Cannabis reform has, until recently, come along slowly in the southern United States. But the region is home to the third most populous state, and one of the largest cannabis markets in the country: Florida. While there are more than a dozen active medical cannabis companies in the state, one company, Trulieve, is behind half of all medical cannabis product sales to the state’s nearly 400,000 patients.
Trulieve is already eyeing Florida’s neighbors, according to a Cannabis Wire analysis of state lobbying disclosures. The company is registered to lobby in Georgia and Alabama, and, while Trulieve would not comment on its lobbying priorities in those states, there has been some momentum for reform in both. In Georgia last year, the governor signed a bill to legalize the limited cultivation and sales of low-THC medical cannabis products. And this year, a medical cannabis bill passed Alabama’s senate just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, halting a number of cannabis-related bills and ballot measures, as Cannabis Wire reported.
Two of Trulieve’s closest competitors in Florida have also registered to lobby in Georgia: Parallel (formerly Surterra) and Curaleaf. Neither is registered to lobby in Alabama.
Parallel, which is based in Georgia, has a foothold in another one of the most populous states in the US: Texas. The company is one of only three licensed to sell medical cannabis in the state, though the program, like Georgia and Alabama, is limited to high-CBD, low-THC products.
In Florida, Trulieve’s dominance isn’t due to a lack of competition. The other state licensees, like Curaleaf and Parallel, include some of the highest-valued cannabis companies in the US.
Trulieve, which is based in Florida, has already expanded into California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.