By: Sharon Aron Baron and Jason Perlow
It’s been a long time coming, but Coral Springs will finally have its first Medical Marijuana dispensary —- just not for a while.
Coral Springs Talk has been covering medical marijuana since the passage in 2016 by 71 percent of Florida voters —and the subsequent moratorium by the Coral Springs City Commission.
Just weeks after the election, the commission voted not to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. In 2018, the late Mayor Skip Campbell and then Commissioner Dan Daley’s views on medical marijuana changed; however, they were unable to overturn the moratorium as Commissioners Carter, Cimaglia, and Vignola voted to extend it.
In March 2019, the ban was overturned, but it would be up to a dispensary to decide to open up their business in the city.
That day has finally come.
Fluent Cannabis, formerly known as Knox, is bringing their business to Coral Springs. Company Spokesman Adam Sharon said they are still waiting for the paperwork from the state and county and then will have a much better idea of their target opening date.
He told CST in January that it’s too early in the process, with the limited information they have, but said, “Coral Springs will indeed have a Fluent dispensary.”
Fluent has over ten locations in the State of Florida, and Fluent’s parent company, Cansortium, is a global medical cannabis company that is publicly traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Currently, the closest dispensaries are VidaCann, Curaleaf, and Trulieve in Deerfield Beach.
Because a medical marijuana dispensary will be located in the city, it won’t make it any easier for citizens to obtain medical marijuana.
Among these qualifying conditions are cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But this becomes a much broader list because of the legal verbiage, which includes “medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above.” So, for example, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), provided there is a documented diagnosis from a psychiatrist, falls under this classification because it is similar to PTSD.
But if you think you can just get any of your doctors to sign you up for medical marijuana, you cannot. Most physicians will not do this for their patients because of the significant administrative burden that is required, and because they are concerned about the legal ramifications and the possible threat to their medical licenses and other certifications out-of-state. Because of this, Florida medical marijuana recommendations are typically made by specialist practices which are easily found on the internet, such as docmj.com.
Once inside a dispensary, what you will find is totally different from what you think a marijuana store looks like. These are not “head shops” with Haight-Ashbury inspired blacklight posters, glass paraphernalia, and other trappings of “stoner” culture that you might have seen in a Cheech & Chong movie.
These are medical facilities and are even more clinical in appearance than the pharmacy section at Publix.
What you will find is, for the most part, completely sterile surroundings, with glass cabinets displaying generic-looking packaging. There are no big jars of marijuana flower, and there aren’t even candy/edible products for purchase. There are pills; there are cartridges and other vaporizer supplies for sale; there are tinctures; there are topical creams. CVS and Walgreens have more interesting-looking products in their over-the-counter sections, to be perfectly blunt.
What these products lack in curb appeal, however, they make up for in their ability to heal people and provide relief for chronic conditions that nothing else can address or improve the overall quality of life for the patients that need them.
Most importantly, the dispensaries employ wellness consultants that are knowledgeable in the actual products so that the gap between the medical marijuana recommendation made by the doctor — which is simply a number that affects monthly usage quota — is addressed.