Since Florida’s medical cannabis program began in 2017, just under 250,000 residents have received MMJ licenses
That’s more than twice the amount of MMJ patients that there was this time last year.
The state’s medical cannabis industry is expected to surpass the billion-dollar mark by 2020, with over 100 dispensaries approved for service and over 2,000 qualifying physicians prescribing the versatile plant
Locally, there are now six medical cannabis dispensaries with at least four more on the way in the next year or so
Medical cannabis is here, and it’s here to stay
Local doctors have already begun adjusting to the changing landscape. Dr. Rene Pulido began prescribing cannabis to cancer patients at his clinic, Emed Specialty Group, before deciding to launch a new branch of his clinic dedicated to medical cannabis.
“I’ve been working to help my community for the last ten years and this is one of those rare breakthrough treatments that can improve lives without potential strong side effects,” says Dr. Pulido. “Many medications come with strong side effects or risk of addiction and that makes every prescription a balancing act. Being able to offer this treatment for
All of these changes have come about quite rapidly, and as a result, there are still plenty of questions and misunderstandings about medical cannabis.
Separating fact from fiction isn’t always easy, so we’ve taken a few common questions and concerns about medical cannabis and done our best to help set the record straight.
One false perception about medical cannabis is that anyone who decides they want to be able to buy cannabis can walk in and get a license. That’s not quite how it works
In order to qualify for medical cannabis in Florida, you must suffer from one of the conditions designated for treatment by state law. These conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, any terminal illness, or an illness that is closely comparable to any of those
You also must visit a physician like Dr. Pulido who is licensed to prescribe cannabis. You’ll need to have proof of your diagnosed illness when you meet with that physician. They’ll enter you into the state database, and after a $75 fee and a week or two of waiting, your license is granted.
The combination of required medical conditions and bureaucratic hoops to jump through tends to scare off anyone who isn’t serious about medical cannabis.