Winter Garden-based Knox Medical, one of Florida’s seven licensed distributors of marijuana medicines, announced it is opening its first dispensary, in Gainesville with plans to go statewide soon.

In keeping with its strategy of locating dispensaries near hospitals and medical centers, Knox will open its first shop at 3400 SW 34th St., in Gainesville, not far from Shands Hospital, Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida, and the Veterans Administration’s Malcom Randall Medical Center.
A press preview of the dispensary is set for Wednesday, with a public opening on Friday.

After that, an Orlando dispensary is set to open soon, and the company announced it has immediate plans to open marijuana medicine dispensaries in in Jacksonville, Lake Worth, Tallahassee, and St. Petersburg, “followed by a large statewide expansion throughout 2017 and 2018,” the company announced Monday.

Knox also released artist’s renderings of a prototype, with a staid interior looking more like an optometrist’s shop than a pot shop, and an exterior with a sign declaring, “KNOX Cannabis Dispensary.”

“Knox Medical is working with Florida’s top architects and designers to create an unrivaled dispensary experience that puts the needs and interests of our patients first,” Jose J. Hidalgo, Founder and CEO of Knox Medical and Bruce Knox, Co-Founder and COO of Knox Medical, jointly stated in a news release.

The Gainesville opening comes with approval from the Florida Department of Health under guidelines established from a 2014 law opening up sales of limited marijuana products. It also comes less than two weeks after the Florida Legislature failed to agree on enabling legislation to set guidelines for medical marijuana, based on Amendment 2, the Florida Constitution amendment voters overwhelmingly passed last fall, opening up much broader sales of marijuana products.

“At every stage in this process, from cultivation to processing superior quality medicine, and now to dispensing at these state-of-the-art facilities, our objective at Knox Medical is to redefine excellence in the medicinal cannabis field at every level. We are privileged to serve our fellow Floridians in need who will receive compassionate medical care at Knox Medical’s cannabis dispensaries,” Hidalgo and Knox added in the release.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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