Florida Doctors Getting Qualified to Provide Medical Marijuana Extract

Medical Marijuana
Posted at 5:00 PM, Oct 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-06 08:15:52-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Medical marijuana is back on the table this week, as lawmakers resolve issues keeping it from being distributed. As they work on logistics, doctors in Florida are getting qualified to provide a state approved extract of the drug known as "Charlotte's Web."

Though "Charlotte's Web" has been legalized since last year, it hasn't been distributed yet. While much of the holdup is tied to legal issues, physicians have been getting ready to provide the drug since the bill was signed.

The Florida Medical Association (FMA) developed a required medical cannabis course to complete prior to distribution.

"It covers medical education, its proper use, the ordering system," said Jeff Scott, general counsel of the FMA, "things you'd want to know if you were going to order this particular substance for your patient."

As of October 2, only 47 doctors in the state - including just two in Tallahassee - have taken the course. It's eight hours of online training that must be taken once every two years.

"This is kind of a new and exciting arena to be in," said Dr. Joseph Dorn, one of the two Tallahassee doctors to complete the course. He says "Charlotte's Web" would be a safe and more cost effective option for some of his patients who suffer from seizures and muscle spasms.

"They're not going to be for everyone, but I do feel like, in order to adequately treat some patients, that we need to kind of think outside the box," Dorn said.

THC is the part of marijuana that gets people high. In "Charlotte's Web," only 0.8 percent of THC is in it.

"You're not going to get euphoria from it," Dorn said. "Some people are going to be disappointed in that."

And there's no clear sign as to when those patients can finally get it.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee will meet Tuesday for an update on how the state is carrying out the "Charlotte's Web" law.