What benefits do you see for patients throughout Florida within this space?
The benefits of medical cannabis continue to be proven. While we still must say “anecdotally,” the truth is that everyday lives are changed because of the healing properties of Cannabis. Patients can explore a healthier, natural way to improve their health and wellness. Most importantly though, patients have a say in their own health care. When partnered with the right physician and clinical team, they have a partner in their healthcare. They then can make an informed decision as to what is best for their bodies. All of this leads to a freedom to live a healthier lifestyle, naturally. Thus, eliminating so many unwanted side effects that come with using traditional medicine. Patients report having regained their quality of life, and this is very gratifying. Florida ranks second in the U.S. for opioid overdose deaths. I have witnessed so many patients being able to gain freedom from opioid dependence. Patients with PTSD can finally find peace. The list goes on with many other debilitating conditions that keep people from leading a joyful life. Pain, stress and insomnia also are common debilitating conditions that we see on a daily basis. Personally, I suffer from chronic pain which leads to the inability to get quality sleep. Lack of quality sleep leads to a lack of quality of life. The joy of sleeping all night escaped me for years. But no more.
What motivates you to be a part of the cannabis industry?
I enjoy providing the education patients need to begin the process of obtaining their MMJ card and understanding whole plant medicine. Being able to see the relief and quality of life breathed back into them is very motivational. I want to continue to bridge the gap and to rid the stigma that still surrounds this amazing plant medicine. Education is key and it cannot end. Florida was slow to implement what was passed by 71.6% of voters. So, the last 5 years has been a journey. We are getting there, but we need to put the patient first in all that we do.
What field are you in within the cannabis space?
I am the Founder of MMCare of Florida (Medical Marijuana Care of Florida), in Brooksville, FL. I incorporated in 2017 and have not stopped evolving. MMCare is more than just a Cannabis Clinic. I also serve as a Physician Consultant to assist physicians who want to get into the Cannabis Space. We offer internships with our physician and start-up consulting.
How can people in Florida benefit from the company you represent?
Floridians can feel comfortable that MMCare of Florida puts patients above profits. We offer in-depth education and are always available for assistance. We care about patient results and, if necessary, will do a plan reset. We are not a ‘one and done’ clinic. Our current Physician is a retired General Surgeon whose passion for educating and ensuring patients understand how to begin is unparalleled in the industry. He gets to know his patients and they walk away with a new understanding of their bodies and why Cannabis works. We are comfortable evaluating pediatrics as well. Children deserve access to natural medicine and parents deserve the right to afford natural health care. Veterans are a priority as well. They can benefit with discounts given to them through our clinic.
How did you get started within the cannabis industry?
Interestingly I received a call from a friend, a retired DEA agent, in 2016. He said, “If amendment 2 is passed in Florida I have an opportunity for you if you are interested. I know you are a great business professional, and it would be great to have you onboard.” And so, it began. While this opportunity did not work out, I had a vision and it taught me enough to go at it on my own. I had to educate myself to believe in what I would be doing. I spent hours, nights and weekends doing so. I was a General Manager in retail and worked a very demanding schedule. I was literally working 7 days a week, setting up my life to ensure that I could leave my ‘day job.’ I was able to do so in 2019 and have never looked back. My quality of life has improved tremendously. I have built strong relationships with the industry pioneers and others getting started just like me. I obviously had some great help along the way that has led to the success of MMCare, and I remain grateful.
Are you personally a MJ card holder?
Yes. When I left my corporate job, I obtained my card.
Do you see Florida moving forward with recreational Marijuana/cannabis and how will that affect your business?
I believe that Florida will move forward with recreational, and I absolutely support and believe it is the best for our patients. Patients will still need the education to get started and continued guidance if it is for relief of medical conditions. Having a medical card also means the patient will not be required to pay taxes that all recreational states impose on our medicine. Children will always need a recommending physician so there will still be a need for Medical Cannabis. Again, patient first and all else will fall into place. Being deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic only furthered our cause. The science is there. The movement is strong.