Smokable medical marijuana will become available for sale Monday in Orlando, but only to patients that have been given a doctor’s approval.
The Florida Department of Health has given the go-ahead to two companies — Trulieve and Curaleaf — to sell smokable medical marijuana after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill legalizing it last week.
Curaleaf said it will have it available for sale Monday afternoon at its dispensary at 775 N. Semoran Boulevard in Orlando.
“People have been waiting for it for quite some time,” said Vinit Patel, Curaleaf’s regional dispensary operations manager.
Previously, patients could use several forms of medical marijuana but not flower buds to be smoked.
Trulieve was given the approval to sell smokable medical marijuana Thursday and sold its first dosage at its Tallahassee dispensary on the same day.
Dispensaries called the passage of smokable marijuana a “historic moment.” State lawmakers had banned the unprocessed form of marijuana from being sold for more than two years.
Patients still need new approval from state-sanctioned doctors to purchase medical marijuana, even if they had a previous prescription for other delivery methods.
So far about 254,000 Florida residents have registered with the state to receive medical marijuana treatment, according to the Florida Department of Health. About 197,000 have been approved to purchase medical marijuana with a prescription.
Dispensaries have said they want to get smokable medical marijuana on shelves as fast as possible. In other states with medical marijuana, smokable forms account for more than 50 percent of all sales of the drug.
The new law also allows dispensaries to sell “delivery devices” such as pipes and bongs, once a gray area of law, said Richard Blau, a lawyer for Gray and Robinson who follows marijuana issues in Florida.