Since the elections in 2016, Florida residents with qualifying conditions have been able to buy and use medicinal marijuana, however, the legislation states that it can only be purchased from one of the Sunshine State’s licensed dispensaries.
If you need to obtain medicinal marijuana to relieve your symptoms you will need to have an appointment with a licensed physician who can then help you to obtain the MMJ card that you need. Once this is in place, you can then visit your nearest dispensary and get the cannabis products that you need to gain relief. So, how do you find the closest dispensary to where you live? Let’s take a closer look.
In Florida, unlike several other states, the recreational use of cannabis is still illegal. That means that you cannot buy it anywhere in the state for this purpose, even from a licensed dispensary.
The only people who can legally obtain marijuana is those who have a written recommendation from their physician due to their qualifying medical condition and who have then registered with the state’s patient registry and obtained an MMJ card. This card verifies that the patient holds their states as a state-registered, legal medicinal cannabis patient, thus exempting them from any civil or criminal penalties linked to using cannabis.
All states with legal medicinal cannabis have a number of qualifying conditions which patients must suffer from in order to obtain medicinal cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries. In Florida, these conditions include:
The Florida DoH Office of Medical Marijuana Use has given authorization for a number of MMTCs (Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers). These are otherwise called dispensaries. At the present time, these represent the only way in which you can legally obtain cannabis in Florida since they’re the only organizations in the state which are authorized for dispensation to qualified caregivers and patients.
At the moment, there are around 14 organizations in Florida (although this number may change over time) all of which have been granted an active license by the state. These cover only a particular geographical area or county, like Naples or Sarasota. There are currently more than 40 different retail locations available statewide where you can buy legal medicinal marijuana with the correct paperwork and physician’s recommendation.
It’s important to be aware, however, that under the terms and conditions of Amendment 2, municipal and local city governments statewide are permitted to limit or even completely ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating with their own jurisdictions.
Luckily, there are many convenient locations of MMTCs in Florida. You can find your closest outlet by using one of the free dispensaries locator services like Weedmaps. You could also visit the website for each individual MMTC to find the nearest location to your home.
There are several brands of dispensary operating in Florida at the current time. Obviously, these are subject to change in the future and more may be added to their number. The brands include:
These brands have physical dispensary locations in communities in their areas for patients’ in-store pickup as well as offering delivery services. These delivery services may be statewide or may be restricted solely to the dispensary’s local area. Check out our dispensary guide for more information.
The state of Florida is working hard to expand access to medicinal marijuana for all MMJ cardholders. The DoH has recognized that there are some patients who will not be able to get to their local dispensary outlet in person due to their condition or lack of transport. Therefore, there is a well-established delivery service that can transport medicinal cannabis from caregivers to cardholders and from the dispensary itself to the home of the cardholder to facilitate their access.
Not only are there delivery services offered by most physical dispensaries but there are also some dispensaries in Florida that do not have a physical presence in the state but offer a delivery-only service to qualifying patients who buy online. These currently include:
Some of these dispensaries operate across a very wide area of the state while others operate only within very small local communities.
The delivery-only dispensaries may either offer their services within a localized area or state-wide. At the present time, KSGNF and Columbia Care Florida are both able to offer a statewide delivery service, opening up the possibility for medicinal marijuana access for any patient regardless of their location. Meanwhile, the Green Solution can only offer their delivery service within a 120-mile radius of their base in Gainesville, although this may change in the future. It’s always wise to call your nearest dispensary to find out more about their delivery options.
Once you have located the nearest dispensaries to you in Florida, you’ll need to select the right one to suit your needs. In some areas, you may have a limited choice while in others you may have a wider selection. How do you pick the best one for you?
Here are some things that you should look out for when it comes to choosing a reputable and legal provider of medicinal cannabis products in Florida:
Ask these questions and you’ll be sure to choose the right dispensary in your area to meet your medicinal marijuana needs.