Florida’s CBD Program is Struggling Before Its Launch
September 21st, 2015
Florida’s CBD program will go into effect at the beginning of the year, but just 42 physicians across the entire state have signed up. While doctors have another six months to become approved for the program, many are concerned about the lack of protocol on where drugs will be dispensed, what dosages will be available, what form the drugs will take, or how much they will cost, which makes it difficult to make patient recommendations.
In addition to the doctor shortage, patients must also deal with a dispensary shortage with only 24 applicants for five licenses to product and sell CBD-based supplements. The lack of interest comes despite the fact that Florida could become the second-largest medical marijuana state in the country after California with hundreds of thousands of patients and $780 million in annual sales, according to ArcView Group, a cannabis investment network.
The state’s CBD-only provisions have drawn criticism from a number of industry advocates, since the laws completely ignore the potential benefits of THC and other cannabinoids. THC has been shown to lower ocular pressure in people with glaucoma, trigger apoptosis and appetite in cancer patients, help combat PTSD, anxiety, and other conditions, and potentially improve a number of other medical conditions in patients that are struggling.
CBD-only laws also prevent home-growing of medical marijuana, which poses a problem for patients that can’t afford to spend a lot of money on commercial product. While home-growing would ideally be phased out over time to improve safety, the newly minted industry hasn’t reached economies of scale and taxes are still relatively high in some states, which means product is expensive for patients that require the medicine.
In the end, Florida’s CBD-only medical marijuana program appears to be struggling before it has even been launched – a potential problem for the industry to address moving forward.
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