Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that is used both medically and for recreation. It is a mind-altering drug that gives users a superficial feeling of being high, free and void of any pain or problem and thus is usually highly intoxicating and can be highly addictive. This has resulted in its regulation by relevant authorities in the United States. It is only legally available for recreational use in 10 states.
Beyond its downside, it is also known to be of high medicinal value and has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, Eating disorders, schizophrenia, PTSD, sclerosis among others. However, it has only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Thus, has been legalized in 33 states across the U.S.
One of such states that have legalized medical marijuana is Florida. It was approved in 2016 when it passed the second amendment. Since its approval, it has experienced an explosive growth rate which now sees about 300,000 residents qualify for a medical card. Florida is also the second-fastest-growing medical marijuana market in the U.S. according to a recent study by industry experts.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program is an initiative by the state government that enables a patient who has been confirmed to be affected by any of the above stated medical conditions as well as a terminal illness in general receive treatment using medical marijuana. A qualified physician would then enter the details of the patient and the caregiver into the medical marijuana use registry, they then apply for an identification card and proceed to fill their orders at one of the licensed medical marijuana centers.
Ban on Opioids
Opiates have been the biggest drugs in use and senior citizens have been the biggest users, this is because they are more prone to the listed sickness and Florida has one of the highest records of senior citizens. However, last July, the ban on opiates created a drastic shift in the pendulum thereby making medical marijuana the realistic option. Marijuana has also been seen as a way to get off opiate addiction. This in itself is accountable for the shift. The stricter sanction on the recommendation of opiates by Doctors facilitated a boom in the medical marijuana market.
Growth in the Past Year
Since its inception, the Florida medical marijuana program has experienced rapid growth. However, this growth became phenomenal over the past year as it saw the number of medical marijuana patients double. According to the numbers released by the Florida medical marijuana board, it shows that there’s been a 50% increase in the health of Florida patients who used it.
Another reason for this growth beyond its medical impact is the increase in acceptance by the media. The regulation by the board makes it possible to adequately account for patients who use it, and hence a unique system has been created which includes registering for the card, obtaining it and then purchasing the drug.
Florida Medical Marijuana Cards
To get a card you start by seeing a physician who verifies that the patient is suffering an illness that deserves this approval, these physicians also take a course offered by the Florida Department of Health who oversees the procedure. Once the patient is recommended they are put into a registry. The patients then proceed to complete their online form and then pay $75 for their card.
Remarkably it previously took three months to get a card, however, over the past year, the process has been simplified and now takes about seven days for patients to get their card, access dispensaries and get their drugs. As more and more patients get their Florida medical cards, Florida is poised to be the leading medical marijuana market in the country.
It Grows Because Medical Marijuana Works
Growth always accompanies results and that is exactly the case with the Florida medical marijuana industry. According to reports, the use of medical marijuana has caused a drastic reduction in the use of addictive pills which ultimately improved the quality of life of patients. Statistics also show that in the last eight months there has been a 50% increase in Florida patients that use medical marijuana. What growth!
Willingness of Physicians
In the past ten months, there has been a steady enrollment of 10,000 patients monthly, this is due to the quick adaptation and openness of the Florida physicians as compared to their counterparts in other parts of the country. They were more willing to see patients with eligible conditions.
What Does The Future Hold
The Florida State medical marijuana industry currently employs over 10,000 people with a projection of 50% increase next year, with this rate the industry is expected to be a billion-dollar one in the nearest future. These numbers show that the future is bright and with the recent ban on opiates, it should even soar higher. Studies also show that opiate death has been reduced in states that legalize medical marijuana.
Pain is the feeling most associated with medical marijuana, as it is mostly used to douse it. Over the coming years, it is set to take over as the most effective pain killers seeing as it totally takes out the addiction that comes with opiates since its usage is mostly through meals and thus reduces the chance of addiction.
The ban on opiates, higher number of senior citizens, it’s efficiency, the willingness of physician as well as the steady rate of development in Florida are the most crucial to the growth of medical marijuana program as it has helped it scale to great new heights.