FL: Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open In St. Petersburg Wednesday

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Ron Strider

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Knox Medical, which operates medical marijuana dispensaries in five separate locations throughout Florida, is opening its sixth such facility this week in St. Petersburg.

After receiving approval to dispense medicinal cannabis from the Florida Department of Health, the Knox dispensary – located at 601 34th St. N. in St. Pete – will open at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. It will be Knox's first in the Tampa Bay-area.

"Knox Medical is working with Florida's top architects and designers to create a cohesive dispensary experience that puts the needs and interests of our patients first," says Jose J. Hidalgo, Knox Medical founder and CEO. "At every stage in this process, from cultivation, to processing, and now to dispensing superior quality medicines at these state-of-the-art facilities, our objective at Knox Medical is to redefine excellence in the medicinal cannabis field at every level.

"We are privileged to serve our fellow Floridians in most need who will receive compassionate medical care at Knox Medical's dispensaries."

In Nov. 2016, Floridians overwhelmingly voted to approve medical marijuana, but the implementation of the program statewide has been slow going.

Currently, there are just 13 approved medical marijuana treatment centers and 25 approved retail dispensing locations in Florida as the implementation of the measure continues to face frequent litigation.

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) says that while some of those lawsuits have had "little impact on our progress," others – particularly those arguing the constitutionality of the law – "have significant impact" on DOH's ability to implement certain requirements of the legislation. More than 60,000 medical marijuana patients are now in the state's registry.

At least six such lawsuits have been filed so far, with the latest from Tampa adult club entrepreneur Joe Redner.

Redner, whose company (Florigrown) was denied the ability to be a medical marijuana treatment center, says the state is shirking its duties under the constitutional amendment that authorizes medical marijuana, and by failing to regulate the drug under state law.

Orlando attorney John Morgan has also filed a lawsuit, challenging the Florida Legislature's ban on smokable medical cannabis.



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