Tallahassee Opens Florida's First Marijuana Dispensary

Medical Marijuana
Posted at 5:02 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 13:17:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- The Capital City is now home to the first medical marijuana dispensary in the state. Trulieve will open its doors next week.

The company has been working for two and a half years to get to this point, providing medical marijuana to those in need of treatment.

"We're on the cusp of a new era in the state of Florida and for the cannabis industry nationwide," said CEO Kim Rivers. "Florida is one of the largest states in the country, so I think that this really is a game-changer and a tilting point for the national conversation."

Trulieve will be stocked next week with the approved low-THC version of cannabis. Customers must be listed in an official state registry to receive the drug.

To get on the registry, customers must consult with a qualified physician like Dr. Joseph Dorn, who's taken a comprehensive state exam to be approved to prescribe medical cannabis.

"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.

Trulieve is connected to Hackney Nursery in Quincy. It's one of just a handful the state has authorized to grow medical marijuana.

WTXL was at the nursery in November when it got the green light from the state. President George Hackney says the drug will help many, including kids with epilepsy.

"These children have seizures - some of them as many as 100 a day, and just to talk to their parents, their life is miserable," Hackney said, "and this helps reduce the number of seizures they have."

"We have been moving very, very quickly," Rivers said. "We actually are not required to start dispensing until early September, but we felt like it was our responsibility to get product into the hands of these patients as soon as possible."

Trulieve will open Tuesday. The company will announce plans to deliver products statewide. Business is only open to Florida residents.