By Vanessa Orr
On Aug. 26, 2020, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) granted permission for licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to produce THC-infused edible products, including lozenges, gelatins, baked goods, chocolates and drink powders. Seven days later, Trulieve Cannabis Corp., Florida’s largest medical marijuana company, began selling edible products in its dispensaries.
“Trulieve is the only company that has manufactured and made edibles available in Florida, which is an important differentiator as we continue to scale,” explained CEO Kim Rivers. “The volume required to meet the demand will be significant.”
According to Rivers, Trulieve has a robust plan in place for its edible product lines that will include gelatins, or TruGels, and TruChocolate bars to start. TruGels have been approved in blue raspberry, watermelon, guava passionfruit, and pineapple flavors, with more flavors awaiting approval. TruNanoGels will also come in additional fruit flavors once approved by the FDOH.
“We have also partnered with other national edible brands such as Bhang, Binske, District Edibles and Love’s Oven to bring items such as chocolates, brownies, cookies and gels to the Florida market,” said Rivers. “Making the product accessible across the state, while maintaining quality and consistency, is important to us.
“We believe edibles will become a selection process for many patients and will also be used as an additive product for patients who want to try something new,” she continued. “We have a research and development team that has been trying flavors and products, so we fully expect to add to our initial lineup soon.”
In order to receive edible medicines, patients need to contact their doctors to discuss adding edibles as a route of administration. The Florida Department of Health has set a maximum milligram amount for individual serving sizes to 10 mg, with a total maximum milligram amount of 200 mgs per container.
“We strongly recommend that patients start low and go slow, especially if they do not have oral or edible cannabis experience,” said Rivers, adding that a recommended introductory dosage would be 5 mg or less, with patients allowing a full two hours to begin to feel the effects before dosing again, if needed.
According to Rivers, there has been strong demand for medication in this format for more than three years from patients across all demographics.
“Many of these patients have requested edibles as they have less stigma associated with them, are often easier to ingest, and they taste good, too,” she said. “Offering edibles as yet another alternative for Florida’s medical cannabis patients gives them broader access to routes of administration that may be preferable based on these benefits of taste, tolerance, and reduced stigma, and we’re happy to offer these products.”
Trulieve was the first company in the Florida market to introduce ingestible products, starting with capsules and extending to other forms. They introduced TruPowder in January, and added follow-on flavored options and TruTincture drops, similar to lozenges, this September.
“We are glad to finally be able to offer edibles as yet another option for medical cannabis patients across Florida,” said Rivers. “Over the past week, we have had tremendous feedback in regard to the initial products. We believe we will see a large proportion of our Truliever community try edibles and this category could become upwards of 20 percent of our product mix, similar to what other states have seen with their edibles product lines.”
Approved Trulieve edibles are currently sold in the company’s 58 dispensaries across Florida and will be offered online within the coming weeks.