Commercial edibles are still illegal in Florida, which means most medical marijuana patients use a different delivery method to get relief. But tinctures have long been an approved method in the Sunshine State.
Now the Colorado-based marijuana company Binske is rolling out a line of flavored tinctures for Florida patients looking to get their dose through food. The olive oil tinctures, available at Trulieve dispensaries, can be used on everything from salads and pastas to dishes served at restaurants.
"I switched to a Mediterranean diet years ago and focused on trying to use olive oil," Binske cofounder Alex Pasternack says. "Having a product that could be kept in a purse or kept in a pocket and used quickly but that also wasn't a candy or a sweet was something that was incredibly intriguing to us."
The flavored olive oil tinctures come in rosemary, lemon, garlic, and truffle flavors. Pasternack says customers who have purchased the tinctures are already mixing them into salad dressings and other meals and tagging Binske in their Instagram posts.
"These people aren't using it for recreational purposes," he says. "They are actual medical patients that are talking about the relief that they are getting."
Flavored tinctures are a sort of loophole in Florida law, which prohibits edibles. At least one bill has been filed in the state Senate to permit dispensaries to sell edibles. In the meantime, olive oil THC products aren't technically considered edibles.
"The flavoring creates an interesting question," says David Hasenauer, cofounder and CEO of Green Point Research, a Fort Lauderdale-based hemp company. "As long as they are cannabis-derived terpenes used in the tincture, I fully believe the products are not edibles. Moreover, tinctures are cannabis extract held in a carrier oil typically for sublingual (under-the-tongue) dosing."
Pasternack hopes the edibles ban is overturned soon. But Florida has been slow to adopt medical marijuana changes. It wasn't until last year when Gov. Ron DeSantis repealed a 2017 law that smoking became an approved delivery method for medical marijuana patients in Florida. Under the new law, patients can buy their own rolling papers and paraphernalia from any local shop that sells it.
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Binske is a full-fledged edibles manufacturer, producing everything from chocolate and honey to fruit leather and granola. The company also sells pâte de fruit — a fancy term for gummies. Once the state flips the switch, Binske is ready to flood the market through its partnership with Trulieve, Florida's largest medical marijuana operator.
"Trulieve has a commercial kitchen that is fully built out, and we've done our [research and development]," Pasternack says. "We can legally make edibles and test out different equipment and machines; we just can't sell it into the marketplace. So we have our chocolates and our gummies dialed up and ready to go, and we're excited to turn them on as soon as Florida allows us to."
Valda Coryat, Trulieve's chief marketing officer, says the company is working closely with Binske to develop a suite of products.
"We encourage patients to find the best method of relief for them, and this is one of the easiest, most discreet, and most effective ways to do so," Coryat says of the flavored tinctures.