A new era of alternative medicine is underway in Florida with the grand opening of the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary. This week in Tallahassee, Trulieve (a division of Hackney Nursery) opened its doors as the state’s first official medicinal cannabis clinic.
In addition to this facility, Trulieve has five more locations opening soon in Bradenton, Pensacola, St. Pete, Tampa, and Clearwater, according to its website.
Though first out of the gate to conduct business, Trulieve is just one of six nursery operations that were awarded exclusive licenses to grow, process, and dispense low-THC/CBD (non-euphoric) cannabis products approved for patients with cancer or a condition that causes chronic seizures or muscle spasms as well as “medical cannabis” if a patient is suffering from a condition determined to be terminal by two physicians. According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), in contrast to the low-THC strain, medical cannabis can contain significant levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC and may produce a “high.”
In the meantime, the remainder of the state’s qualified nursery operations are eagerly awaiting the final go-ahead from the DOH. The news of Trulieve’s accomplishment comes on the heels of Tampa-based Surterra Therapeutics announcing completion of its first harvest of therapeutic cannabis. “This is a big day for Surterra, but bigger for Florida’s patients, said Susan Driscoll, Surterra President and Managing Director of Alpha Foliage. “We are proud that we are so close to delivering quality and consistent cannabis products to the patients of Florida, and we have and will continue to do so as quickly as possible.”
Check out behind-the-scenes footage of Surterra Therapeutics’ first official harvest.
State Amendment 2, which would legalize marijuana for specific medical reasons, will be on the ballot in the upcoming November election. Despite a narrow defeat of the measure back in 2014, early polls indicate the revised piece of legislation will pass this go-round.