Miami’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opens Despite Opposition

Miami residents will find it easier to secure medical marijuana, now that Trulieve. This storefront dispensary is located close to Miami International Airport and should help relieve the high delivery fees residents in the area have faced in the past. Qualifying patients seeking medical marijuana had to pay for delivery from Trulieve’s North Florida location. new storefront for a variety of ailments and conditions.

Trulieve will carry medical marijuana products in a variety of formulations, from pills and tinctures to vaporizers, despite opposition An additional three dispensaries could open soon in the Miami-Dade area, depending on the outcome of a commissioners’ vote this spring.

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Photo credit: Kristin Bjornsen (Miami New Times)

The first legal storefront dispensary in Miami has opened in compliance with 2014-2015 laws that allow designated retailers to offer medical marijuana products with low THC levels to a select group of patients and full strength products to those who are terminally ill. Currently, the dispensary will fill prescriptions and offer specific products for outlined conditions.

The current law limits the amount and type of medical marijuana that can be sold at a dispensary; in November 2016, local voters approved a bill that would allow dispensaries like Trulieve to serve a wider group of patients. Dispensaries like Trulieve can help fulfill the needs of local patients while the city waits for the approved bill to become actual law, resulting in wider availability and access for patients.

Legal storefront locations like Trulieve should make it easier for residents to access the medications they need at a more affordable price point. Scammers and con artists who prey on the vulnerable patients seeking out the medical marijuana they have been legally prescribed. Criminals posing as legal dispensary employees or as Office of Compassionate Use workers have targeted elderly and ill citizens, collecting payment and identification information and then disappearing without a trace. Victims are left without the medical marijuana needed to treat their symptoms and without the cash they need to access appropriate care.

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Photo credit: Kristin Bjornsen (Miami New Times)

In addition to Trulieve, the Miami-Dade area has three additional medical marijuana licenses available; plans allow for dispensaries scattered throughout the city. To access a dispensary like Trulieve, a patient needs a prescription from a doctor approved by the state’s Office of Compassionate Use. Once the patient has the prescription in hand, they can visit one of the state’s legal dispensaries, including Trulieve, to have it filled.

The new location has been the subject of hot debate; medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but Miami lawmakers have viewed it as a major threat to the safety of the populace. Delayed votes, harsh opposition and outspoken local residents have delayed the approval of a storefront dispensary in the area until now.

The increased availability of medical marijuana products in the Miami area should help those who are terminally ill or who have symptoms that can be eased by THC products. By making these products available in the Miami area, Trulieve can serve the community and allow patients to legally access the medication they have been prescribed. As more storefront dispensaries become a reality in Miami and throughout Florida, patients should find it easier to acquire the medication they need. They will also be able to avoid falling prey to the scammers that would take advantage of them while they are critically ill or in a vulnerable state. Trulieve is the first storefront of its kind in Miami, but will likely not be the area’s only establishment for long.

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