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Northwest Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz will speak at the grand opening on Monday of Pensacola’s newest medical marijuana dispensary.

Surterra is one of a handful of firms licensed by Florida to grow and sell marijuana products under the state’s restrictive medical marijuana law. The new store will be Pensacola’s second medical marijuana dispensary and the third Florida outpost for Surterra, which also has locations in Tampa and Tallahassee.

Gaetz has long been an advocate for medical marijuana reform, both in the Florida House and since joining Congress earlier this year. Gaetz in April introducted legislation that would remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. While 28 states along with Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana, its possession and use remains illegal under federal law.

“This drug should not be in the same category as heroin and LSD, and we do not need to continue with a policy that turns thousands of young people into felons every year,” Gaetz said in a statement. “Nor do we need to punish the millions of people who are sick and seeking medical help — from pain, from muscle wasting, from chemotherapy-induced nausea.”

Surterra’s Pensacola Wellness Center, located at 5046 Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola, will hold its grand opening event at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 11.

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