May 28, 2020

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/15/2019

Have $95 million? Two Florida medical marijuana licenses are for sale

In a move uncharacteristic of the cannabis market in Florida, an Atlanta broker is searching for the next owners of two highly sought Florida medical marijuana licenses. The process of acquiring a medical marijuana license in Florida is arduous, and running the company is also challenging. Florida’s medical marijuana industry is vertically integrated, meaning the license holder is responsible for growing, processing, testing, marketing and selling the product without middlemen or contractors. [Source: Miami Herald]

Deadly virus has Florida tomato industry on high alert

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has issued a red alert after tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) was recently detected by local plant inspectors. The malady is highly virulent and can cause severe fruit loss in tomatoes and peppers. According to FDACS, inspectors intercepted the ToBRFV tobamovirus from packaged Mexican tomatoes in Naples and Gainesville. These tomatoes have since been destroyed. [Source: Growing Produce]

Looking for a vacation home in Florida? Forget Naples and Key West.

Two Florida counties are among the nation’s most expensive counties in which to buy a vacation home. According to a new survey by the National Association of Realtors, Monroe (Key West) and Collier (Naples) rank third and 20th, respectively, among the 25 least affordable vacation home counties. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Sawgrass Mills mall — South Florida’s No. 1 visitor destination — is getting a facelift

Perched on the edge of the Everglades, nearly an hour’s drive from downtown Miami, Sawgrass Mills mall is an unlikely place to emerge as one of the Sunshine State’s top tourist attractions. The giant outlet mall has no roller coasters nor marine animal shows, no beach nor clubs open until dawn. But as Sawgrass approaches its 30th birthday next year, the mall is often called South Florida’s largest tourist draw, outpaced only by Orlando theme parks in visitor numbers in the state. More than 30 million people now visit yearly, at least 60 percent of them tourists [Source: Miami Herald]

Cracker Barrel buys Maple Street Biscuit Co. in $36 million deal

Comfort food behemoth Cracker Barrel has purchased Florida-favorite Maple Street Biscuit Company in a $36 million deal. The fast-casual restaurant began in Jacksonville in 2012 and has been steadily growing, especially in the last few years. In total, Maple Street has 28 company-owned locations and five franchised spots across seven states. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Preparing for business with unforeseen partners

When structuring partnership, shareholder and operating agreements, business owners try to address every reasonably conceivable situation. What often goes overlooked, however, are the effects on the business of divorce, dementia, or death — and the possible involvement of a surviving spouse, ex-spouse, or heirs. [Sponsored report]


› Extremely rare 'one in a million' yellow cardinal spotted in Florida
An exceptionally rare yellow northern cardinal with a genetic color mutation was spotted and photographed in Port St. Lucie Saturday morning. Tracy Workman, who teaches photography at a homeschooling organization in Port St. Lucie, said she first spotted the bird in her backyard Oct. 3. Nine days later, Workman saw the rare bird re-appear, this time following it for five minutes with her Canon T5i camera before finally capturing some photographs.

› Superyacht with seaplane deck making world debut at Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has always attracted some impressive superyachts, but 2019 is bringing some of the biggest in the show’s history. “We have more larger yachts than we’ve ever had before,” said Andrew Doole, president of U.S. Boat Shows for Informa Markets, producer of the Fort Lauderdale show. Doole said he is expecting several yachts in excess of 300 feet long.

› Chileans taking ‘burglary tourism’ jaunts in South Florida
Most tourists come to South Florida to lie in the sun, visit glitzy nightclubs and eat at fine restaurants. But law enforcement investigators suspect a group of Chileans have been visiting for more nefarious reasons — like to steal safes loaded with expensive jewelry. Commonly referred to as “burglary tourism,” local and federal investigators say a wave of Chilean home invaders have worked their way across the country, from California through Arizona and Texas, up to New York, and now, down to South Florida.

› Jacksonville-based Dick’s Wings parent company adds WingHouse to restaurant portfolio
Once chicken wing, casual dining restaurant rivals, Dick’s Wings & Grill and WingHouse Bar & Grill are now on the same team. ARC Group Inc., the Jacksonville-based company that owns, operates and franchises Dick’s Wings recently paid a total $18 million to buy the WingHouse Bar & Grill restaurant concept from Soaring Wings LLC — headquartered in Tampa — and its affiliates.

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Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.
Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.

Feeding Tampa Bay opened the new drive-through food bank — dubbed a mega-pantry — in Manatee County in response to an all-time high demand for meals and groceries from local food banks.

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