“It’s a very exciting place to be in the medical field in Florida right now because this is not just a new medication we’re talking about,” said Surterra’s medical director, Dr. Joseph Dorn. “This is a mindset transformation in the treatment of patients, probably tens of thousands of patients whose symptoms are not completely relieved right now.”
In 2014, a change in state law opened the door for licensed farmers to grow particularly therapeutic cannabis strains, most notably Charlotte’s Web — a strain renown for its low-THC and CBD-rich cannabinoid makeup. These non-euphoric strains are only available to patients suffering from seizures and other qualifying conditions. Another law established in 2015 allows for full-strength cannabis plants to be cultivated and prescribed for the alleviation of pain, nausea, and other symptoms in patients who are considered terminally ill.
Surterra has a 6,000-square-foot cultivation facility in rural Tallahassee to grow its CBD-rich cannabis. The company also runs a smaller facility outside of Tampa, which is growing full-strength cannabis.
A comprehensive medical cannabis program similar to one narrowly defeated in 2014 will appear on the ballot in November. If approved, the companies currently growing cannabis will likely be in an excellent position for expansion into the full-fledged MMJ system.
Medical cannabis patients in Florida are currently only allowed to use marijuana via smokeless consumption methods, such as tinctures, edibles, or capsules.
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