The Hopegrown Report: Florida Medical Marijuana Program
September 4, 2018
Share This Article:
In 2014, the “Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act” allowed specified physicians to issue orders for certain patients, allowing them to consume low-THC cannabis, which is defined as having no more than 0.8% THC and more than 10% CBD. It required the Department of Health to create a registry of patients and to authorize five organizations to grow and dispense the cannabis.
In 2016, the Florida Legislature passed a law to prevent patients from using smokable cannabis. As you may know, for some patients, smoking cannabis is more effective than vaping or using edibles.
Earlier this year, Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that patients “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians.” Since the ruling, Judge Gievers has since lifted an automatic stay put in place after the Department of Health appealed the decision.
This is a monumental win for patient rights in Florida. People United for Medical Marijuana and Florida for Care, joined by patients Cathy Jordan, who has ALS, and Diana Dodsen, who has AIDS, challenged the legislature’s attempt to restrict patients’ options. Judge Gievers ruled that patients have the right to consume medical marijuana in private under the constitution.
Below are the guidelines for consuming medical marijuana in Florida.
Steps to Treatment
1) Patients must first be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.
It is the responsibility of the qualified ordering physician to follow Florida constitution and statute, diagnose patients and determine if medical marijuana is an appropriate treatment.
Patients and caregivers can now use the Medical Marijuana Qualified Ordering Physician Search tool to find a qualifying ordering physician by location and specialty.
Qualifying conditions include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
- Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition
2) Patients and their Caregivers will then be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry by their Qualified Physician.
Once you have been entered into the Registry, your physician will provide you with your Patient ID Number. You will need this to apply for your required Registry Identification Card
Remember to provide your physician with your email address to receive important updates!
3) Patients and their Caregivers will then apply for their Registry Identification Card
Patients and Caregivers may complete an electronic or paper identification application. For step by step instructions and other resources, please visit our Registry Identification Cards page.
Payments and paper ID Card Applications should be mailed to:
Office of Medical Marijuana Use
PO Box 31313
Tampa, FL 33631-3313
4) Fill your order at one of the licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers
Once your Identification Card application has been approved, you will then be able to contact one of the licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and fill the order.
Patients and caregivers may only fill orders for medical marijuana with one of the state’s approved medical marijuana treatment centers. Medical marijuana treatment centers may deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients and caregivers. If you do not have a medical marijuana treatment center in your city you can still fill your order by contacting a medical marijuana treatment center and arranging for a delivery.
For contact information of the currently licensed medical marijuana treatment centers, please visit our Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers page.
If you have questions or need assistance, please call: (800) 808-9580
Florida MMJ FAQs
QUESTION: Where can I get medical marijuana?
Answer: A patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician. Once the ordering physician inputs the patient’s information and the order information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, the patient or the patient’s legal representative need to apply for a Compassionate Use Registry Identification Card. Once approved, a patient or legal representative will then be able to contact one of the licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and fill the order.
QUESTION: Can I grow my own marijuana?
ANSWER: No. Florida law only allows the licensed dispensing organizations to grow, process and dispense marijuana. The department will refer any business or individual suspected of violating state law to local law enforcement for investigation. It is important to remember marijuana is illegal under federal law.
QUESTION: Who can sell medical marijuana?
ANSWER: A licensed dispensing organization. (Link to http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-medical-marijuana-use/dispensing-organizations/index.html).
QUESTION: How can a patient purchase medical marijuana?
ANSWER: A patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician. Once the ordering physician inputs the patient’s information and the order information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, the patient or the patient’s legal representative need to apply for a Compassionate Use Registry Identification Card. Once approved, a patient or legal representative will then be able to contact one of the licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and fill the order.
QUESTION: Who can purchase marijuana from a medical marijuana treatment centers?
ANSWER: Medical marijuana treatment centers may only provide medical marijuana or a marijuana delivery device to a qualified patient or a qualified patient’s legal representative.
QUESTION: Who needs to have a Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card?
ANSWER: Florida rule 64-4.011, F.A.C. requires all patients and legal representatives to have a Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card to obtain medical marijuana, or a marijuana delivery device from a licensed dispensing organization.
QUESTION: How do I use Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card?
ANSWER: Patients and legal representatives must provide their Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card to medical marijuana treatment centers in order to obtain medical marijuana, or a marijuana delivery device. Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification cards may also be used to assist in verifying that a patient or legal representative are in the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
QUESTION: How do I apply for a card?
ANSWER: The Department accepts applications from patients and legal representatives. Patients must be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry by a qualified physician to receive a card. Applications may be submitted online through the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, or mailed to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. All applications must include a registration fee of $75.
QUESTION: If I am a patient, may I also serve as a legal representative for someone else?
ANSWER: Yes. However, a patient wishing to serve as a legal representative for someone else must apply separately for a legal representative card and a patient card.
QUESTION: How do I renew my card?
ANSWER: To maintain an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card, a patient and/or legal representative must annually submit a renewal application, along with the application fee and any required accompanying documents to the department forty-five (45) days prior to the card expiration date.