident has turned off some patients, but it is apparent that their flower quality is among the best in Florida.
Though Columbia Care has expanded its presence with 13 stores now open, it seems to be struggling with production (possibly due to the mold?), next to only The Botanist and MedMen with the least flower produced last week (just over 300 ounces sold.)
Columbia’s future seems to have potential after it recovers from the recent contamination incident. Most all Florida MMTCs have dealt with mold at least once at some point, so I wouldn’t hold it against them as a mark of a rocky future.
Strengths: Excellent flower quality
Improve: Ramp up production, expand access
One of the newest MMTCs in Florida, The Botanist hasn’t had much time to establish a presence yet. It seems they exclusively sell flower for now, but not a whole lot of it; in fact, they produced the least in Florida with only over 100 ounces sold at their single storefront location.
Reviews of the flower indicate that it looks nice, but it is some of the driest in the state, with many reports of it “crumbling in between patients’ fingers”.
We’ll give The Botanist more time to establish themselves before we offer any opinions on them.
Perkins Nursery is the newest MMTC to begin operation in Florida, and the latest OMMU report indicates they delivered half an ounce of flower last week. However, I could not find any images or reviews online. We will continue to monitor for the latest updates from this new MMTC; when we find anything substantial, you can be assured it will be shared here and/or on our social media.
Cannabis has proved itself to me an American staple during the COVID-19, and Florida has been no exception for that. Despite dealing with a changing world and new procedures in response to it, Florida MMTCs have all mostly managed to expand both their presence/patient access, and their product quality in the 7 months since our last update. This makes me even more confident in my continual assertion that cannabis is here to stay in Florida; the industry will only continue to grow through 2020 and beyond, benefiting all who are vested in the cannabis industry. For MMTCs, investors, and especially the patients: the future of Florida medical cannabis has perhaps never looked brighter.
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