While Regulate Florida pushes hard to get legalized cannabis on the ballot for 2018, local attorney Michael Minardi doesn’t believe they’ll be able to get the signatures required in time. In the meantime, he’s pushing for education on the plant, which was voted in medically by a whopping 72 percent for Florida residents.
There are problems with the medical marijuana program. Five Tetra Health Centers in the Tampa Bay area closed their doors, leaving only one location open for business. In a statement to FOX 13, THC explained:
“Even though 72 percent of Florida residents voted yes for Amendment 2, there have been many challenges in providing our services to patients in need of medical marijuana. Between the legislative actions that have changed qualifying conditions to the state’s delay in issuing medical cards to patients, medical providers like Tetra Health Care are facing serious roadblocks to providing compassionate patient care. We have made a decision to temporarily close some of our locations in order to focus our efforts on working directly with lawmakers to address the root of these issues, find solutions, and move forward.”
They went on to say that patients could face additional problems if the amendment wasn’t attended to. They will not be reopening the closed locations, but may open new locations in the future.
Not all Floridians are buying Tetra’s reasoning however. Ben Polara, executive director of Florida for Care said that “it sounds like these guys had a bad run of it, and they’re getting out of town.” When TampaBay.com reached out for further comment, the organization reiterated their stance.
Over 39,000 Florida residents with qualifying conditions have signed up for the program, but administrative glitches have held up the process that leads to a dispensary door. Polara said that that didn’t ring true either, citing expanded qualifications and shorter wait times for medical marijuana cards.
Hopefully Florida goes all the way green in 2020, and new players will enter the marketplace to provide cannabis to those who need it.