As medical marijuana dispensary opens in Tallahassee, supporters, opponents look forward to November

Posted at 7:26 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 19:26:31-04

When it comes to the future of medical marijuana, two words come to mind for Ava Pence.

"I'm hopeful," she says.

Her daughter Meredith suffers from a rare form of epilepsy.

"The side effects from her medications makes me think a lot about how there must be a better way," she says.

Ava says cannabis could be an option for Meredith someday to help alleviate her symptoms.

To her, the opening of Trulieve's medical marijuana dispensary in Tallahassee on Tuesday is a first step.

Dr. Thomas Ashton says it could be a first step to a major revolution.

"The conditions its alleviates is incredible," he says. "The more I study cannabis, the more impressed I am."

Dr. Ashton is authorized by the state to certify patients for Medical and Low THC Cannabis.

He says the opening of the dispensary is great, but the current laws limit it's reach - in terms of who is eligible, and the type of cannabis can be used.

"We're very restricted now," he says. "In November, we have a chance to change that situation."

In November, an amendment that would legalize medical marijuana is set to go to voters.

However,  there's plenty of opposition to the idea.

The 'No on 2' campaign, one of the primary camps against the idea, provides 10 reasons to vote no on the amendment.

Among their arguments against it - a fear that kids will get access to marijuana edibles.

'No on 2' also says pot nowadays is 10 times more potent that it was a few decades ago.

Ava believes the public has no need to fear.

"This is going to be a very controlled, regulated industry that's going to help individuals," she says.

"We don't have some sort of ulterior motive. We're just good people who want what's best for our children."