As of Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters elected to follow in the footsteps of their Cali cousins and legalize medical marijuana. The bill, titled Amendment 2, was voted through with an overwhelming majority (at least in political terms) of 71 percent, indicating widespread approval for a law that supporters have been aggressively trying to pass for the past three years. It was a significant victory for the pro-legalization side; however, as with most controversial political movements, it does come with a few teething problems.
The major hurdle, at least immediately, is the fact that MMJ won’t be legally available in Florida until June 3, 2017. This is largely due to a holdup with MMJ cards, which will be legally required to obtain MMJ. Although medical marijuana became formally legal in the state in January 2017, patients will have to wait until June to get their hands on the all-important card. There’s a lot that could go wrong between now and then, with many different creases to smooth out in regards to the how and where of distribution.
Looking ahead with an ever-optimistic outlook, we’ve chosen five MMJ dispensaries that are already a hit in California and that we hope will make the cross-country trek to Florida in the not too distant future!
California has been pretty progressive in their legitimization of MMJ, and more recently, marijuana in general. There are top-quality dispensaries up and down the state, and as MMJ becomes more and more accepted, they will only become more effective and efficient. Florida would do well to follow their example, start implementing some policies and making room for MMJ dispensaries that have been successful on the West Coast.
The popular Harborside dispensary can currently be found in two locations in California: Oakland and San Jose. It was founded 11 years ago by a fellow named Steve DeAngelo and has been growing stronger ever since. With more than 200,000 registered patients, Harborside is one of the most popular and significant MMJ dispensaries in the U.S. It’s pretty forward thinking, too. Harborside was the first of its kind to support educating the elderly, war veterans and severely ill children. With that kind of track record, it would be more than welcome to set up shop in Florida!
Renowned for its warm, welcoming atmosphere and family-style management, Granny Purps is a popular dispensary located in Santa Cruz. It’s been in business for more than seven years and has accumulated more than 23,000 patients on their books. Despite the success, it hasn’t lost its personal touch, and it treats each of its patients like an old friend. Florida could certainly do with its homely touch when MMJ kicks off on the East Coast.
The Green Cross
The Green Cross (we see what you did there) serves sunny San Francisco with some top-quality MMJ. It opened its doors in 2004, kicking off with a storefront in the affluent Noe Valley neighborhood. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and now runs a new storefront in the Excelsior District. The Green Cross was one of the first dispensaries to introduce a delivery service, and it has a reputation for being socially minded, especially in the areas they operate in. They offer patient counseling and caregiving services and strive to employ local residents. It’s this attention to detail and caring attitude that have given The Green Cross its stellar reputation in the local community and beyond.
A Green Alternative Medical Marijuana Dispensary
A Green Alternative is a little different from the others on this list because it is a nonprofit organization. It exists to help its patients through a number of debilitating diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and arthritis. It operates out of San Diego and serves much of Southern California. You can visit them in person for an evaluation or have your MMJ discreetly delivered to your door with its highly efficient delivery service. Florida is going to need a few of these nonprofit clinics if it hopes to fully integrate MMJ into its society.
Another successful dispensary operating out of San Francisco, the Apothecarium not only has an awesome name but it is also a stylish addition to the new wave of dispensaries popping up along the West Coast. It offers a wide spectrum of medical options for their patients, including flowers, edibles, concentrates and topicals. You can pick it up in their fancy premises in the Castro District or register for home delivery by becoming a member. All you need is your valid doctor’s recommendation and a government-issued ID, and you’re good to go. The forward-thinking Apothecarium also offers reward schemes to loyal patients as well as discounts to seniors and veterans.
All in all, there’s a wide range of choices available to California MMJ patients with dispensaries convenient to every major city and suiting all styles. We look forward to Florida incorporating the same diversity and eventually growing into the same varied and valued community that can be found on the West Coast.