Trulieve to become Gainesville’s second medical marijuana dispensary – News – Gainesville Sun.


A second medical marijuana pharmacy opens in Gainesville on Friday.

Trulieve, a medical marijuana dispensary, will open its first location in Gainesville at 1527 NW 6th St. in the Gateway Park area, said Victoria Walker, who works in community relations for the company.

Trulieve will join Knox Medical as one of two medical marijuana pharmacies in Gainesville – the second to open within the last five months. Knox Medical opened on May 19th.

At the opening of Trulieve, patients will be able to choose from a selection of low-THC and high-THC products with a variety of delivery methods, including capsules, vaporizers, syringes and tinctures, an alcoholic cannabis extract, the press release said.

At the opening on Friday at 10 a.m. there will be a press conference followed by a tour of the pharmacy.

Walker said the company sees a need for the Gainesville pharmacy. She said the company had already provided patient care in Gainesville as part of its delivery program, so a pharmacy in Gainesville would make sense.

“As the patient base continues to grow, we thought it would be nice to open (a pharmacy) there,” she said. “Many patients enjoy going to our stores and seeing what we have to offer.”

While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, Florida voters approved Amendment 2 in 2016, which made medical marijuana available to those who qualify under certain medical conditions and illnesses.

These diseases and conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Medical conditions comparable to those defined by law, incurable conditions, and chronic non-malignant pain can also qualify someone for medical marijuana, according to a website for the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

Robert Cook, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the University of Florida, said he believes there is strong interest in medical marijuana as an alternative to such prescription drugs as opioids. He said he believes this growing interest has changed attitudes about marijuana in Florida in recent years.

“I think that, in a way, shows that there is less stigma,” he said. “In the past, voters would have thought it was a terrible thing.”

However, Cook, who is currently researching the effects of medical marijuana on those infected with HIV, said steps still need to be taken before medical marijuana researchers really understand the effects of medical marijuana.

Most of the current data on medical marijuana benefits comes from pharmacies trying to sell a product, he said, adding that he didn’t want to sound like he was discrediting their work.

Cook admitted that some data might conclude that medical marijuana is beneficial for some, but there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that it affects everyone the same, he said.

He said the National Academy of Science and other scientific publications published studies earlier this year detailing what researchers currently know about the benefits of marijuana.

“(The studies) conclude that we know very little,” he said.

Trulieve has several new medical marijuana dispensaries in the works in Florida, with two more being planned for Gainesville, according to a press release. Trulieve has 10 other locations in Bradenton, Clearwater, Edgewater, Jacksonville, Miami, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa and Lady Lake.