Florida Adds 10,000 Medical Marijuana Patients Since June
Florida has seen a 60 percent surge in the number of patients being treated with medical marijuana since June.
Florida had 16,760 patients on June 7, according to state reports. Florida added more than 10,000 patients by July 27, for a total of 26,978 on the books – that’s a 60 percent increase.
At the same time, there’s also been a spike in the number of doctors authorized to recommend cannabis. During that same time, more than 130 new doctors have signed up to be able to recommend marijuana. Florida now has about 950 doctors who can recommend medical marijuana to treat conditions ranging from HIV-AIDS to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Seven companies are now authorized to grow, process and sell medical marijuana, but only four of them have retail storefronts. Two of them only offer delivery, and the seventh has gotten the permission to grow, but hasn’t processed a crop yet.
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a broader medical marijuana program last election. Its implementation, though, has been rocky. Lawmakers had to come back for a special session to pass a cannabis bill, and Orlando attorney John Morgan is suing because it doesn’t allow for smoking.
WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital.