Marijuana edible pieces close up. Photo and Caption: Israel Patterson/Shutterstock.com
The first edible medical marijuana sale took place September 1 at Tallahassee’s Trulieve dispensary on SE Capital Circle, as reported by the Tallahassee Democrat. Arnold Lawson, a retired, 54-year-old man, was the first customer to buy the edibles at the dispensary on Tuesday.
Mr. Lawson purchased 10 blue raspberry-flavored TruGel gelatin edibles for $25 at the Trulieve dispensary in Tallahassee to treat a degenerative disc disease that developed after working 20 years as a paramedic. Trulieve sold gel caps on Wednesday and officials say they will soon add brownies and cookies to the mix.
The edible products are appearing on shelves nearly four years after Floridians approved a 2016 constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana for eligible patients and nearly three years after state legislators passed a law carrying out the amendment.
Trulieve received approval on other TruGel and TruNanoGel fruit flavors, along with TruChocolate in milk and dark chocolate flavors.
The Department of Health (DOH) last week issued an emergency rule establishing guidelines for edible products, largely carrying out restrictions included in the 2017 state law. Upon approval from DOH, Florida dispensaries are allowed to offer five different kinds of edible products made with marijuana. The rules prohibit edibles from coming in bright colors or resembling commercially available candy to prevent children from mistaking the marijuana-laced product with candy. The rule is designed to discourage children from consuming marijuana-laced products that include the euphoria-inducing compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Quincy-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. was the first of the state’s medical marijuana operators to sell the edible products. Trulieve’s owners built a 10,000-square-foot commercial-grade kitchen facility in anticipation of the guidelines.
Truelieve began working on submissions to the state for approvals shortly after the Florida Department of Health announced its final guidelines on August 27, according to a news release on prnewswire.com.
Commenting on making the first purchase, Lawson stated, “I am excited to be part of Trulieve’s special day. As a patient and as a member of the community, it was important for the state to release this form of medical cannabis for patients like me that rely on this relief. Having access to medication that is easily taken, in a measured way, provides me with better access to the medicine that has been proven to work for my ailments.”
Medical marijuana businesses estimate edibles could grab up to 20% of the overall market share, according to the News Service of Florida.
Last year, Trulieve was the first company in the state to start selling smokable marijuana. Trulieve’s first whole-flower sales in March 2019 came days after Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure that repealed the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana. About 50 to 60 percent of medical marijuana sales are smokable products, according to industry experts.
DeSantis called on legislators to do away with the ban, making the repeal one of his first priorities after taking office in January 2019.
The company is publicly traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange. To learn more about the company, please visit the Trulieve website.
William is the Managing Editor at FloridaInsider.com. His years of experience in journalism, broadcasting and multimedia include roles as a Writer and Web Producer. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science and Communication.