After two and a half years, those waiting for low-THC medical cannabis in the state of Florida should finally have access by the end of the summer. What started off sounding like a plan to allow relief to children and people suffering from seizure disorders has turned into a long and drawn out legal process which has left patients in need suffering for more than two years after the bill was signed into law.
Last November, it appeared things might be picking up when the Department of Health finally approved five nurseries (one for each region of Florida) to grow the low-THC Charlotte’s Web strain. Of course, there were appeals to this process and, after careful review and another legislative session allowing an additional nursery to join the ranks, we’re another six months down the line.
The good news is that the sixth grower has already been approved and one ambitious company says they should have products on the shelves of a care center in Tampa by the time summer comes to a close. Alpha Foliage has partnered with Suterra Therapeutics, who will be distributing medical cannabis from their nursery. This is great news for patients who have been waiting for years to find relief – but it means anyone outside the Tampa Bay area will have to travel to get their medicine until other nurseries get caught up.
“We are a business, but Surterra is really focused on the patients who have been waiting for natural options to empower their health,” she (Susan Discroll, President of Suterra Therapeutics and Managing Director of Alpha Foliage) says. “We are excited that we are closer than ever to achieving this for the people of Florida.”
Currently, it sounds as though they only have the low-THC cannabis seeds in the ground – but with the addition of a law allowing for those diagnosed with less than six months to live to access full strength marijuana, this is only the beginning. These companies know that their initial investments are large and their initial return might be small due to the limited patient base – but with Amendment 2 on the rise they are likely getting ready to amp things up this winter.
Once the election is over, if Amendment 2 passes, there are many things that may change about how the state determines medical marijuana cultivators – but at least there will be six nurseries ready to go and hopefully thousands more patients will not have to go another two years or more without legal access to medicine they need.