Florida Opens First Legal Medical Marijuana DispensaryPublished: Aug 08, 2016 by Erika Valcarcel
It’s taken a couple of years since the law was approved, but Florida now has its first medical marijuana shop in Tallahassee. The dispensary is run by Trulieve, and its supply of marijuana products comes from Hackney Nursey, according to The Associated Press. Trulieve works with Hackney Nursery every step of the way, from cultivation to processing, to ensure the quality of the plants and derived products. The shop has low-THC marijuana available in gel capsules, oils, tinctures, and vape cartridges. While this is great news for people suffering from conditions that need this medical treatment, the expansion of medical marijuana in Florida faces regulatory and social challenges.
Florida Medical Marijuana Law
Under Florida statute Section 381.986, the state allows patients diagnosed with certain diseases or conditions to use low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis. Not just anyone can get a prescription for marijuana – patients must have one of the conditions listed in the statute and must gain a prescription from a qualified physician. People who have been diagnosed with cancer, a condition that produces chronic seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms can receive a prescription for low-THC cannabis.
People who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition by two qualified physicians can have a prescription for medical marijuana, which has a greater amount of THC. A terminal condition is a progressive disease or condition that causes significant impairment in a person’s normal functioning and is not considered treatable or reversible. If the condition continues normally, the patient will likely pass away within 1 year of diagnosis.
Medical Marijuana Faces Challenges
Marijuana may be legal for individuals with a prescription but it’s still not easy to come by in Florida. Only 25 physicians have completed the required course and registration, the AP reported. And there is still only the one shop to purchase the marijuana. Individuals who need the drug to treat their illnesses may have to travel a significant number of miles to find a doctor who will prescribe it to them and then travel to Tallahassee where it’s available.
Marijuana use for medical purposes also faces social hurdles. Many people don’t understand the medicinal properties of cannabis and view it as a recreational drug only. Physicians may also be hesitant to become qualified to prescribe the drug if they have mainly conservative constituents. However, many people in the medical marijuana community believe more physicians and individuals will get onboard as the medical benefits of the drug become clearer.
More Shops to Come
Despite the obvious challenges medical marijuana faces in Florida, the state expects there will be six organizations dispensing the drug in 19 cities across the state in the near future. Trulieve was the first of the six organizations to complete all of the rigorous requirements, including a lengthy application and Department of Health inspections. The other licensed dispensing organizations are:
- Modern Health Concepts
- Knox Medical
- CHT Medical
- Surterra Therapeutics
- The Green Solution
These organizations are well spread out through Florida, allowing for greater access to low-THC and medical cannabis in the future.
Contact a Sarasota Marijuana Attorney For Help
If you have any questions regarding your rights to use marijuana or if you were charged with marijuana possession despite having a prescription, contact the attorneys of Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900. Medical marijuana laws are relatively new to Florida and it’s important to be informed about your rights as a citizen and patient. If you’re facing criminal drug charges, the attorneys at Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. will aggressively defend your rights in court.