Sirens go off in the background as Kerry Barasatie and his co-host Sean Casey experiment with THC oil pens and must-try medical marijuana finds.
The camera is rolling, but the hosts of “The Show” – a new online videocast about legal weed in Florida – don’t acknowledge the noise.
After all, what they’re doing is perfectly legal, and the alarms aren’t from police cars - they’re ambulance sirens from nearby Osceola Regional Medical Center.
Barasatie and Casey launched The Show a couple weeks ago from Green Relief, a medical marijuana prescribing facility located on Oak Street in Kissimmee.
The laid-back 30-minute talk show-style program touches on topics requested by patients about the cannabis industry – including how to get it and consume it.
“We get a lot of questions all the time,” said Barasatie, a young, fast-talking entrepreneur from South Florida. “We want this to not only help people here in Kissimmee, but all across the state.”
To be clear – there’s no actual cannabis product on site at any of Green Relief’s growing list of locations, including its two new shops in Orlando. It’s simply the place to get started with a medical marijuana card after speaking with an on-site physician and registering with the state.
That process can get a little tricky, Casey says, hence The Show.
“There’s so much going on,” Casey says adjusting a piece of equipment a few minutes before showtime. “No matter where you stand, everyone is talking about medical marijuana.”
The Show generates modest views when it airs via Facebook Live weekday afternoons, but Casey – a personal trainer turned social media marketer – thinks frequent posting and grassroots outreach will grow Green Relief’s following.
Florida voters approved medical cannabis in November 2016, but Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed the conversation back into the spotlight shortly after taking office earlier this year.
DeSantis threatened to drop a court appeal if state lawmakers didn’t resolve a statewide ban on flower, or smokeable, forms of medical marijuana by March 15.
Just eight days after senators and representatives went to Tallahassee March 5, the smokeable ban was overturned by both chambers of the statehouse. DeSantis signed it into law March 18.
“It’s about damn time,” State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried stated in a press release Wednesday.
Lawmakers are now hashing out details of at least 10 other cannabis-related bills, along with a proposed constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana.
The final fate of all bills will be known after this year’s session ends May 3.
It’s a lot to keep track of, Barasatie said. But he also admits it’s a good time to be in the industry.
After starting a single Kissimmee location near Florida Hospital in June 2017, Green Relief has grown to four sites with a firth on the way in South Orlando. It also relocated its original spot to near Osceola Regional about five months ago.
Barasatie said the company plans to partner with USA Medical Care, a walk-in clinic with five Central Florida locations, which could refer curious patients to Green Relief hub offices.
“We want to go more into medical offices that are already seeing patients,” the owner said. “So, the same physician who would treat you for your annual check up is now also A Green Relief doctor or can refer you to one of our main offices where there is one.”
Barasatie, who is not a doctor, has a lot of ideas about his business and the cannabis industry in general.
He even has a plan if Florida goes recreational like 10 other states have already.
“People will still seek it out for medical purposes,” Barasatie says confidently. “There’s always a way to make a business out of this.”