Medical marijuana walk-in clinics come to Florida

The debate over medical marijuana in Florida

They're the first of its kind in the Sunshine State: Walk-in clinics for medical marijuana.

It’s the same as walking into an urgent care center, except you see a licensed doctor about receiving medical marijuana as a treatment.

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The brains behind Tetra Health Centers, Tracilea Young has opened six in Florida.

One just opened last week in South Tampa, but Young started the business in California after she noticed the medical marijuana facilities there were anything but pleasant.  

When Young’s ex-husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, the family was shocked. They have eight children together.

We "went the chemotherapy route for one round of treatment. It was a terrible, such an awful experience. (He) lost a lot of weight, couldn't keep any food down and was lethargic,” says Young.

That's when they opted for medical marijuana. The facilities weren’t catered to those severely sick, Young said.

“It was a filthy building with broken-down chairs all around the perimeter,” she says.

In 2015, Young opened her medical marijuana clinic, Tetra Health Care, in Sacramento.

Shortly after, Florida approved medical marijuana, she brought her business here.

Young says what she enjoys the most is seeing patients get freedom from medications.

“They'll bring in Excel spreadsheets listing all the medications and the times they have to take it. They're living their life with this schedule of medications and that's no way to live your life,” she says.

Gary White with Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance says even though medical marijuana may be legal, it can still be a gateway drug.

He says the marijuana you get on streets isn't the same as what you get in a dispensary.

“They may see more dispensaries opening up. That is not the reason to say I guess It's good to go now. I don't need to research or know all the facts about it. That's probably not a good thing to do,” says White.

Tetra Health Care has board-certified physicians who are licensed to give medical marijuana recommendations.

All doctors are also members of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

Remember, doctors will only prescribe medical marijuana for those who suffer from cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and other conditions that cause severe pain.  

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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