A whopping 10,000+ users are entering the Florida medical marijuana program every month. As a result, a total of 213,000 patients have already enrolled in the same.
New York’s medical marijuana program, on the other hand, doesn’t even have half the number of patients as Florida, despite implementing the program 18 months prior to the Sunshine State. Surprisingly, the number of licensed (prescribing) doctors is similar in both states.
Then why is the number on the surge in Florida? There may be a few reasons for it.
Firstly, there is a large senior population in FL that firmly believes in the Big Pharma conspiracy theories. Their ‘belief’ is so strong that they don’t even mind paying hundreds of dollars more for cannabis, as, you are already aware, the leafy drug isn’t generally covered by insurance or Medicare.
Trulieve Cannabis Corp, one of the state’s largest sellers, says that over half of its buyers are over the age of 50; therefore, the aforesaid reason may be a big contributing factor in the surge of patients opting for medical marijuana.
Furthermore, many seniors were drawn to weed after a state law, which came into effect last July, issued stringent guidelines for doctors prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.
Restrictions on opioids prescription is a good move though; a number of studies have shown that death rates due to opioid overdose have declined sharply in regions where medical marijuana is allowed. Palm Beach County, for instance, witnessed a 41% decline in opioid deaths in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Secondly, as per David Kotler, a South Florida attorney who founded the Medical Marijuana Business Lawyers, LLC, physicians in the Sunshine State have been more open to participate in the program than those in the Northeast states.
“Doctors in Florida were willing to see patients with eligible conditions,” Kotler says. “In other states, however, it was slower to roll out.”
Notably, FL has a rich history with marijuana. In the 1970s, bales of marijuana occasionally fell from the sky, and even these days, they sometimes wash ashore!