Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters this week that the state “should charge these people more” when it comes to medical cannabis business operators.

“I mean, these are very valuable licenses,” the governor said, according to a WLRN report. “I would charge them an arm and a leg. I mean, everybody wants these licenses.”

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There are nearly 800,000 patients enrolled in Florida’s medical cannabis program, WLRN reported, although the DeSantis administration has delayed compliance with a state law that requires the Department of Health to double the number of medical cannabis operators in the state, which currently hosts 22 licensees.

The medical cannabis companies currently doing business in Florida paid just over $60,000 to apply for licenses in 2015, according to WLRN. These licensees must also pay $60,000 on a biannual basis to renew their licenses, the news outlet reported.

Provisions in a 2017 law limits how much the Department of Health can charge for licensing fees to just enough to cover the cost of administering the medical cannabis program, a research program and a public health campaign, according to WLRN.

That law also granted state officials the authority to create “supplemental licensure fees” to help cover the cost of the program, although the Department of Health has never authorized additional fees, the news outlet reported.

In addition, Florida’s law requires the Legislature to approve changes to the licensing fees if the regulatory costs for medical cannabis operators exceed $200,000 in one year or $1 million over five years, according to WLRN.

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