Driving down any major street in Fort Myers, I’m sure you have seen a number of cheaply made plastic signs that read, “Dr. Green Relief Cannabis Cards.” What caught my producer’s eye is where these signs were placed… near schools.
A name like “Dr. Green Relief” recalls scam artists like the psychic, Miss Cleo, from the days of public access television. When I was assigned the story by my producer, I imagined I was going to be interviewing a very charismatic man, with a handlebar mustache, spouting off vaudevillian idioms. As you can see in the video, the real Dr. Green Relief was not the greatest showman on Earth, but rather a mild-mannered doctor.
We started with the standard angle on the story; the good-old man on the street interviews. “What does the public think about these signs popping up everywhere?” Turns out not much. The people who were willing to talk to us referred to the fact medical marijuana was made legal in the state of Florida in the 2016 election by an overwhelming 71% of the vote. They thought it’s natural for entrepreneurs to jump onto a rapidly growing (no pun intended) market and put signs wherever they want to get attention.
Now all of that is speculation. Maybe Dr. Green Relief was ignorant of the fact that his signs were popping up near schools. Or maybe, he was targeting teens who have “back problems.” At this point, anything was possible.
After a quick search, Dr. Dareld Morris turned out to be the real Dr. Green Relief and we set up an interview with him.
His medical center was right next to the Six Mile Charter Academy, so a sign popping up next to that school could really be an unfortunate coincidence. It’s also in one of those office complexes that’s trying to look like an outdoor strip mall.
At first, Dr. Morris told us he only had five minutes for an interview. We rushed through all the questions as fast as possible and at first, he was really defensive about the placement of the signs. But, as soon as he realized we weren’t there to tar and feather him, he talked our ears off about his eclectic practice for a half an hour. I’m not exaggerating about all the medical fields his center covers; the man actually does have a laser that can burn fat cells through walls.
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The name Dr. Green Relief is just a catchy name he and his business partner came up with while networking in Vegas. They both saw the medical marijuana field expecting to balloon in the coming years. According to Forbes magazine, the industry is going to create more jobs than the manufacturing sector.
As those facts nestled into my brain, I felt a little off-put by the reality of the medical industry today. Doctors need to make money but how many doctors are pushing certain treatments because they are genuinely good for their patients? Or do they push treatments that can make them a lot of cash? And if it’s the latter and if it’s helping people, how bad can it be?
There are all kinds of arguments to be had on the topic and I’m pretty sure I know where Dr. Morris would fall on that debate. I’m not going to state them here because… he has a freakin’ laser that can burn fat cells through walls!
The subject of the signs did come up at the end of our interview. Dr. Morris was speaking more candidly about their placement at this point. He told us he hired another company to place them around and has no idea where they all would be.
I thought it might be fun to do a ride along with this company as they ride out in the middle of the night, placing signs all over the place. I couldn’t find a company that advertises sign placement services and was excited to hear if one existed. But alas, Dr. Morris kept his third-party sign placement company a closely guarded secret.
I could only assume it’s to keep Dr. Green Relief on top of a pile green… grass.
Be healthy SWFL.