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Cannabis dispensary CEO notices ‘huge transition’ from opioids to cannabis treatment

"There have been a number of recent studies that have come out that have shown that in states where medical cannabis programs are robust, the number of opioid prescriptions reduces dramatically," says the CEO of Trulieve

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Patients in Florida who are suffering from chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a wide variety of other medical ailments are swapping opioid for cannabis.

This is what the chief executive officer of the Sunshine State’s first and biggest licensed medical cannabis store, Trulieve, revealed during a recent interview with CNBC.

“We’re seeing a huge transition,” said Kim Rivers as she attended an exclusive interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer.

“That’s actually one of our initiatives in front of the [Florida state] legislature this upcoming session, to introduce policies to say instead of only having opioids as an alternative, why not medical cannabis?”

Trulieve serves patients in Florida with various health problems

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwi5oo3KhZneAhUDSY8KHaZrAAsQjxx6BAgBEAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnbc.com%2Fvideo%2F2018%2F10%2F08%2Ftrulieve-ceo-huge-transition-from-opioids-to-cannabis-in-florida.html&psig=AOvVaw3uscOVM-VTkZviJSvvvJhK&ust=1540263076467539Rivers’ business serves more than 80,000 patients throughout 17 different retail spots in Florida. The company lures in customers with more than 90 medicinal weed-based products suitable for the treatment of cancer, AIDS and epileptic seizures.

A big chunk of patients who procure their pot-based treatments through Trulieve struggle with PTSD, what with so many veterans residing in the State of Florida.

The vertically integrated company specializes in the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of its branded products, of which contain varying levels of the plant’s active ingredients, such as the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Rivers told Cramer that, as one of the leading medical cannabis producers in Florida, Trulieve has the potential to merge into the mainstream market.

“There have been a number of recent studies that have come out that have shown that in states where medical cannabis programs are robust, the number of opioid prescriptions reduces dramatically,” said the CEO of Trulieve. “We also know from just firsthand true stories, which we have on our website every Tuesday, that a number of our patients are transitioning from opioids to medical cannabis very effectively, and it’s a much safer and effective alternative,” she continued.

Trulieve went public on the stock market recently

Trulieve seems to have taken a leaf out of other big bud brand’s books by going public, just as Tilray and Canopy Growth Corp have done. The cannabis company went public by means of a reverse takeover.

“There are some complications with being a cannabis company in the United States and having primary operations in the United States. So an RTO was the way that we needed to go,” Rivers explained. “We’re very comfortable that that is a clean shell that we now own.”

The specific license held by Trulieve restricts expansion in other states. However, the medical cannabis cultivator is sure to benefit from its new public listing.

“We are looking to go elsewhere,” Rivers told Cramer. “And we can’t go elsewhere now with our current license in Florida, so we would need to make acquisitions, which is one of the reasons and one of the main drivers that we decided to go public a couple weeks ago.”

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Cannabis dispensary CEO notices ‘huge transition’ from opioids to cannabis treatment