NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Local dispensary: Long process ahead to add smokeable marijuana

Posted at 8:48 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 22:18:10-04

For Paul Memke each step he takes is a victory.

"I'm in constant pain because of this knee," he said. 

The 76-year-old says for the last decade he's been battling ostial arthritis.

"I've had both shoulders replaced and one hip replaced and now I'm a candidate for a knee replacement," Memke said. 

He says he's tried dozens of treatments, but he's found that only one treatment works for him.

"It's a solution," he said. "It makes the pain go away but it comes and goes so you have to keep taking this stuff. I take this liquid about 3-4 times a day."

He's talking about cannabis oil. At first,  he says medical marijuana in the pill form made him sick. Now, he's hoping that smoking it might become an option, another way to bring him relief.

"If it's a viable option they should make it available," he said. 

On Tuesday, a judge lifted the ruling on the states ban to smokable medical marijuana. 

The health department now has until Monday to come up with guidelines to make it available to local dispensaries.

But Scott Klenet, a spokesperson for Knox Medival which operates a dispensary in Lake Worth, says there's still a long process ahead.

"Making sure that we don't put a product in the hands of patients that we can't confidently say is legal, is safe, is effective and going to be consistent," Klenet said. 

The Florida-based company describes it as a waiting game. Right now, the company has 5 options for consumption including oils, capsules, vaporizers and more.

"We will make those determinations based upon what regulations and guidance we receive from the department of health as those have yet to be written we can't really say what if any timeline that looks like," he said. 

As for Memke, he's keeping a close eye out.

"I hope that that happens that we can use smokable marijuana and it will help some people, I'm sure," he said. 

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health said they are reviewing the ruling and their focus remains with ensuring that patients have access to medical marijuana.