Florida (finally) legalized medical marijuana, and many advocates for florida weed are wondering how exactly to qualify and apply for a medical marijuana card. The legislation of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (also known as Amendment 2), passed on November 8th of 2016 by a whopping 71 percent of eligible voters and took effect on January 3rd of 2017. The amendment to Florida’s constitution allows for qualified patients who are diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a licensed physician to apply for medical marijuana coverage and lawfully obtain and use medical marijuana to treat these conditions as long as the patient has been evaluated and certified by a licensed Florida marijuana doctor (Check
The amendment to Florida’s constitution allows for qualified patients who are diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a licensed physician to apply for medical marijuana coverage and lawfully obtain and use medical marijuana to treat these conditions as long as the patient has been evaluated and certified by a licensed Florida marijuana doctor (Check here to find a doctor). But what can you expect when you apply? How does the process actually work? Are you qualified? Here’s everything we know so far about this major shift in Florida and how you can get in on it. Keep in mind that Florida is still finding what works best for them, so in a few weeks, this information may be somewhat incorrect. You can trust that we’ll keep you in the loop. Congratulations, Florida!
Patients in Florida diagnosed with one of the following “debilitating medical conditions”, are afforded legal protection under the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, as per Amendment 2. The Medical marijuana amendment won’t cover all health ailments, but the few that have been clearly detailed and defined as acceptable conditions required to apply for a medical marijuana card are as follows:
– PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
– ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
– Crohn’s disease
– Parkinson’s disease
– Multiple Sclerosis
– OR any other ailment or condition of the same severity or similar symptoms that when determined by a physician’s opinion that the medical use of marijuana would surpass any potential health risks.
There are, however, a few other conditions not detailed. The amendment leaves the doctors the chance to prescribe medical marijuana. Any disease they see as related to the above, or are considered debilitating by the doctors will be allowed to receive marijuana as treatment. If the doctor feels that the potential risks of smoking marijuana are nothing in comparison to the benefits the patient will receive, they will qualify for medical marijuana in Florida.
How to Apply for Medical Marijuana in Florida
If you want to apply for a medical marijuana prescription in Florida, there are a few things that must happen, along with a few things you still need to know. There is still a law in effect for patients under the age of 18, known as the Low-THC Medical Cannabis Program. This program is designed for children and teens under the age of 18 to receive marijuana as treatment with little to no THC content if they have a debilitating condition. More on that later. However, with that being said, you cannot qualify for Florida’s medical marijuana program if you are under the age of 18.
Being over the age of 18, you should have a state I.D in your possession. You must be a Florida resident with a valid Florida identification card to be used as proof of residency. However, If you don’t have an ID, you can use an out of state ID card, passport, or other photo ID along with proof of your Florida address, which can include anything from a bank statement to a utility bill, as long as it contains your name and address.
The next thing you have to do after coming of age and being a resident is seeing a doctor. You must obtain legitimate medical records and documents from your primary care physician that shows the doctor signing off on a medical marijuana recommendation. These documents must include your diagnosis and the doctor’s recommendation. From here you must set up a medical marijuana evaluation appointment with the state of Florida. You MUST be diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions described above, or have a debilitating condition that your doctor would recommend cannabis to treat.
If everything goes well at your evaluation appointment, you’ll be required to register with the Florida Department of Health. WE’ll have more information on this process when the Florida Medical Marijuana Program has been fully implemented by the Florida Health Department. Until we know, keep an eye out on our blog and we’ll keep you posted.
As with any newly implemented medical marijuana program, it’s going to take the Department of Health several months to prepare the Florida Medical Marijuana Program for operation, but it’s still a good idea to start seeing a licensed marijuana doctor now so that when the medicine becomes available and everything is ready to go, you’ll be one of the first to get early access to the medicine instead of waiting a few months while the influx of applications gets sorted through.
If you need to get in touch with the health department for more details, here’s how you can get in touch:
Florida Department of Health
Medical Marijuana Program
A Note on Laws and Cultivation
I used the term prescription a few times, but here’s a quick disclaimer. Marijuana is illegal on the federal level, so doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana under any circumstance. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
Since this is such a new measure, Florida’s possession and cultivation laws are to be announced in the future. The law gives Florida’s health department six full months to establish cultivation regulations and possession laws. They also have another three months to start giving people their medical marijuana Identification cards. After these nine months, patients in Florida will need a valid doctor’s recommendation note to shop at dispensaries until the medical marijuana cards are issued. It is also undetermined whether or not there will be a fee to process the application for a medical marijuana card, or if Florida will accept medical marijuana cards from other states as well as their own.
Florida can already expect dispensaries to begin opening across Florida. More than two years ago, Trulieve and her distributing sister company were given the opportunity to grow and distribute cannabis very low in THC and high in CBD for their very small marijuana program. Now that it’s expanding, the dispensaries will open across Florida. The CEO of Trulieve, Kim Rivers couldn’t be more excited to help more people and get the show on the road.
“There has been a great responsibility and pressure to get this done as quickly as possible,” Rivers said. “Patients have waited too long. The most important thing is to be able to have it available for patients who have a dire need for it.”
Florida Low-THC Medical Cannabis Program
As per the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 Senate Bill 1030, signed by Governor Rick Scott, on June 16, 2014 licensed Florida physicians may order low-THC or CBD cannabis oil for patients who meet the State’s requirements. It’s mostly for people suffering with terminal conditions, or conditions like cancer, seizures, muscle spasms, and people who suffer from the symptoms of cancer, or any other physical condition that produces chronic symptoms of severe seizures and muscle spasms. This program is designed for people who don’t qualify for the medical marijuana program but still need to receive treatment.
If you want to become a patient in this program, or you think your child may qualify, here’s what you need to know:
You must be a Florida Resident with a valid Florida I.D. as proof of residency. If you do not have a Florida I.D. an out of state I.D., passport or other photo I.D. with proof of residency such as bank statement, utility bill, etc. is acceptable. Patients, or their legal guardian, are required to provide the physician with written informed consent. All patients will be registered with the Compassionate Use Registry, by the ordering physician, who MUST enter the patient’s order, for low-THC cannabis.
If you’d like to get in touch with The Florida Health Department’s Office of Compassionate Use here’s how to get in touch:
Office of Compassionate Use
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-06,
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Email: [email protected]
Website: Florida Health Office of Compassionate Use