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Florida Navigates Tricky Marijuana Waters

Florida Navigates Tricky Marijuana Waters

The first business day of 2017, marks the start of medical marijuana in Florida. In 2016, the state became the first southern state to legalize marijuana, standing out among its conservative northern neighbors. Although marijuana is now legal in Florida, patients must wait while the state works out many specifics.

Becoming a Medical Patient

Although Florida previously allowed low-THC strains for a small number of conditions, their Right to Try Act did not cover many debilitating conditions. It also did not allow a wide enough variety of strains to treat many of the conditions patients suffer from. With legalization, the state covered more conditions, including glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

The Florida medical marijuana program requires medical supervision by an approved physician. This is no easy task since the process for approving Florida doctors takes three months and includes an examination. At the moment, only 340 registered physicians treat just under 1500 patients. Many doctors are already, understandably, booked.

Purchasing Marijuana

As if getting approved to use marijuana wasn’t hard enough, finding that marijuana won’t be any easier. Florida has licensed seven organizations to distribute marijuana to patients. Of those seven, five have received authorizations. At least one of those organizations will provide home delivery to patients.

The state will license three additional organizations after at least 250,000 patients register. To encourage diversity in the industry, the state designated one of those licenses for an African-American owned organization.

Although protected by the state law, many Florida cities are not welcoming dispensaries. As many as 55 cities have banned or restricted dispensaries, with a few more considering it. Tallahassee (near the Georgia state line), as well as the Gulf coast cities of Tampa and Clearwater, are currently the largest cities with dispensaries. These municipalities are very far from many of Florida’s most major cities as well as a significant amount of its population.

Just the Beginning

The legalization of marijuana in Florida was just the first step toward full access for those who need it. Voters won the attention of the state government, now it’s up to legislators to decide how it will be done. While patients get their medical cards, the country is watching to see how the South manages legal marijuana.

Read more on Florida legalization and growing marijuana in Florida

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Comment Section

7 thoughts on “Florida Navigates Tricky Marijuana Waters

By Cyunvme on 5 January 2017

Its a Sham! Rick Scott is making sure only people who paid him handsomely and gave him ownership can get involved. Only 10 people can make money off this does that sound like capitalism?

By JNo on 11 July 2017

Nah but it sure does sound American!

By Brent Messina on 2 November 2017

Rockefeller went to court on the Monopoly, and lost. He had to diversify Standard Oil, and this is quite a SHAM!!!!!!!!

By Brent Messina on 2 November 2017

All political parties are power, and money hungry. Was Lenin/Stalin any better than the Czar's family with Rasputin by there side?

By John P on 5 January 2018

This whole thing is a complete BS scam! $299 to some company to get your Dr appointment... Then $75 to the state of Floriduhhhhh for the medical card, another $75 to the dispensary to be able to buy from them! Really? I have to pay you $75 just to be able to buy your over priced product?? And let's not forget that every 6 months you need to spend another $100 to see the Dr again... Floriduhhhhh is setting this up to fail! John your magic and please run for Governor!

By Marvin Chamberlin on 3 May 2018

You want to stop people from overdosing on pain pills but you won't legalize marijuana that helps better then pain pills and nobody odie's

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