Dr. Potter interviewed by NBC2
Medical marijuana takes effect in Florida on Tuesday.
Licensed doctors will be able to prescribe the drug for patients who meet the criteria, but as NBC-2 has reported, state regulators may take another year to set rules on how to dispense marijuana.
While the amendment takes effect, no one will be able to actually get any medical marijuana on Tuesday.
So, what is changing?
Licensed doctors will be able to place an order through the compassionate use registry and begin the process of treating patients with cannabis.
“This is not get out your rolling papers and let’s smoke a joint. This is not your grandfather’s marijuana,” Dr. Clint Potter said.
It’s a strong message from Dr. Potter, one of the physicians in Southwest Florida who is licensed to order medical marijuana for patients.
“I’m excited to be on the edge of being able to offer my patients something different,” Potter said.
Dr. Potter won’t just be able to order the cannabis for everyone.
His patients must have cancer or a condition with frequent seizures and muscle spasms and must be seen by him for three months before he can order the drug for the patient.
“This is not easy. There are many hoops to jump through, and you know what? I think with good reason,” Potter said.
Doctor’s orders can be filled by the licensed dispensary after filling out a treatment plan.
There are only six licensed dispensaries in the state, and Southwest Florida patients will use the one in Hillsborough County, which can mail the drugs to the patients.
Naples mom Jessica Ryon thinks it’s being set up very well.
“I don’t think there is really much to fear. I think the way the bill is written is it’s meant to help people,” Ryon said.
Most people using medical marijuana will be taking low THC cannabis, which does not get you high.
Terminally ill patients with consent from two doctors can be prescribed medical cannabis which has higher levels of THC.
Doctor Potter says he already has patients on his schedule to get the process started.
“If this is another option and it’s a safe option then why not? Let’s do it,” Potter said.