FLORIDA’S FIRST MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY
With the passing of Amendment 2, medical marijuana is now legal in Florida under state law. The newly passed legislation also expanded the list of medical conditions that qualify for marijuana treatment. Patients who have medical marijuana cards can now get their medication from state-approved dispensaries like Trulieve.
Also called dispensing organizations, marijuana dispensaries are licensed to cultivate, manufacture, and distribute cannabis medications. It is currently illegal to grow your own cannabis in Florida even if you are a qualified patient. Licensed dispensing organizations have therefore become the only way for Florida residents to legally access medical marijuana. There are only seven licensed Florida marijuana growers, although this number is expected to rise.
Trulieve became the first fully approved Florida marijuana dispensing organization in 2016, 2 years after the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act was passed into law. Getting a medical marijuana dispensary license is difficult due to the strict provisions in Florida. The company had to complete a 2000-page application that took several years to compile. They provided details on their operation procedures, quality control standards, cultivation methodology, and measures put in place to deliver safe, consumer grade cannabis to Florida patients. The Department of Health also inspected their facility before giving the green light for the first dispensary to be setup.
In the summer of 2016, they opened the first marijuana dispensary in Tallahassee, Florida. Several other cannabis shops have been launched in Clearwater, Tampa, Pensacola, Miami, and Edgewater. Dispensaries are also being built in Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Fort Myers as of this writing. The company plans to broaden their marijuana treatment centers, with locations planned statewide in Florida cities and counties like St. Petersburg, Orlando, Bradenton, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWING STANDARDS
Trulieve supplies consumption ready medical marijuana products at their dispensaries. However, the process of creating these medications begins at their growth facility in Quincy. They do not use pesticides in the indoor nursery. They also test the finished products for heavy metals and other toxins as well, which ensures that patients receive chemical free cannabis medication. Test results can even be accessed from the company’s website. The controlled growth environment employs cannabis lamps to provide plants with light that promotes high yields and potent buds. Currently, medical marijuana medications from this brand are derived from Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid cannabis strains.
In compliance with Florida legal statutes, the plants grown at the Quincy facility are high-CBD and low-THC. High CBD-content increases the main active ingredients that gives cannabis its medicinal value. On the other hand, low-THC means that the marijuana product has very few psychoactive ingredients and hence will not induce a ‘high’ feeling. This type of non-euphoric treatment is commonly recommended to patients diagnosed with cancer or other chronic conditions that cause convulsions or muscle spasms.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA PRODUCTS
Once fully mature, the cannabis plants are harvested for processing. Cannabis flowers are dried and medicinal parts are removed for processing in a laboratory, which is part of the indoor growth house in Quincy. Trulieve then manufactures finished products, packages them, applies labels, and delivers them to their medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida. The company offers a range of medical marijuana products in the form of capsules, oil extracts placed under the tongue, and topical creams. Their vaporizing accessories provide Florida patients with inhalable, smokeless medical marijuana. This mode of administration is the next best thing to smoking marijuana, which is currently not allowed in Florida.
ORDER MEDICAL MARIJUANA ONLINE
To find a marijuana store near you, visit the company’s website to check store locations that are currently in operation. In addition to business operating hours and store addresses, Trulieve publishes links to Google Maps that provide directions to some of their dispensaries. Additionally, their website allows interested buyers to call or email a specific Florida marijuana dispensary. Qualified Florida patients can use the online ordering system as well to have medical marijuana orders delivered to their doorstep. Alternatively, patients may choose to order medication online and opt for in-store pickup to avoid incurring shipping fees.
When buying cannabis from Florida’s first marijuana dispensing organization, remember to have the required patient approval documentation with you to avoid being denied your medications. As with most marijuana dispensaries, you should be prepared to provide your medical marijuana card and order form filled by your qualified treating physician when ordering from any of their statewide dispensaries.