Medical marijuana has not been easy for Florida, despite the fact that fully 71 percent of the state’s population voted to approve it.
Florida’s MMJ laws, among of the most restrictive in the country, does not even allow for smoking it.
But have those 71 percenters in the Sunshine State given up? Hell no.
An experienced entrepreneurial woman decided to start up a few walk-in clinics for medical marijuana.
The clinics, known as the Tetra Health Centers, are the brainchild of Tracilea Young, who has opened six in Florida, one recently in Tampa, and plans to open 20 more across the state by next year, per CBS 10 News.
The clinics are not unlike walking into an urgent care center, except that you see a board-certified physician who is licensed to give MMJ recommendations. All doctors on hand are members of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
Young, president and founder of the California-based Tetra Health Clinics, saw an opportunity to expand in Florida.
“With such a high population of aging communities, medical marijuana is needed here,” Young said. “You wouldn’t believe the patients we see who come in here with Excel spreadsheets detailing all the medications they’re on and when they take which pill. I just want to cry for them.”
Young sees a business opportunity in being the intermediary between the Florida Department of Health and the companies licensed to grow and sell cannabis in the state, she told the Tampa Bay News.
She pointed out that visitors, however, should not expect to walk out with a baggie of weed. It doesn’t work that way.
At least patients can be seen by a physician, which is a detail that many newly-minted MMJ states are still struggling with under local and state restrictions.
Young says what she enjoys the most is seeing patients get freedom from medications.
Young opened the first Tetra Health Care clinic in her home state of California in 2015, when her former husband and father of her eight children was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer.
“It was an awful experience. He was so sick,” said Young. “So we opted for medical marijuana and were just so surprised with what the experience was like.”
Young said the first time she and her husband went to get a recommendation in California, they waited in a warehouse for hours. The doctor wrote the recommendation and quickly moved on to the other people waiting in line.
That’s when Young decided she wanted to provide a more professional and customer-centric experience for patients.
“We got into the business 19 years late in California,” she said. “But we’ve learned a lot. Our patient base is strictly medical. The level of care is what is most important to me.”