Knox Cannabis Dispensary, the first licensed cannabis dispensary in Orlando, opened its doors Friday to patients seeking medicinal cannabis.
Cannabis oils, ingested or inhaled with a vaporizer, were available for patients registered in the Compassionate Use registry, the Florida Department of Health's database of patients who had ordered medical cannabis and physicians certified to order it for them.
“Honestly I’ve been waiting for this day to happen," Vicki Boell, who suffers from frequent muscle spasms as a result of her fibromyalgia, said.
“I start at about an 8. Then by 1:00 my pain is at about a 10. By 5:00 I feel like I’ve been based," Boell said. "When I vape my marijuana, I can get up. I can water my sunflowers. I can do some dishes. I can function."
Diagnoses that would qualify someone to be able to order medical cannabis include cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, seizures, chronic muscle spasms and PTSD.
For the wide spectrum of conditions that medical cannabis can be ordered for, there are several delivery options for the it as a medication.
“It’s very much like a clinical setting. We want patients to walk in and know we care about their health as much as they do," said Scott Klenet, a public relations representative of Knox Cannabis Dispensary.
“Their first visit will be their longest," Klenet said. We don't determine what dosage they will have or prescribe any medication but we sit down with them and help them figure out what delivery method will be best for them.”
Cannabis is available in low-THC forms and medical cannabis forms, which contain significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Only patients with terminal conditions are eligible for medical cannabis.
Bruce Grossman, the first customer of Knox Dispensary, said he spent $190 on tinctures, a cannabis oil medication delivered sublingually through the tongue and mouth, and vaporizer cartridges. The medication he purchased today would last 7-10 days.
Grossman said the cannabis alleviated pain he felt from multiple surgeries to remove tumors.
To be entered into the Compassionate Use registry and be prescribed medical cannabis, a patient must be under the care of a physician certified to prescribe medical cannabis for 90 days and have exhausted alternative treatment methods.
"The University of Central Florida does not currently employ any health care providers who are certified to prescribe medical cannabis," said Courtney Gilmartin, a spokeswoman for UCF.
“UCF police officers enforce the laws of the state and the policies of the university. That said, medical marijuana is new for Florida," Gilmartin said. "Change often comes with an adjustment period, and as state statutes and local ordinances are updated, there will need to be some training, both for law enforcement and our community."
UCF's student code of conduct states, in part, that “possessing, consuming or attempting to possess cannabis in any amount except as expressly permitted by law” may result in distinct disciplinary actions depending on how University of Central Florida decides to act.
Originally published on June 2, 2017.
Correction: Headline should read Orlando's first medical cannabis dispensary opens for patients.