WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Ocala gets its First Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Joining 77 Others Throughout the State


Play Audio
The Curaleaf Dispensary in Ocala joins 77 other medical marijuana medical dispensaries in Florida. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The Curaleaf Dispensary in Ocala joins 77 other medical marijuana medical dispensaries in Florida. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Ocala’s first medical marijuana dispensary is open for business. It’s part of a growing industry in the state.

The Curaleaf Dispensary in Ocala joins 77 other medical marijuana medical dispensaries in Florida. That’s since Amendment 2 made the drug legal in the state in 2016 for certain qualifying medical conditions. Vinit Patel who owns the newly opened dispensary in Ocala is a licensed pharmacist. He says he believes more standard practices used to control pain are contributing to an opioid epidemic.

“Being a part of that side of it, standard medicine, that nature of over-prescribing is why we find ourselves in the situation we’re in today.”

Patel says patients, some as young as age 21 with qualifying medical conditions like cancer and PTSD, are using the drug as an alternative to more standard ways to control pain.

“I think the younger generation is observant of what they’re being raised in in the world and the country they’re being raised in. We’re having one of the worst opioid epidemics we’ve ever experienced so I think they’re going to look to alternatives right away.”

The Florida Department of Health says there are almost 160,000 patients in their medical marijuana registry.

If you‘d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Health Reporter

Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan, and then taught high school writing and literature for four years before ... Read Full Bio »

TOP