Can I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida?
Most definitely. Though there’s been some bumps along the way, the approval of Amendment 2 by over 70% of Florida voters in 2016 legalized medical marijuana production, possession and use. And since it went into effect in 2017, over 300,000 Floridians have obtained medical marijuana cards. Patients in the Sunshine State have described the undertaking of getting their cards as uncomplicated, with the application process being relatively easy. The only negatives can be potentially pricey consultation fees depending on the physician you speak with and a lengthy wait time after submitting the application.
Despite this, the open-ended list of qualifying conditions and simple steps to treatment make your chances of possessing a medical marijuana card in Florida pretty good.
Can You Possess Medical Marijuana in Florida?
Yes – if you’re in possession of your Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card, you may possess cannabis flower.
What is Required to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient?
The requirements for becoming a medical marijuana patient in Florida are very simple. Unlike many states, Florida allows both permanent and seasonal (in Florida for at least 31 consecutive days in a year) residents to obtain medical cannabis cards. Once that’s covered, one just needs to be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and get a signed certification from a Florida Medical Marijuana Registry-licensed physician.
Is There an Age Restriction for Medical Marijuana Patients?
Yes – 18 years old. However, if a patient is younger than 18, they could still qualify as a medical marijuana patient if two licensed physicians agree on the treatment and the decision is reflected in the patient’s medical history. If that’s no problem, the patient just needs to have written permission from a parent or guardian.
What is a Qualifying Medical Condition in Florida?
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Though the list of qualifying conditions isn’t as extensive as some states, you can also qualify for a medical marijuana card in Florida if you have a “medical condition of the same kind or class as – or comparable to – those listed.”
There’s also some grey area when it comes to terminal conditions. If a terminal condition not listed is diagnosed by an additional physician – not the qualified physician issuing you the certification – then the patient can still qualify for medical marijuana treatment.
How Much Medical Marijuana Am I Legally Allowed?
Patients with a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID are permitted to receive up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every 35 days. While that’s the maximum, it’s also possible for a physician to recommend a lower amount based upon your medical history and your consultation. If you disagree with a doctor’s recommendation, you are always free to get a second opinion from another approved physician.
While purchasing limits are set at 2.5 ounces, laws regarding possession are slightly different. Lawmakers seem to understand patients having a surplus of cannabis from past purchases because card-carrying patients can possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis in Florida.
Steps to Getting a Medical Marijuana Patient Card in Florida
Information, resources, and eventual access to medical are streamlined through Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). Their resource website not only outlines the steps to receiving medical marijuana treatment, but it also provides networks of qualified physicians to diagnose you and medical marijuana treatment centers to purchase from.
The steps to obtaining a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID in Florida are:
- Gather Medical Records: In order to become a MMJ patient, your medical history must show that the benefits from medical use of marijuana outweigh the potential “health risks.” If your records are together and clearly support that claim, the consultation and certification will be smooth and efficient.
- Consultation and Certification: Use OMMU’s Physician Search Tool to find a qualifying physician and schedule a consultation. At the appointment, the physician will determine if you’re a good candidate for medical marijuana treatment. If you are a good candidate and the physician diagnoses you with a qualifying condition, you will be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
- Complete Application: To receive a Registry Identification Card, patients must complete and submit the necessary application. This can be done with pen and paper or electronically, and is generally the lengthiest part of the process. After submitting the application, it is likely to take upwards of three weeks for your request to be reviewed and your card to be issued.
What are the Fees Associated with a Florida Medical Marijuana Card?
Medical marijuana applicants should expect to pay two fees on the road to obtaining their cards. The initial consultation with the qualified physician can cost different amounts depending on where you go. On average, patients can expect to spend around $100.
Then, once your candidacy is signed off on and you’re in the registry, the registration/application fee is $75. Also keep in mind that Medical Marijuana Registry ID cards are only valid for 12 months, so these fees will be annual.
How Does a Doctor’s Evaluation to Get a Florida Medical Card Work?
Physicians have a good amount of discretion in determining if a patient’s condition or symptoms warrant medical marijuana use. This means the amount of medical records required and the severity of the consultation varies from doctor to doctor, so do your research before choosing a qualified physician.
As long as more physicians are licensed and unrestricted, there will be more opportunities for patients to receive their medical cards. There are even quick online consultations, providing a more convenient route for patients who have issues physically accessing a doctor.
What is My Next Step to Get My Medical Marijuana Card?
If you believe you qualify as a patient or a caregiver, visit the website for Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). There, you’ll find your steps to medical marijuana treatment, as well as a helpful Physician Search Tool to find a qualified physician.
For more detailed information on obtaining a medical marijuana card in Florida, reference these resources: