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Miami Beach is getting its first medical marijuana dispensary, a year after cannabis treatment centers began sprouting up in South Florida.

Surterra Wellness, one of seven companies currently licensed to sell medical marijuana to patients in Florida, plans to open a dispensary on Friday near the Lincoln Road Mall in South Beach. The dispensary will sell a variety of cannabis-based products to patients who have a recommendation from their doctor for medical marijuana treatment.

Located in a strip mall at 1523 Alton Rd., the dispensary has an open layout that includes a kitchen and a garden. “It’s really meant to make people feel at home, feel comfortable and really de-stigmatize a process that is quite frankly villainized,” said company CEO Jake Bergmann. “I think the patients looking for this on Miami Beach are going to be extremely happy.”

Bergmann said that in addition to selling vaporizer kits, oils, oral sprays, patches and lotions to those with a doctor’s authorization, the dispensary will also educate anyone interested in learning more about cannabis treatment. As of Thursday evening, the dispensary was still

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By patient count alone, Connecticut’s medical marijuana program has been an unqualified success. More than 25,000 residents are using medical marijuana today to find relief from chronic, often debilitating conditions — a twelve-fold increase since the program’s birth four years ago.

But though the state Department of Consumer Protection, which regulates the medical marijuana program, has increased the number of dispensaries from six to nine, and recently announced it intended to open as many as 10 more, the number of producers — the businesses that grow all of the state’s legal marijuana — has remained the same. Four producers still supply every marijuana bud, every edible and every droplet of cannabis oil consumed legally in the state, as they did in 2014, when the program began with just 2,000 patients.

Now, dispensary owners and patients are saying the four producers have been unable to keep pace with the soaring patient count, causing shortages and inconsistencies that undermine Connecticut’s goal of running a medical marijuana program as well-oiled as any commercial pharmacy operation.

“The problem is the program’s a success

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Types of marijuana sit on display at a dispensary in Oakland. (Mathew Sumner/AP)

On Thursday, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted its support for the first marijuana-based drug, a treatment for two rare forms of epilepsy in children. As a cannabis-derived medicine moves closer to full FDA approval, some people think marijuana has that potential to make an even bigger contribution to public health: turning back the opioid epidemic.

Studies conducted at the state level show that expanding access to medical marijuana is correlated with lower rates of opioid misuse and overdose. Yet studies of individuals show that using medical cannabis is correlated with higher rates of using and misusing opioids. This set of conflicting research has revealed less about the relationship between marijuana and opioids than it has about how science is misunderstood and misused in political debates.

It’s understandable when looking at the research on medical marijuana and opioids to think that the state and individual

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Doctors predicted Jackson Helms would die by the time he was 6.

Now 19, Jackson has lived longer than expected and gained relief from his severe epilepsy because of cannabidiol, or CBD, says his mom Kelly Helms.

CBD has essentially no THC, which is the psychoactive element in marijuana that causes a high.

The full legalization of medical marijuana could help Jackson, his mom says. Medical experts in North Carolina support more research on medical marijuana.

The THC component of medical marijuana helps pull Jackson out of a seizure coma, his mom said. She has visited Raleigh to urge lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana.

Kelly Helms, with her son, Jackson Helms, 19, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Jackson was supposed to have died at age 6 because of complications he has. Jackson has cerebral palsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a form of severe epilepsy that can resist treatment and caused him to have up to 15 seizures a day. Since CBD was legalized, his seizures have largely gone away, his mom says. Still, the Helms family supports legalizing medical

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