Once certified by a recommending physician and approved by the State, Florida medical cannabis patients can purchase medications from Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs), also known as dispensaries. Florida’s MMTCs are charged with growing, manufacturing, and selling all medical cannabis products within the state. Each operation must do everything from seed to sale meaning they only sell products they produce themselves.
When working with new patients I tend to recommend MMTCs to them based on cannabis experience, cost, product selection, education, etc. Regardless of where you start, it’s important to shop around and experiment with multiple companies until you find your best fit. I use products from at least 3 different companies on a daily basis, but some patients prefer to stick with one medicine and one company. Do what works best for your needs. Patients are not legally bound to one MMTC and can purchase from any and all MMTCs.
For an up to date list of all approved MMTC’s please consult the Office of Medical Marijuana Use website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-medical-marijuana-use/medical-marijuana-treatment-centers/index.html
Shopping Tips & Things to Know
Prior to making a purchase review MMTC websites and product options. Research your condition and cannabis to help you choose products that will best meet your specific needs. Talk to your doctor, other patients, and MMTC staff.
The level of assistance and guidance from dispensaries vary. If you are brand new to medical cannabis ask for a consult and let the staff know you need assistance. You can even do this while waiting for the State to approve your card.
Write down any questions you have and bring them with you to the dispensary. It’s important to self advocate and ask for assistance if needed, especially if you are a beginning patient.
Some MMTCs can be crowded and very busy. If you are prone to anxiety in these settings you may want to avoid shopping in store during sales, holidays, and special events.
You are not required to shop in store. Utilize delivery services if needed. Most companies now deliver for free.
Most MMTCs offer online pre-ordering for in store pickup. This is great option for saving time, skipping the lines, and ensuring stock prior to making the trip to the dispensary. Policy varies by MMTC, but most will notify you when your order is ready for pick up or if your items aren’t in stock.
If you are driving a distance to get to a MMTC be sure to verify stock or pre-order to avoid wasted trips.
Verify your order within the MMUR and understand what your physician has recommended for you. I suggest checking your orders periodically as the MMUR can be glitchy. Be sure to see your doctor prior to orders lapsing, as you will not be able to purchase without an active order.
Don’t purchase a huge quantity of products until you experiment and know what works best for you.
If you have an issue related to the product itself (example leaky cartridge, defective vape pen) you will need to contact the MMTC it was purchased from. Most MMTCs have standards in place to replace or otherwise address defective product.
Getting the Most for Your Buck
Price Per Milligram
Price per milligram is the most accurate way to compare prices across dispensary products. To determine, divide the product price by the total # of milligrams in the product. Some products and MMTCs label by weight/volume of product and not total cannabinoids as the total cannabinoids vary greatly from batch to batch. This is important to consider when comparing prices. While price is important, quality also varies so remember sometimes cheaper isn’t less expensive.
Example: 230mg vape pen sold for $25 = 25/230 = $0.108/mg
600mg vape cart sold for $74 = 74/600 = $0.1233/mg
600mg vape cart sold for $90 = 90/600 = $0.15/mg
Discounts & Patient Rewards Programs
All MMTCs offer first time patient and other special discounts. These vary by company but are often available to Veterans, First Responders, pediatric patients, senior citizens, and those receiving financial assistance. Many MMTCs also offer patient reward programs which can be exchanged for free products or discounts on future purchases. Always ask about this when visiting a new MMTC.
Sales and Specials
As more MMTC companies are ramping up operations we are seeing an increase in regular sales and specials. Taking advantage of these specials for medication purchases can go a long way for your wallet.
To stay up to date on MMTC sales:
Sign up for MMTC email and text alerts
Follow MMTC Facebook, Instagram, and other Social Media pages
Tune into Pow Wow with Patty at The Patty Page every Tuesday for weekly MMTC updates. She does video updates with all the latest MMTC news, products releases, and sales. You can also find a listing of MMTC discounts.
Do It Yourself
A little do it yourself effort can go a long way in reducing costs. Filling your own vaporizer cartridges, mixing your own tinctures, and making your own creams, edibles, or capsules from available oils are all ways to reduce spending. Check out the blog posts below for details on doing it yourself. For DIY vape supplies check out Chris at Green Street Vapor.