Actor, comedian and cannabis farmer Jim Belushi has submitted a licensure application to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use in the Florida Department of Health in a bid to break into Florida’s growing medical marijuana marketplace. Belushi owns Belushi’s Farm, a 93-acre marijuana farm in Southern Oregon, which he has operated since weed became legal there in 2015, and has recently gained national recognition due to his reality series Belushi’s Farm. “It was natural for me to bring a camera to the farm and discover a show around it,” Belushi said, according to Discovery.
Belushi has said that marijuana relieves his post-traumatic stress disorder, which he attributes to his older brother John Belushi’s 1982 death due to drug overdose. Jim Belushi also believes that his brother would have still been alive if marijuana were legal at the time, according to People. Belushi’s Farm products are currently available in nine US states, with plans to add six more states soon.
Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in 2016. The state, however, has set up a vertically integrated licensing program, thus allowing marijuana to be grown and dispensed by a limited number of producers and vendors working together. While Belushi’s Farm is among 74 entities that have submitted a licensure application, the state has not yet released redacted applications for public review, according to Know the Facts MMJ.
Other recognizable applicants include Esposito Nursery in Tallahassee, which offers all the essentials for lawns and gardens and also provides landscape services. Ralph Esposito and Nancee Esposito partnered with five other people and submitted a medical marijuana application under the name PharmPham LLC. Tallahassee physician Mark Moore also applied for a medical marijuana license under the name Capital Cannabis.
Also included in the 74 applications are three Black farmers currently in litigation against the state: Shedrick McGriff, FTG Development Inc. and Charles Smith. The Florida Legislature recently passed SB 372, which would award licenses to those farmers and others currently in litigation, but the bill has not yet been sent to Governor Ron DeSantis.
At present, 822,818 patients in Florida are qualified to use medical marijuana, and 2,480 physicians in the state are certified to order it, according to Know the Facts MMJ.