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Florida Health Department Stops Sales of New Whole-Flower Cannabis Product

State officials found the product was easy to smoke, which is still illegal in Florida.

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The Florida Department of Health ordered a local dispensary to stop selling a new whole-flower cannabis product intended for vaping, over concerns that users could easily smoke the pot instead. The state currently allows patients suffering from a number of qualifying medical conditions to use low-THC cannabis. Patients are allowed to vape the weed, but are prohibited from smoking it in any form.

Trulieve, one of the seven licensed marijuana vendors in the state, began selling the Entourage Multi Indica cup, a whole-flower product intended for vaping, via five dispensaries and home delivery last week. On Monday, the company received a cease-and-desist letter from the Health Department demanding that they stop selling the product.

In the letter, Office of Compassionate Use Director Christian Bax said that the vaporizer cups could easily be opened, allowing anyone to smoke the contents in joints, pipes, or bongs. The department also said that the vaporizer that Trulieve advertises for use with these whole-flower cups is only sold online,  and not in their retail dispensaries.

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said that the company has been offering whole-leaf products intended for vaping for almost a year. The difference, however, is that the cannabis in those products was finely ground, and not in the form of whole buds. Rivers said that whole-leaf products are important because of the “entourage effect” of consuming the entire flower, instead of an isolated oil or derivative.

“We feel very strongly that having products available that allow patients to have a choice and to benefit from the entourage effect, also available to physicians to make recommendations to patients, is critical. So if that means we're pushing the envelope, we've had a form of whole-flower vaporizer available from the day we've opened. This has always been part of our product line and will continue to be in the future,” Rivers said.