Good morning, afternoon, or evening – whichever applies to you. I’m excited to announce a bit of a change of pace for content from the Collective with this post. Some of you may already be familiar with fellow cannabis advocate and Florida medical cannabis product reviewer Josh Kerrigan; if you aren’t, here is a link to his YouTube page – Anthony Drew.
Josh has been a Florida medical cannabis patient for roughly the same amount of time I have, and he does a good job of making easily digestible video reviews of various medical cannabis products in Florida. He also provides insight into the industry and what his local dispensaries are up to, so anyone in the Tampa area will definitely relate to some of the non-review content that he has.
Josh and I have been bouncing the ball back and forth for some time now, trying to find a way we could collaborate on a piece of content that both of our audiences would enjoy, that would somehow link our projects together. That’s how we came up with this collaborative Q&A.
The premise is pretty simple: we came up with 5 different questions to ask each other. We will provide our answers to each question on our channel, and then link each of our audiences to the other’s respective post for the Q&A.
We think this will be a fun way to engage our viewers and see how our individual experiences compare and contrast. Since we are both Florida medical cannabis patients and have been in the program for roughly the same amount of time, it should be quite interesting to see how our answers line up.
I’ll go ahead and insert Josh’s YouTube video with his answers here, for your convenience. You can choose to watch his answers first (the embedded video should play in-site) and then scroll down to read my answers, or vice-versa. The idea is to digest both pieces of content at the same time; they can be thought of as “companion pieces”, or two parts of a mini-series.
Without further ado, here are the 5 questions – and my answers.
1.) What are a few of the more noteworthy flower strains you’ve encountered lately?
This is a fun question. The overall quality of flower throughout Florida’s medical cannabis industry has greatly improved over the past 6 months – even the past 3 months, so I think that is noteworthy in itself. However, to answer the question, there are three strains I’ve recently tried that really stood out to me.
This strain is really good in just about every category, and could possibly be the best strain I’ve found in Florida’s medical market as of right now. It’s got that really old-school pungent dank fuel smell to it, and the effects are just as good – very happy strain, very versatile strain good for use at almost any time of the day. Triangle Kush is one of those rare strains that I would choose if I could only have one strain for a year and probably not get tired of it. It really is that good, to me.
I got this strain back in September 2019, and it really set a new bar for how I reviewed flower going forward. The cure was almost perfect, the strain had a wonderful terpene profile, and the effects felt nice. The only catch was that I had a low tolerance at the time, and that batch was around 27% THC if I remember correctly – so I held onto it for quite a while. After having it for 3 to 4 months, the smell and overall quality of the flower began to slightly diminish, but it was a great strain. Hope Trulieve keeps it around.
This was one of those strains that I bought on a whim, and ended up being taken off-guard by. The smell was so lemony and so pungent/gas at the same time, and it smelled even better when it was ground up. Easily my favorite “lemon” strain I’ve found. Great for a day outside in nature, or for a day doing something creative and artistic. VidaCann has some great strains in their library, and this is one that deserves more attention.
2.) What was your first dispensary?
Trulieve, as I’ m sure is the case for many patients. When I first got my card, the Pensacola area only had 2 dispensaries to choose from: Trulieve and Surterra. I had done quite a bit of research online while waiting for my card, and Trulieve was certainly more in line with what I was looking for as a patient.
Flower cups had just been released at the time, but I was skeptical of them at first for whatever reason, so I opted for a few of the 1g vape carts that Trulieve had at the time – yes, the ones that were cut with MCT oil. Pineapple Express and Super Lemon Haze were my first strains, and I also got a 1:1 half gram cart, but can’t remember what the strain was called at the time (it wasn’t Harlequin GDP).
I was so nervous on my first trip to the dispensary. I still felt like I was doing something “wrong”, but was equally extremely excited to finally go pick up cannabis without fear of getting pulled over and arrested for having my medicine.
It’s fun to think back on that time, and how different it is now; going to a dispensary is like anything else for me.
3.) What do you consider the two most pivotal moments that shaped Florida MMJ, and why?
This is a great question. Even in the 2.5 years I’ve been a patient, the landscape of the industry in Florida has changed so much, and I think it’s important for all patients to understand how we got here.
Obviously, my first choice would be the passage SB 182 that allowed for full smokable flower – loose flower and prerolls – to be sold. Until that time, MMTCs offered mostly vape carts and oils – only a few were offering concentrates like distillate syringes, shatter, and crumble. A few MMTCS offered flower sold/marketed for volcano-style vaporizers; these were basically just bud stuffed into ceramic cups, and most people found ways to get the bud out of the cups for their own usage. Nobody wanted to pay $500+ for a dispensary-branded volcano. So that moment was huge, because after SB 182, every dispensary had to get in on the full flower game. That totally changed the landscape of the industry, and made dispensaries like Surterra (who were slow to embrace flower before) really get on the radar for a larger group of patients. I can’t imagine what things would be like now if the smokable bill never passed, but I’m fairly certain the industry would be much smaller and have less patients. Flower is king.
My second pivotal moment is actually one that hasn’t happened yet, but I think it will have an equal impact to that of the passage of SB 182. This will be the passage of regulations for edibles in Florida. I think that once all MMTCs are able to offer true edible products, the entire landscape will change again. For examples, MMTCs that aren’t strong now – for whatever reason – could suddenly become relevant if they are able to offer superior or highly sought-after edible cannabis products. Furthermore, once edible cannabis is available in Florida, I think it will feel much more like a matured or fully-developed cannabis market.
4.) Where do you think the Florida medical industry will be this time next year (2021)?
This question’s context is much different now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; however, I think that the Florida medical cannabis industry will have less impacts that others in the state and country.
To be sure, I believe the industry will continue to grow, expand, and mature. New dispensary openings may take a temporary hit as we endure the worst of the pandemic, but I think the overall trend for growth will continue.
Hopefully, regulations for edible cannabis products will be passed, and that will make up a large part of the market this time next year. Other than that, I expect to see MMTCs expand their product selection to include new flower strains and more concentrate options. We will probably see more MMTCs develop and refine their tier options for flower (and possibly concentrates), and competition should continue to drive average flower prices downward.
In short: We may not grow as much as we would have without the COVID-19 pandemic, but we will continue to grow.
5.) What are some things the medical industry could do to improve?
A big one that comes to mind is improving websites and online ordering. I think I Heart Jane should be the gold standard for the industry, and everyone should be using it. When I pickup from dispensaries that use this, I always have a good (and quick) experience. When I pickup from dispensaries that use their own proprietary websites, it’s really anyone’s guess as to how the experience will go. MMTCs take note: Use Jane.
Another big one is to continue making products more accessible and affordable. Trulieve is really leading the way with this right now with their various options for flower, especially with the minis for $27/eighth and the ground flower/trim for $25/quarter. This is exactly the type of affordable options that should be offered alongside the more expensive options for $40+ per eighth.
Continue to expand access for areas like the panhandle and the keys. This has improved a lot in the past year, but we still have a way to go before most of the state has a level playing field with their options.
This collaboration is the first in a series to come from Josh Kerrigan and myself, so be sure you are subscribed to both of our channels in order to stay tuned with the latest updates and product reviews to come!
The Florida medical cannabis industry has really come a long way in a short time, and we expect to see it continuing to grow – even in the face of adversity. Regardless of what comes next, both Josh and myself will continue to keep you updated with the latest developments. We’re always here for you!
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