Sarasota Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens Friday
With a spacious waiting room, mid-century modern furniture and a smattering of logo-emblazoned baseball caps and cozies carefully positioned around the room, Müv looks more like a Silicon Valley startup than a medical marijuana dispensary. The commercial offshoot of the Sarasota-based medical marijuana conglomerate AltMed Enterprises, Müv represents the future of the American marijuana industry: corporate, clean-cut and lucrative.
Formed with the expectation that Florida voters would approve a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2014, AltMed was forced to begin operations in Arizona after the Florida amendment narrowly failed. A revised version of the amendment was approved by voters in 2016, paving the way for AltMed to finally begin operating in Florida.
“We opened our first Müv medical cannabis dispensary in Apollo Beach last month,” says Todd Beckwith, the global director of marketing for AltMed Enterprises and the marketing director for the AltMed Florida division. “Our Sarasota location, here on Fruitville road, is opening on Friday. As a Sarasota company that’s obviously very exciting for us. Our original mission was to serve the patients and the community in which we live.”
With a 150,000-square-foot cultivation and lab facility in Apollo Beach, over 50 different methods of cannabis delivery and nearly 50 different strain options, AltMed Florida certainly seems serious about its efforts to legitimize—and corporatize—the medical marijuana industry. “Part of our mission was to bring cannabis out of the shadows, legitimize it and bring the professional standards to the industry,” Beckwith says. “I think you notice as you walk in that this dispels a lot of the stereotypes and myths. This is somewhere I’d be as comfortable inviting my mother in as I would my friends.”
A joint venture with the established Florida agribusiness Plants of Ruskin, AltMed Florida is determined to bring pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products to southwestern Florida medical marijuana patients. With Florida’s rather stringent definition of what makes medical marijuana medical—including a ban on smoke-able products, a small list of narrowly defined qualifying conditions and the ability for each county to determine their own standards and methods for regulation—AltMed Florida has had to develop new ways for patients to consume and acquire cannabis products.
“In Florida, no wholesaling is allowed,” Beckwith explains. “Only what you grow, manufacture and make yourself can you sell. As an R&D-driven company that comes out of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, we have a portfolio of delivery methods no one else has and you can only get at a Müv medical cannabis dispensary.” One of these methods is the Müv metered dose inhaler, similar in look and function to an asthmatic’s albuterol inhaler. With no cannabis smell or taste, discrete packaging and an exact metered dose of 3 milligrams per inhalation, Müv's inhaler is intended for patients who want control over their dosing and are not interested in consuming cannabis through more traditional methods, such as vaping or eating edibles.
When asked about Müv's ideal patient, Beckwith responds that he has found that medical cannabis patients expect a high level of quality, accountability and transparency. “Medical cannabis patients tend to have a more hands-on approach to their health care and they want information,” he says. “They want to know what’s in their products. They want to know all the active ingredients, the inactive ingredients, the genetics, where the plants were grown. They seek information to control their own health care and that’s exactly the kind of patient we want, because our standards are such and we’ve had such an open book since day one.”
Müv is located at 5045 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.