Medical pot is on the rise in Florida. Since voters legalized medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis in the November 2016 general election, Florida has added 144,557 patients to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use's user registry, according to the Department of Health’s latest update. For a state with a population of 21 million, about one in 145 Floridians can legally use medical weed.
So it's no shock that Miami-Dade is set to get its fifth dispensary next week.
The firm says it's opening a new location for a simple reason: There are many more medical marijuana patients than there are dispensaries.
"We have one location here [in Miami], and it’s very overwhelmed and crowded with patients," says Victoria Walker, Trulieve's director of community relations. Depending upon the time of the month, Trulieve's original location, at 4020 NW 26th St., serves upward of 100 patients in a single day.
The new location, at 9600 SW 77th Ave., will offer marijuana-based treatment to patients across South Miami-Dade who are predominantly aged 50 and over, Walker says.
Because insurance providers don't cover medical marijuana treatment — and
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There are 1,596 qualified ordering physicians writing prescriptions and nearly 50 dispensaries operating in Florida. In addition to the two Trulieve facilities, Miami-Dade County has three other dispensaries: two operated by Curaleaf (at 19000 SW 192nd St. on the edge of the Redland and 9002 S. Dadeland Blvd. in Kendall) and a Miami Beach dispensary run by Surterra Wellness.
The Office of Medical Marijuana Use receives 2,000 to 3,000 new applications each week, so Miami will likely see more dispensaries as the state approves them. Critics have assailed Florida for severely curtailing the number of businesses with access to the medical marijuana market.
"The growth will really just be dependent on the rules and regulations," she says.