Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Tampa

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

TAMPA, FL — Tampa’s first full-scale medical marijuana dispensary opens Thursday at 8701 N. Dale Mabry Highway in the Carrollwood area. The facility is the second location for owner Trulieve, which opened a facility in Clearwater in 2016. Additional locations will be opened in St. Petersburg and Bradenton this spring.

Not just anyone can walk into the dispensary and buy marijuana. Nor can any doctor prescribe it. Doctors must be certified by the Florida Department of Health, then added to the state’s Compassionate Use Registry. The registry is updated every Friday, and as of January 17, 2017, 131 doctors in the Tampa Bay area are registered.

Patients must have a relationship with a certified doctor for at least three months before before being prescribed medical marijuana. The doctor will decide the delivery method for the marijuana, which can include capsules, oils, or vaporizing, as well as the milligrams or dosage, according to Truileve spokesperson Victoria Walker.

Walker says that all of the marijuana strains used in its Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, and CBD medications are grown at Trulieve’s facilities in Tallahassee. CBD is non-psychotropic, and is often used to treat children with medical issues. The other products include THC.

Under Amendment Two, which passed in November, the conditions that marijuana can be prescribed for expanded, and now include Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV, ADIS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s, Parkinsons, and MS.

It’s estimated that by the end of the year, 100,000 Floridians will be approved for treatment with medical marijuana.

Another company, Surterra Therapeutics, opened late last year in Tampa, offering low-THC and CBD products.

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