The increasing demand for medical marijuana in Florida
In Florida, the response to medical marijuana has been more responsive and more effective than most of the other programs in the United States. The Florida Department of Health’s Office on Medical Marijuana Use stated on January 18th, 2018 showing that the number of medicinal patients had increased to 69,579. In April of that same year, that number rose to over 100,500 patients with over 2,500 patients are joining that list each week.
We’re seeing patients in Florida signing up in unbelievable numbers with interest in events like the Florida Cannabis Coalition’s Supper Cannaday fueling interest in huge waves. The increased demand has not only resulted in a large number of patients, but according to statutory requirements, we are likely to see five more licenses awarded to MMTC’s.
Since the MMJ program inception, the Florida Cannabis Coalition has been working endlessly to promote physician and patient education in the state. The coalition has invested in cannabis events that educate the public. This is part of the reason that we see these events succeed in Florida. The alliance has facilitated the networking of patients, entrepreneurs, physicians, and MMTC. It has also helped them educate each other about the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Voters in the state legalized medical cannabis in a landslide earlier in 2016, and the new industry has been proliferating. Apart from the 100,000 patients using the drug today, over 1300 doctors joined the list of physicians allowed to prescribe marijuana in Florida. Over 30 cannabis dispensaries are running, including the two opened in Lake Worth.
Despite the high growth, regulatory obstacles delaying the processing of patient’s marijuana cards still exist. Patients claim that the relatively restrictive regime of Florida is limiting the supply of medicinal cannabis available for sale.
Karen Seeb Goldstein, a medicinal marijuana patient and the director of NORML of Florida, maintains that such a high number of patients is much too demanding for the seven cannabis providers present in the state. She claims that dispensaries have to deal with product shortages from time to time. This holds patients back from receiving the medicine they need for their well being.
Smokable marijuana has remained illegal, and therefore the dispensaries can only sell extracts and oils. You are unlikely to find cannabis in the form of flowers or edibles such as granola, candles, and cookies.
To receive the drug, patients must get a doctor’s permission. Marijuana doctors recommend marijuana as a treatment for various conditions. These include Parkinson’s disease, cancer, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, and chronic migraines. The doctors charge around $200 for an examination, an amount that insurance does not cover because cannabis is federally illegal. After receiving the doctor’s note, a patient has to pay $75 each year for the medical marijuana card. A relatively small cost for all the good it can do for you.
However, some individuals are afraid of getting into the state’s marijuana users register and are therefore buying their medicine from the black market. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made headlines most recently with talks about the dangers of marijuana. Regardless of the truth, the general public is influenced by authoritative figures. Such an influence encourages patients to stay in the dark with their concerns. However, the state reveals very little information about the users. The Florida Department of Health does not provide details about the patient’s geographic distribution or diagnosis.