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Trulieve: growing number of new patients interested in smokable medical marijuana

Medical marijuana rollout frustrates doctors
Posted at 10:30 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 23:33:35-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The medical marijuana industry is blooming in the state as more people are applying to get their medical marijuana cards.

Two months ago Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill lifting a ban on the sale of smokable medical marijuana and dispensaries are seeing the effects.

Trulieve says flower sales now make up 30 percent of total sales.

Patients like David Clements were eager for smokable medical marijuana to become available.

"Well, it's 100 percent natural. We know it comes off a plant," said Clements.

Clements suffers from chronic pain.

"I broke my neck and my back years ago," he said in an ATV accident.

Clements said he did not want to take prescription pills and cannabis proved to provide relief.

"We used to get it off the streets, it was illegal and nobody wants to break the law," he said.

Following the Governor's lift of a ban on the sale of smokable medical marijuana in late March, April saw a spike in patients seeking their medical marijuana cards; an average of 600 more cardholders a week, according to active patient cardholder weekly statistics on the Office of Medical Marijuana website.

"It's what people, I think, are used to; people who have self-medicated for years," said Colleen Murray, RN and Clinical Manager at Canna Wellness Clinics in Boynton Beach.

The clinic is still fairly new, but Murray said since it's opening a significant number of patients are interested in flower.

"It's pretty instant when you ingest it from smoking, 5 to 10 seconds, where if you inject edible it has to go through your whole digestive system, your liver has to metabolize so it could be up to 2 hours," said Murray.

Clements said smoking flower and vaping cannabis in oil form has made all of the difference for him.

"I feel like a kid again, you know, my back don’t hurt every morning," he added.

A spokesperson for Trulieve said stores are seeing a growing number of new patients weekly and an increase of patients who prefer smoking, who are working with their doctors to become qualified for their cards.