A Medical Patients Guide to Buying Marijuana in Florida

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Florida recently lifted a ban on smokable cannabis that will surely open up the market for more Florida dispensary locations with a robust flower selection for medical marijuana consumers. Recreational marijuana seems to be a couple of years away from becoming a reality, but until then, only consumers with an approved medical condition can purchase medicinal marijuana.

Florida residents with a qualifying medical condition can get a wide selection of cannabis and cannabis-infused products from hundreds of Florida dispensary locations. Whether you live in the panhandle or elsewhere in Florida, you're bound to find a retailer or delivery service. There are currently over 120 state-approved Florida dispensary locations. Some of them even deliver, too.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

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Florida residents over 18 years of age or minors with the help of an approved caregiver can receive a medical recommendation and buy cannabis from any dispensary location in Florida. There is a caveat. Only consumers with a severe medical condition that hasn't responded to traditional medical treatment can seek a medical marijuana recommendation from a licensed physician.

Marijuana doctors advertise on billboards and local news publications, but you can find a list of approved physicians at Florida's Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) website.

Patients can meet with a physician on the OMMU website and expect to pay between $150-250 per examination. If a patient is diagnosed with one of Florida’s qualifying conditions, the physician will send the patient information to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) for approval. Patients will receive an application process from the MMUR.

Patients must pay a $75 application fee. A Florida medical marijuana card lasts for a year from the date of first purchase. Medical cards ensure your rights are protected if stopped by law enforcement. Patients can start buying medical marijuana from a dispensary location in Florida once they've received approval via e-mail until they received the physical card in the mail.

Sorry, out-of-state patients. Florida does not accept out-of-state medical cards. That means you won't be able to buy weed with any card that is not from Florida. You can't get a provisional card either. You have to live in Florida for at least 30 days out of the year and adhere to more strict requirements.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana in Florida

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Florida residents with a valid medical card can purchase cannabis products from any of the licensed Florida dispensary locations. Many dispensaries offer delivery services that can bring you your order to anywhere in the state. Due to Florida's vertically-integrated market, however, a little over a dozen companies own multiple dispensaries across the state.

What Medical Cannabis Products to Buy at a Florida Dispensary

When Florida first passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act in 2014, severely-ill patients couldn't consume smokeable marijuana unless the buds were encased in a pod for vaping. Recently the smokeables ban has been overturned leaving the market open for branded flower strains.

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act allows patients to consume low-THC cannabis flowers, seeds, resin, edibles, and other products. You can buy edibles, sprays, vapes, oils, capsules, and seeds.

Purchasing and Possession Limits

Patients are able to purchase up to a 70-day supply of cannabis at a time. Unfortunately, you can't grow your own cannabis at home. Dispensaries are not legally allowed to provide more than the 70-day limit. Thankfully, there is no state sales tax on medical cannabis products, but you may have to pay delivery fees. Patients can buy 2.5 ounces of flower every 35 days.

Surterra Wellness

Florida-based Surterra Wellness operates 23 dispensaries in the state and has recently acquired operations in Massachusets to expand its portfolio with Nevada and Texas already on the list. Surterra Wellness just partnered with singer Jimmy Buffet for his Coral Reefer brand that includes disposable vapes in varying CBD:THC ratios and more products in the works.

As one of the preeminent Florida dispensaries, Surterra Wellness makes it easy for customers to search product lab results based on batch number.

Trulieve 

Truelieve is Florida's largest medical marijuana dispensary chain with 28 dispensaries and counting across the state that accounts for more than 60 percent of the market. They were one of the first dispensaries to offer whole-flower after the ban was lifted. They are one of a handful of dispensaries you can get smokable marijuana flower.

Truelieve offers multiple patient specials for first-time customers, veterans, and frequent customers. You can also check out third-party lab test results for products on their website.

Curaleaf

Curaleaf is a close runner-up to Trulieve's dispensary list with 24 dispensaries in the state. In fact, Curaleaf opened up one of a few dispensary drive-thrus in the state right by Miami International Airport. Curaleaf is a leading powerhouse operator with over 43 dispensaries in the country.

Curaleaf offers its own branded flower, oils, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more premium products. Master growers cultivate over 150 cannabis strains in cultivation facilities.

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Liberty Health Sciences

Liberty Health Services just opened their 14th dispensary in Cape Coral's South Cape on May 10, 2019, the first of its kind in Lee County. Liberty Health Services has locations in cities like Miami, Palm Harbor, Gainesville, Tampa, Bonita Springs, and more.

Patients can order online for in-store pickup or get free delivery. This Florida dispensary location carries popular brands like Aphria, Mary's Medicinals, Papa's Herb, Riff, and Solei. Get free delivery anywhere in the state. Don't miss out on their first-time customer deals.

Fluent

Formerly Knox Medical, Fluent has 10 dispensaries in Florida and operations in Puerto Rico. Patients can visit dispensaries to buy or enjoy statewide delivery of lab-tested cannabis products. Fluent offers express pickup when you order ahead online to skip the line. Best of all, you get free delivery with no minimum purchase requirements.

If you want to order ahead at dispensaries in California and Colorado, download the Greenlight app!

VidaCann

VidaCann offers Florida residents free delivery. That's a reason to celebrate. They enjoy an exclusive partnership with Stanley Brothers, of Charlotte's Web fame, and Tikun Olam, cannabis research innovator. VidaCann makes it easy to order online from the comfort of your home. Medical consumers can visit any of their 10 Florida dispensary locations.

AltMed Florida

AltMed Florida sells Müv branded cannabis products that have received multiple awards in other states. Get express pickup or delivery if you can't make it to the brick and mortar location. AltMed carries everything from topicals to vape products to transdermal patches.

Florida's medical marijuana market is one of the fastest growing marijuana markets in the country. Over 200,000 patients are benefiting from medicinal marijuana and 10,000 new ones are signing up every month. Seniors account for a considerable portion of revenue. Floridians are experiencing a booming market, but there's still plenty of room for growth.

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Fred Hernandez
Fred Hernandez is a comedy and cannabis writer from San Diego, CA. He has helped agencies, businesses, and publications craft clever, concise, and captivating copy geared for their target audiences. As a cannabis content writer, he hopes to educate and entertain people with content about the cannabis industry. When he's not writing cannabis articles, he's reading novels, planning his next trip abroad, and writing music.