Florida’s top marijuana regulator said his agency “would hope” to issue 22 new medical cannabis licenses within the next six months, a move that would nearly double the number of license holders in the state.

Christopher Kimball, director of the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), shared the news in a Q&A session after presenting to the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee on Wednesday, according to Doral TV station WFOR.

Rep. Allison Tant, a Tallahassee Democrat, asked the OMMU director if the additional licenses would be approved within the next six months because some of her constituents are “chomping at the bit.”

Kimball responded that 73 license applications filed last spring are still under review and need to be scored carefully to prevent lawsuits.

“I would hope we could meet that six months,” Kimball said, according to WFOR.

“That would be my hope. Hope is not a plan, but that’s what we’re working on.”

The coveted licenses allow holders to cultivate, process and sell medical cannabis in the state.

The licenses are also expensive. A current license holder challenged the new $1.3 million biennial renewal fee, but the action was rejected by an administrative judge.

Some of the state’s current medical cannabis license holders are rapidly expanding their retail presence in the state with the hope that adult-use legalization is on the horizon.

Florida’s Supreme Court is still considering whether to allow an adult-use measure on the 2024 ballot.

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