The state of Florida still has strict restrictions on the use of marijuana.
The area where some leniency has developed is for medical purposes. Back in 2016 voters approved an amendment that would allow those in medical need to use cannabis products with higher levels of THC (the chemical responsible for the physiological effects).
Although this is a major step forward for the state, the question of who actually needs it for medical purposes continues to vex some lawmakers.
This is where licensed physicians come into play. They are the ones who ultimately give the green light on the green product, and there are thousands of doctors across the state who are eligible to write the medical marijuana subscriptions.
According to the Florida Department of Health, there are a number of conditions that qualify a patient to use the medicine. One of those is a major disease such as cancer, that helps patients during the hardships of chemotherapy and just day to day pain that comes with the disease.
Outside of a major disease like cancer, The Office of Medical Marijuana Use has a list of conditions that qualify.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma and epilepsy are among those which make someone eligible for medical marijuana and many cities in the state have dispensaries which distribute the prescriptions.
Trulieve is one of the dispensaries located in Tallahassee and it has patients flowing in and out of the office all day.
Bakari Wilder and Chris Lewis are employees at Trulieve and they both detailed some of the positive effects they’ve seen medical marijuana have on patients.
“I’ve seen a positive impact on the community when it comes to things like pain relief and stress relief,” said Wilder. “I know for my store we get a lot of veterans. It helps ease the pain, makes life a little easier for them especially coming from war and just trying to get adjusted again to normal society.”
Lewis echoed Wilder with some of the stories he’s witnessed since working with Trulieve.
“One lady has told me her cancer has pretty much been cured just from coming here for the last year. I’ve seen people with bad back problems and arthritis who come in days later saying they feel much better. The medicine works and they love it.”
With well over 100,000 people in the state prescribed for medical marijuana, the industry is on the rise and could possibly double its growth in the year 2019.