Pubdate: Mon, 20 Nov 2017
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2017 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Zac Anderson


Sarasota-based medical marijuana company AltMed Florida is poised to
begin growing its first crop of marijuana at a facility in Apollo Beach.

The Florida Department of Health authorized Plants of Ruskin -- the
nursery that is partnering with AltMed -- to begin operating the
cultivation facility.

"We have worked diligently to build what we believe will be the
most advanced indoor cultivation facility in Florida, and one of the
finest in the country," AltMed CEO John Tipton said in a press
release Monday.

AltMed is completing construction on the 50,000-square-foot Apollo
Beach facility and plans to begin growing marijuana "immediately." The
company expects to begin distributing the product at its own
dispensaries in early 2018.

The Apollo Beach facility eventually will expand to 150,000 square
feet, with construction beginning in 2018.

Plants of Ruskin is one of 13 nurseries in Florida awarded a license
to grow medical marijuana, which was approved by voters in a 2016
constitutional amendment. The nursery formed a partnership with AltMed
earlier this year. The Sarasota company is handling much of the
nursery's medical marijuana business.

AltMed will operate under Plants of Ruskin's license and take the lead
on product development, lab testing, marketing, dispensary sales and
home delivery for the joint venture. The company will operate
dispensaries under the MuV by AltMed Florida brand. MuV is the name of
AltMed's line of cannabis infused products.

Founded in Sarasota three years ago, AltMed, also known as Alternative
Medical Enterprises LLC, has been operating in Arizona while company
leaders waited for medical marijuana to be approved in Florida. AltMed
expects to open its first Florida dispensaries in the first quarter of

The company provides products to roughly half of the medical marijuana
dispensaries in Arizona and recently expanded its product line into
Colorado. Altmed is working to get its products approved in other states.

AltMed has won awards for its marijuana extract products and has a
proprietary extraction process. That's important in Florida because
the state bans smoking medical marijuana so extract products are the
entire market.
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