To the excitement of many, Florida was the very first state to legalize medical marijuana. This was done in 2014. The legislature met the requirements of the Compassionate Use Act and now low-THC marijuana can be used to help people struggling with cancer and epilepsy. In 2016, the medical marijuana program was expanded to make allowance for individuals with terminal illnesses to use full strength marijuana under the Right to Try Act.
On November 8, 2016, supporters of medical marijuana supported Amendment 2 which paved the way for a larger marijuana program. This became effective on January 2017. Mid-2017, Governor Rick Scott supported Senate Bill 8 A and brought it into law. This removed the long 3 months wait that existed and implement the guidelines that were necessary for Amendment 2. There are still policies and rules surrounding medical marijuana in Florida that are constantly being updated.
How Do I Get A Medical Marijuana Card?
You will need to visit a physician who has been certified to prescribe medical marijuana for an in-person medical evaluation. Be sure to visit a physician that has completed the state-specified training for handling medical marijuana. When the doctor grants authorization and you are entered into the medical marijuana registry, you will then need to submit an application to Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use. When you receive confirmation from the Office of Medical Marijuana, you will be granted a temporary ID via email. You will have to wait for a short time for a permanent ID card. You may proceed to purchase medical marijuana from an approved medical marijuana dispensary once you receive the temporary ID in your email.
What Qualifies Me For A Medical Marijuana Card?
You must have one of the following health conditions to qualify for a medical marijuana doctor certification and ID card in Florida:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed
- Terminal illness
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
What Is The Current Size Of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Registry?
There are many individuals in the state of Florida who currently hold medical marijuana cards. The current medical marijuana registry comprises of 306,185 individuals. That is almost 2 percent of the current population of Florida which is 21,477,737. This registry count was last updated on the 24th of January 2020.
How Much Marijuana Can I Purchase?
Each medical marijuana card holder must stay within the state-stipulated restrictions for cannabis consumption and possession. In addition to the state’s parameters, you must stay within the prescription of your medical marijuana doctor. The maximum amount of cannabis that an individual can consume or possess in the state of Florida is 2.5 ounces. This is amount is what you can consume or possess for every 35 days. Please remember that no matter the state requirements, by law, you must stay within your certified physicians’ prescription. It is also worth noting that your certified mmj doctor cannot give a prescription that goes beyond Florida’s stipulated boundaries.
Where Do I Purchase My Medication?
Florida has very detailed rules and regulations that govern the distribution of medical marijuana. This authorization is given by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use. The places that they grant permission to are called medical marijuana treatment centers. They are more popularly known as dispensaries. No other business outside of those supported by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use are authorized to sell medical marijuana.
Dispensary locations can be found with a simple search of the website. However, a very useful website is WeedMaps. This is an online service that you can access free of cost. You can get clearer details on each dispensary by accessing the website of each individual dispensary. Your certified medical marijuana doctor will also be able to give provide you with a recommendation for an appropriate dispensary. The authorized medical marijuana dispensaries are as follows:
- Altmed (MÜV)
- Columbia Care
- Liberty Health Sciences
- One Plant
Can Health Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana?
Unfortunately, you cannot use insurance to receive medical marijuana treatment or to purchase your prescribed dosage at a dispensary. This comes as a result of medical marijuana not being legal on a federal level. Due to the legal status of medical marijuana, insurance companies are not able to grant reimbursements for expenditure on marijuana related visits and treatment.
Believers of medical marijuana are constantly conducting research and are lobbying for legislation that makes medical cannabis more accessible to the masses. There is a need for all to be patient with this process and to obey the regulations and policies that are currently in place. Many look to the state of Florida for great progress in positive marijuana-related legislation.