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Insurance and marijuana round out post-hurricane return of Fried On Business

We are back in a rhythm at Fried On Business now that Irma is long gone and, hopefully, we’ve seen the last of the hurricanes for a while.

I had a lot of damage to my apartment during Irma. A sliding glass door took flight, and I ended up with two inches of water where it really shouldn’t be. That is, in my living room.

The insurance adjusters, inspectors and contractors were on the spot, and soon I’ll be ready to move back in.

Ensuring your insurance

But doesn’t always work out that way for many people, for a variety of reasons, said Steven J. Chackman, Founding Partner at BERNSTEIN · CHACKMAN · LISS in Hollywood.

Steven came on the show to give us some helpful tips for dealing with insurance companies. When you’ve had an insured loss, he said, you should:

– Document the damage. Take pictures of the interior and exterior of the physical property and your personal property. Use video also. Keep the personal property until your adjuster has a chance to see it.

– Notify your insurance company promptly.

– Get multiple estimates.

– Cooperate with the insurer when they investigate the claim.

– Be diligent. Stay on top of things to make sure your claim is acted upon.

This was great information, and timely considering recent events.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Steven J. Chackman of BERNSTEIN · CHACKMAN · LISS or visit

Helping the islands

Next up was David Arditi, Principal and Co-Founder of Aria Development Group in Miami. In partnership with Coastal Construction and other companies, Aria is gathering supplies and raising funds to help victims of Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean.

There are nine drop-off locations in Dade and Broward counties. A first run to the Keys has already taken place.

The group also is working with authorities in the Caribbean, particularly on the island of St. Maarten, to send supplies.

The primary drop-off location is at the Aria offices at 3050 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. Call 212-400-0500 for more information.

Click here to listen to the full interview with David Arditi of Aria Development Group.

Medical marijuana update

Moving on to a completely different subject, Nicole “Nikki” Fried, President and owner of Igniting Florida LLC, stopped by with an update on the status of medical marijuana in Florida.

As many of you know, I’ve been in the process of getting my own medical marijuana card. But it seems that every time I get close to the end, another bureaucratic roadblock is put in my way.

Nicole is well aware of the situation. A state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana was implemented in June, and since then more than 1,000 doctors and 33,000 patients have joined the registry, she said.

But the approval process is backlogged six to eight weeks – and that was before Hurricane Irma struck, Nicole said.

“It will get fixed, I’ve been assured,” she said.

On the horizon, Nicole said, will be a gradual reduction of problems with the system. Once you obtain a card, your choices are for home delivery or visiting one of 10 retail locations around the state.

Click here to listen to the full update from Nicole Fried of Igniting Florida LLC.

Ivan Field, CEO of Medical United LLC – – in Miami, joined the discussion to add that his company will soon be expanding to Orlando and Clearwater to help patients there.

Ivan said he is discovering that many patients are waiting to take advantage of the new law until they are able to smoke the marijuana flower itself.

Currently, the legal ways to administer medical marijuana are vaping, oils, edibles and other options, but not smoking.

Orlando attorney John Morgan has filed a lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court over the new law’s ban on smoking marijuana.

Ivan said the amendment prohibited smoking of medical marijuana in public places, but made no mention prohibiting it in the privacy of a patient’s home.

“I think everybody has to call their local senator and state representative and say, ‘Hey, 71 percent of us voted on being able to use this medicine, and we want to use it the way we want to use it,'” he said.

Nicole said she believes Morgan is on solid legal ground with his interpretation of the new law.

Ivan said there is a misconception that marijuana is only useful to get a high. In fact, many parts of the plant are useful for medicinal purposes, such as reduction of inflammation.

In one case, he said, a senior patient was off her walker six weeks after treatment with an anti-inflammatory derived from marijuana.

“We’re seeing some amazing stories, and we have a lot of senior citizens in Florida. I really think that people who don’t want to take these pharmaceuticals should try the alternative treatment program for medical marijuana,” he said.

Ivan said is offering a hurricane special – $25 off for new patients.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Ivan Field of and Nicole Fried of Igniting Florida LLC.



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