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What can I buy at a Florida dispensary?

What you’re getting now are extracts, oils, tinctures, and as of earlier this year, smokable marijuana. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill overturning the state’s ban on smokable marijuana in March this year (2019), allowing patients to buy 2.5 ounces of whole flower cannabis every 35 days. But Russell it still won’t be as simple to buy as it is in other states.

“Florida dispensaries are not Colorado dispensaries,” he says. “The product isn’t in a glass jar for examination. It’s packaged up tightly in containers you cannot see into, and sold by strain and weight so the patient isn’t sorting through the jar for their best-looking choice of product.”

As of this moment, smokable pot isn’t in dispensaries while the Department of Health irons out the rules, but it’s on the horizon. Rules on edibles are coming at some point, but the Department of Health is moving about as quickly on this as Miami is on its soccer stadium, so don’t hold your breath.

Will insurance pay for medical marijuana?

Nope. And neither will Medicare or Medicaid. Straight cash, homie. Or maybe a credit card if you want to rack up some frequent flier miles.

Can I open a dispensary?

You cannot. OK, technically, yes you can, but technically you can also play point guard for the Heat. And that might actually be more likely. When the law first passed, the state mandated that anyone selling medicinal marijuana had to run the entire process, from growing and extracting to selling. And the whole vertically-integrated shebang fell under one license. Guess how many licenses were allotted in the third-most populous state in the country? Seven. And to prevent hucksters from coming down to Florida and immediately becoming farmers, the state also said applicants had to be in business for 30 YEARS to qualify.

That part of the law was struck down when a group of black farmers sued, and since then the state has expanded its licenses to a whopping 14.

The licenses have become hugely valuable, one selling in 2017 to a Canadian company for just under $50 million. If you don’t have that kind of cash, Berke says you’re SOL in the pot game. “This is not a mom-and-pop industry,” he said. “It’s all Wall Street money and public companies with billion-dollar valuations entering the market now. Everyone else has missed the boat.”

Am I allowed to grow my own medical marijuana?

Not unless you’ve got $50 million and a state license.

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