(Talla) Tallahassee is about to have a new medical practice focused on helping patients receive medical marijuana — just weeks after voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that greatly expands who can receive medical marijuana legally.
Dr. Joseph Dorn, who has worked in palliative and hospice care for the last 12 years, will open the Medical Marijuana Treatment Center of Florida on Capital Medical Boulevard. If all goes well, the practice will open its doors next week.
“It will happen as soon as we move the furniture over there,” Dorn said. “We are waiting for the person who owns the building to OK the lease.”
Dorn had to give up his position as medical director of Surterra Therapeutics, one of six companies licensed to grow and dispense pharmaceutical-grade marijuana in Florida, to start his own practice. State law prohibits medical directors of dispensing agencies from ordering medical marijuana for their patients. He resigned Nov. 7.
“I saw a need where few physicians were interested in being qualified doctors to order this,” Dorn said. “I couldn’t perform that function while being medical director. I decided to go back to direct patient care, that’s my strong point.”
Only two other physicians in Tallahassee — out of approximately 200 on the statewide Compassionate Use Registry — have completed the eight hours of training required by the Department of Health before they can order medical marijuana for their patients. One of those physicians, Dr. Mark Moore, opened a medical marijuana clinic in August. Moore said he has about 10-15 percent of the patients registered to receive medical marijuana.
The state has 931 patients registered to receive medical marijuana on the registry.