Florida doctors can soon order medical marijuana for their patients. The law goes into effect at the start of next year.
But so far, only a few dozen doctors have signed up.
Ronald Aung-Din is a neurologist in Sarasota. He’s one of only 42 doctors in the state that can recommend medical marijuana for patients.
Aung-Din had to take an 8-hour-long class and pass a test. He said he signed up because the chemical compound in Florida’s legalized strand has shown to help conditions. The non-euphoric strand of marijuana is meant to treat those suffering from ailments like cancer or seizures.
He thinks more doctors will sign up as the law goes into effect and demand increases. He said the list has even grown since he last checked.
“When I last looked a month or two ago there was only 20. So, it’s growing. And I’ll be honest with you, physicians are generally very conservative and I was that way too in terms of looking at marijuana,” he said.
The doctors are mostly clustered around cities. The largest bunch is in Miami. This could mean longer drives for a patient living in Naples, who would have to drive roughly two hours to doctors like Aung-Din in Sarasota or to Miami.
Florida’s medical marijuana program divides the state into five regions. Each region will have one “dispensing organization” that grows, processes and sells the product.
The state has not yet announced which five nurseries will get those licenses. The different colors on this map represent each region.
Each of the dots on this map show the locations of doctors who can order medical marijuana for their patients. Their locations were pulled from the address registered with their licenses.
Ryan Lakin, who is not registered as a practicing physician.
Justin Davis, whose address is registered to San Francisco, Ca.
Note: Joseph Dorn was added to the list. His marker was put on Monticello, which is the city where he is registered. His address did not appear on Google Maps.