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Medical marijuana dispensary to open in St. Petersburg Wednesday

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.

Knox Medical is not the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in St. Pete. Trulieve set up shop in May at 8435 Fourth St. N.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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