Medical Marijuana dispensaries are soon to open in the Tampa Bay area. The recent opening includes Trulieve off N. Dale Mabry Hwy. It offers cannabis pills and oils and other options to take cannabis for medical conditions listed as life-debilitating.

Promising change

Bree Morris, a former Floridian who moved to Colorado back in 2012, is now moving back to Florida to try some of the cannabis options that are going to be available for people with debilitating conditions. Morris was in a car crash that injured her years ago and left her disabled. Her doctor prescribed pain killers, but it turned her into a brainless and non-existent person in her children's life.

"From that day on, my quality of life changed," Morris said to Tampa Bay Times about her usage of cannabis in Colorado, "I started going on walks around the park, and I started feeling better about my life. I'm able to talk and be alert and do things."

Trulieve is one of seven companies that can grow medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida. They own three dispensaries in Clearwater, Tallahassee, and now Tampa where a former gym at 8701 N Dale Mabry Hwy was converted to a dispensary. It is the latest installment in getting dispensaries and cannabis medicine out of patients who are dealing with cancer treatments, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's, and epilepsy. The company plans on expanding to all of the major markets within the state and work with other growers and dispensers to help expand the medical purposes of cannabis as alternative medicine for pain killers.

Kim Rivers, the chief executive officer for Trulieve, said to Tampa Bay Times that they plan to open up a Saint Pete dispensary later this year.

Where to build

While there have been rules and laws that have been established, rulings for setting up dispensaries have been enacted. Currently, dispensaries can sell cannabis within 750 feet from schools, churches, parks and other community accessible facilities.

Hillsborough County officials are holding public meetings during these months and times at the County Center located at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.

  • Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. in the 26th floor conference room
  • Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. in the County Commission boardroom
  • Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Planning Commission boardroom
  • March 7 at 6 p.m. in the County Commission boardroom