With the approach of the annual National Cannabis Day observance on Tuesday, April 20, Geo Tejada of the Miracle Leaf Cannabis health center in Hallandale Beach seeks to set the record straight on his products.
“There’s a lot of confusion about Cannabis,” he says. “People want to know why they should consider the use of Cannabis. Where can they buy these products? Is Cannabis legal in Florida? Do people need a license to buy? How can Cannabis products be used.”
Tejada explains that Cannabis products come from the Cannabis sativa plant, a widely cultivated crop around the world. “It exists in multiple varieties,” he says.
THC vs CBD:
Some varieties of Cannabis have psychoactive properties that produce a euphoric reaction. They contain a relatively high concentration of a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The common name for such varieties is marijuana.
Florida law allows the use of “medical marijuana” that is high in THC for certain qualifying conditions, including cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV-AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients must obtain a medical marijuana card and a recommendation from a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine who has taken a course and passed an exam to receive certification as a marijuana physician.
Upon being approved, patients join a registry and receive a medical marijuana card. Then they may purchase their recommendation THC products from a dispensary licensed by the state. “Today,” Tejada says, “over 500,000 patients are registered in Florida.”
The rules are different for other varieties of Cannabis, known as hemp, that contain only trace amounts of THC. During World War II, the U.S. government used hemp to make canvas, rope, and uniforms. Today it is a source of products as diverse as biofuel, cement, cosmetics, clothing, insulation, paper, and textiles.
“Hemp became a federally approved crop under the 2018 farm bill, and all of our products are hemp-based,” Tejada says. “Their primary substance, cannabidiol (CBD), lacks euphoric properties but still can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, pain, and stress associated with a variety of medical conditions.
“You don’t need a medical marijuana card and a recommendation to buy the products we sell at health centers such as Miracle Leaf,” he emphasizes.
To Smoke Or Not:
Discussion of Cannabis typically revolves around smoking the flowers, but that’s not the only way to use Cannabis products. Hemp-based CBD products in particular have blossomed (pun intended) in recent years, offering a wide variety of consumption alternatives. Tejada lists sublingual tinctures (drops of liquid under the tongue), “vapes” for inhalation, edible gummies, and topical pain-relief creams that are popular with the elderly.
Cannabis also is a major ingredient in Alice B. Toklas brownies. Alice was the life-mate of author Gertrude Stein, who reigned over the Paris literary scene between the two World Wars. Google on “Alice B. Toklas brownies” to find thousands of entries about this confection. If you make these brownies with marijuana, limit consumption and beware of unintended side effects. Hemp is kinder and gentler in this regard.
Tejada says his Miracle Leaf store in Hallandale Beach has over 2,000 regular customers. Some are tobacco smokers who view Miracle Leaf’s CBD products as a desirable alternative, while others use CBD products while waiting for their medical marijuana cards and recommendations.
“We’re not a medical marijuana dispensary,” he emphasizes, “but we do have certified marijuana physicians on staff to provide assistance to people who come in with specific medical needs.
“Most of our customers are older than 45. Cannabis is not just for the young. The elderly have been able to connect with the use of Cannabis. We can’t make medical claims for a cure, but we have been able to help many patients with medical conditions to alleviate their symptoms.”
For Fido and Tabby:
Many pet owners give CBD products to their dogs and cats, Tejada says. Signs your canine and feline friends may benefit from CBD include arthritis and other inflammatory ailments, chronic pain, digestive tract upsets, kidney and liver ailments, separation anxiety when you leave home, and fear of thunder and other loud noises. Also, while it’s not a cure, CBD may prolong and improve the quality of life for elderly dogs and cats with cancer and other terminal conditions.
CBD products sold specifically for pets include capsules and chews, peanut butter, tinctures, treats, and topical preparations such as shampoos and balms. Resist the temptation to give your pets the same products you use, Tejada advises. Look for products specifically formulated and lab-tested for pets, and organically sourced, which means they come from pesticide-free hemp plants.
Dosage depends on your pet’s size, weight, and individual body chemistry. While product packaging and your veterinarian may offer guidelines, every pet is different, so start slowly and work up to an optimal dosage.
National Cannabis Day:
National Cannabis Day originated with five California high school students who met at 4:20 PM on April 20, 1971, to smoke marijuana. Today it’s an international counter-culture holiday, and an opportunity for the Cannabis industry to showcase its products and services. “The industry gives back to the community with big promotions and sales,” Tejada says, adding that Miracle Leaf will participate in the observance in a big way.
For more information, contact:
600 West Hallandale Beach Boulevard
Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009
Phone: (954) 589-0159
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. On Mondays Through Fridays And 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. On Saturdays
Closed: On Sundays