As it turns out, patients in Florida (who qualify under the present laws) will have access to medical marijuana as soon as next Tuesday – for those living close enough to Tallahassee. The state’s capital will be home to the very first dispensary to open in the state – two years after the laws allowing them were put in place. Better late than never is definitely the motto here – but Trulieve (created by Hackney Nurseries) did their best to keep the patients in mind so they could get their doors open as soon as possible.
Previously it appeared that a Tampa based company called Suterra (partnered with Alpha Foliage) would be the first to have products on the shelf – but Trulieve has kept quiet until they were ready to make their big announcement. Currently they only have one strain that will be available in the form of CBD oil by the name of Vita Jay – a high CBD and low THC strain that will be used to help combat intractable epilepsy; a medicine patients and their families have been waiting on for far too long.
“I think once people realize that it really is medicine, that it’s not in any way recreational, they will see why people need it,” she said (Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers).
By the time other dispensaries start opening their doors, Trulieve will be prepared to roll out their second strain – a full strength, high THC strain that will be sold only to patients who have been diagnosed with less than a year to live (which must be confirmed by 2 physicians). Patients waiting on either medication will need a doctor’s recommendation, from one of the few doctors who have become certified by the state – between that and only one dispensary serving the entire state for now, it may still be somewhat difficult for qualifying patients to obtain the medicine they need.
“We know that patients have been waiting for a long time,” Rivers said. “We thought that it was critical to open as soon as possible to get patients the medications they have been waiting for.”
While this will finally allow a small number of patients access to medical marijuana, it still puts limitations on sales that keep thousands of other patients from improved quality of life. The campaign led by John Morgan for Amendment 2 sent out an e-mail reminder Thursday afternoon – reminding the citizens of Florida that just because we have dispensaries opening up, doesn’t mean all the patients are taken care of, and that Amendment 2 is the only way to bring relief to millions of people who are sick and suffering each and every day because traditional medicines simply don’t seem to do the trick.
Until Suterra and other companies open up their dispensary locations throughout the state, the only dispensary available to patients will be the Trulieve location in Tallahassee – however they will deliver (though it is expected to take up to a week depending on where in the state), which is more than many expected at this point in the show. They also have plans to open up shops throughout the state in Pensacola, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Bradenton in the coming months – and it will be great to have more dispensaries up and running before Amendment 2 gets its vote in November.