June has been a big month for medical marijuana in Florida. A couple weeks ago, a Florida court ruled that the state’s ban on smokeable medical cannabis was unconstitutional. Now, Florida is getting its first drive-thru dispensary. It looks like Floridians will be buying their smokeable weed from the comfort of their cars starting June 19th.
Medical Marijuana In Florida
Floridians overwhelmingly supported medical marijuana in the 2016 vote. But despite popular opinion, the legislature banned smokeable weed. This meant that medical cannabis patients in Florida only had access to oils, edibles, tinctures and vapes. Since dry herb is often the most affordable and effective option, many patients were unable to get the medicine they need.
Last month, a lawyer took the state to court. The judge ruled that outlawing smokeable marijuana is unconstitutional. Governor Rick Scott has consistently opposed all forms of cannabis and took 33,000 in campaign donations from big pharma according to the Miami New Times.
Despite Scott’s appeal, the court decided that low-THC smokeable marijuana is finally coming to the Sunshine State. The judge gave the government until June 11th to include dry herb in its medical weed program. Since then, Florida’s 123,965 medical marijuana patients (according to the Department of Health) can legally smoke their herb.
The Advantages of a Drive-Thru Dispensary
Now, Floridians will be able to buy all kinds of weed products without getting out of the car. Curaleaf, which has locations along the Eastern United States, just reported that they’re opening a drive-thru dispensary. The Palm Harbor dispensary, located at 35388 US Highway 19 North, is slated to open on June 19th.
The main advantage of a drive-thru dispensary is accessibility. Florida’s medical marijuana program covers serious conditions like ALS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and others, many of which restrict mobility. Curaleaf Director of Marketing and Communications Michelle Terrell told local news, “This is really about providing easy access for patients that might have a physical challenge or impairment.”
Now, patients who might have trouble getting out of their cars or who may not be able to wait for delivery, have immediate access to weed. Though this will be the state’s 44th dispensary, this is the only drive-thru option thus far.
Medical Marijuana Opposition Persists
Florida is yet another case where legislators are out of sync with the populace. The medical cannabis bill that Floridians passed in 2016 needed a super-majority, meaning more than 60 percent approval. Luckily, 71 percent came out in support of legal medical weed.
In spite of, state legislation, some cities have outlawed medical weed. Furthermore, conservative lawmakers, like Governor Scott, remain vehemently opposed to it. Harry Dressler, the Mayor of Tamarac recently called medical marijuana a “gigantic scam.”
Despite political setbacks, the number of medical marijuana patients and dispensaries keeps climbing. The state’s first drive-thru dispensary is undoubtedly the first of many.