Florida Given The Green Light To Open First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

First Posted: Jul 22, 2016 07:13 AM EDT

Patients with cancer and seizure can now breathe a sigh of relief. The very first medical marijuana store is set to open in Tallahassee next week after receiving authorization from the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

Tech Times reported that the first medical marijuana store will be named, Trulieve. The company's CEO Kim Rivers expressed her happiness and announced that Trulieve has passed all inspection from growing, processing and dispensing medical cannabis. There have already been a total of 6 companies who have received a green light to cultivate marijuana for future distribution.

"We are most excited to get this much anticipated medicine to the patients of Florida," added Rivers. Trulieve is the very first provider of medical marijuana in Florida to receive all the required formal authorizations.

The Florida Health Department has given Trulieve the approval to set up a shop in Tallahassee which will enable them to deliver cannabis in the entire state of Florida. This means that when it finally starts to operate Tuesday next week, patients with cancer and seizure can finally get their hands on strains of medical marijuana that is low in THC.

According to hngn.com, the Florida DOH stated that this is only the beginning since there will be an 5 additional nurseries that are cultivating and extracting oil from cannabis who may also join Trulieve deliver medically approved marijuana.

Trulieve's Kim Rivers has also said that patients can order the drug too and it will be delivered to them within a week. In August, the company will start selling cannabis products with higher THC, which are meant for patients who have terminal illnesses, based on Florida law.

Surterra Therapeutics is the first company in Florida to receive an authorization to harvest medical marijuana. According to reports, the company keeps their cannabis in freezers outside Tallahassee. There are horticulturalists in charge to make sure that the facility is well maintained, and armed guards are protecting the said containers.

Surterra's medical director, Dr. Joseph Dorn described Florida's medical field as a "very exciting place" right now. The excitement is not just because of a new medication, but also the transformation of people's mindsets toward patient treatments.

While the state has a very large support for medical marijuana, not all of Florida's top policymakers supported its legalization. One of them is Governor Rick Scott who has been vocal about his opposition to legalize the use of medical marijuana, which he compared to other vices such as alcohol.

Meanwhile, for parents like Donna Perez from Sebring, the news comes with a sigh of relief. Perez' son Noah suffers from intractable epilepsy and severe seizures.

She spends all day taking care of Noah and making sure he takes his six medications every day. Unfortunately, Noah still suffers from seizures and it breaks his mother's heart to say that he can hardly smile anymore, Miami Herald reported.

"Maybe he can function for a day or not have seizures for a day or not choke," she said. "Even if it doesn't work it would be worth a try."

Many patients, mostly children, have been waiting for this day in what seems like forever. There have been legal challenges and the drafting of state regulations which caused the delayed release of the drug.

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