THE MHC MODERN CANNABIS NURSERY?
Governor Rick Schott signed the Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 into law in the state of Florida. This allows licensed dispensing organizations to cultivate, process, and sell medical marijuana to qualified patients. Since then, many establishments have applied for authorization to process and dispense medical cannabis. However, only a handful of companies have passed the rigorous state qualification process. Modern Health Concepts (MHC) was among the first establishments to get approval from the Department of Health back in 2016. The South Florida-based organization now runs a fully-fledged medical marijuana facility with a nursery, processing lab, and dispensing center.
WHAT TAKES PLACE AT THE MHC MODERN CANNABIS NURSERY?
The process of producing marijuana medication starts at the MHC cannabis growth house in rural Miami-Dade County, in southwest Miami. It is also known as Costa Farm. Cultivation begins with seeds that germinate into ‘mother plants’. These carefully chosen cannabis strains are then used to grow thousands of clones taken as snip cuttings.
At the nursery, cannabis plants grow indoors in a controlled environment. To provide optimal conditions for blooming, workers expose the maturing plants to regular periods of light and darkness. This takes place in flowering rooms with low humidity and steady temperatures. When the plant reaches maturity, the flowers and other useful parts are harvested. This process can take several months.
The harvested product is first dried and then packed in vacuum-sealed plastic bags after curing. In this state, the dried cannabis may be rolled up and smoked. However, Florida marijuana laws prohibit this mode of usage, even for medical purposes. To provide patients with medical grade cannabis products, Medical Health Concepts processes the dried buds further into other forms. Before processing, dried cannabis is ground and stored in freezers.
MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM PLANTS TO MEDICINE
The final conversion of raw cannabis into medication is done at the MHC lab, which is run by a team of chemists. The raw material goes through several stages before being processed into marijuana capsules and oral oil tinctures. Patients can take these final products as medication.
Initially, a C02 reactor churns the ground cannabis into a paste. The paste is then diluted with 200-prof ethanol and refrigerated to remove unwanted waxes, non-digestible lipids, and other impurities. The mixture is distilled to evaporate added ethanol. Then the remaining product is baked to activate THC and CBD, the main ingredients that give marijuana its therapeutic effects. The high oven temperatures remove unwanted acids as well, leaving behind an oil extract used to formulate various marijuana medications. MHC staff mix the final liquid with safflower oil until the desired consistency and potency is reached.
MHC QUALITY CONTROL MEASURES
The products that Medical Health Concepts manufactures must meet standards set by the Florida Department of Health. The company employs several quality control practices to make sure that patients receive safe marijuana treatment drugs. To begin, their cannabis cultivation method makes use of bar code tracking. If there is a problem with a particular product, bar codes link every capsule bottle or oil vial back to the individual plant. Second, lab technicians test the products at various stages for potency and contaminants. Third, they hand-grow their cannabis plants in an environment that reduces exposure to chemicals and pests. Even trained workers at the nursery wear scrubs, gloves, and hairnets during the growth and processing phase.
MHC MARIJUANA STRAIN & FINISHED PRODUCTS
Modern Health Concepts offers both low-THC and full-strength medical cannabis products. Their non-euphoric products are known as Haleigh’s Hope, a cannabis oil extract containing less than 0.8% THC. Derived from the Cannabis Sativa L strain, this low-THC medication provides relief for cancer symptoms, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is available in capsule form as well and can be taken in vaporizer pens that MHC provides.
On the other hand, MHC full-strength cannabis medications come in the same forms described above, but they contain a CBD-THC ratio of 1:10. This type of medical cannabis causes a ‘high’ because of its high concentration of the psychoactive ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It provides relief to patients suffering from debilitating conditions that benefit from the higher doses of THC. However, MHC only sells high-THC cannabis medication to patients who need hospice care, which is required under Florida marijuana laws. In addition, end-of-life patients only qualify for high-THC medical marijuana if diagnosed as being terminally ill by two qualified physicians.
HOW TO ORDER MHC MEDICAL CANNABIS PRODUCTS
Medical Health Concepts makes their products accessible to patients via a mobile delivery program. The company ships medications to patients on the Compassionate Use Registry who reside in South Florida. Alternatively, qualified patients can schedule appointments online at MHC’s website to make in-store pickups. Currently, the company operates one Florida medical marijuana dispensary in Miami-Dade County.