Marijuana is now legal for adults aged 21 and over in 11 U.S. states (as well as Washington D.C.). While Florida is not one of these states, it’s one of the many states that allow marijuana for qualified medical users. The Florida Compassionate Care Act was passed in 2014 and has since developed into Florida Amendment 2. However, you’ll need to know how to qualify for medical marijuana in Florida before you can access it.
Currently, marijuana is only available to users with certain medical conditions. This includes a wide range of physical and mental disorders that are classified as debilitating and can be treated by marijuana. However, that doesn’t mean you can just walk into a dispensary and demand you need treatment. You must go through a strict process if you want to become a qualified patient.
Not only will you need to have a qualifying condition, but you’ll also need to get the approval of a licensed medical marijuana doctor. After that, you’ll have to apply for your medical card and spend some time waiting to receive it. However, once you’ve gone through this process, you can buy all kinds of medical marijuana products to treat your ailment.
Going through the process of getting your medical card can be tough and some users might not even understand the requirements and steps. As such, here’s a helpful guide on how to qualify for medical marijuana in Florida.
Who Can Get Medical Marijuana In Florida?
Although recreational marijuana use is still illegal in Florida, the state now has one of the most successful medical marijuana systems. A 2019 report found that Florida had 119 medical marijuana dispensaries that served over 200,000 patients with various health conditions. Since then, those numbers have only grown.
Medical marijuana patients can access all kinds of medical marijuana products to help with a range of physical and mental patients. However, only specific people can get medical marijuana in Florida. These are patients with qualifying conditions set by the Florida statutes. This includes a range of physical and mental ailments, but the conditions must be severe and debilitating and there must also be proof that the conditions can be helped by marijuana.
If you have one of the qualifying conditions set by the state, you’re eligible to become a medical marijuana patient. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Before you can buy medical marijuana, you’ll have to get an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor to prove you have a qualifying condition. You’ll also have to apply for a medical card and pay an application fee.
This process is well worth it if you feel like you can benefit from medical marijuana. Once you have your medical card, you’ll find it easy to buy marijuana and marijuana-infused products from one of the many marijuana dispensaries across Florida. Plus, there are many resources to help you get your Florida medical card.
Qualifying Conditions For Medical Marijuana In Florida
Medical marijuana isn’t available to every patient in Florida. To qualify for a medical card, you must have a qualifying condition. These are conditions that have been set by the state that are considered severe or debilitating. The list includes a range of physical and mental conditions. These are as follows.
- Back Pain
- Crohn’s Disease & Gut Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) & Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Insomnia & Sleep Disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Lyme Disease
- Migraine Headaches
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Muscle Spasms
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Severe & Chronic Pain
- Severe Nausea
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- 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
If you don’t have one of these conditions, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ineligible for medical marijuana. If you have another severe or debilitating condition, then a medical marijuana doctor can deem that you qualify for medical marijuana. However, you’ll need to prove that you have a serious ailment that can be helped by medical marijuana.
Who Can Approve You For Medical Marijuana?
Getting medical marijuana in Florida involves becoming registered on the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry. However, you can’t simply put yourself on the registry. You must seek help from a doctor, and only certain doctors can help you.
You must book an appointment with a qualified medical marijuana doctor. To approve patients for medical marijuana in Florida, doctors must be state-licensed physicians and must also undergo a course to show they understand the requirements for issuing medical marijuana recommendations.
While your primary care physician might not be qualified to issue you with a recommendation for medical marijuana, you can find many medical marijuana doctors across the state. Your doctor might be able to refer you to one. You can also contact us and we’ll connect you with a qualified medical marijuana doctor close to you.
How To Qualify for Medical Marijuana In Florida
You’ll have to go through a few steps to qualify for medical marijuana in Florida. Before you start trying to get a medical card, make sure you check the qualifying conditions to confirm that you can qualify. If you’re an eligible patient, then you can start the process of getting approved for medical marijuana.
The first step is to book an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. Only state-licensed physicians who have been certified to issue medical marijuana recommendations can help you. You’ll need to show them your medical records to prove that you have a qualifying condition. They’ll also need to personally assess your health.
This might take multiple appointments, but once they confirm that you have a qualifying condition, they’ll put you on the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. This enables you to apply for your Florida medical marijuana card.
During your appointment, you’ll need to give your email to your doctor. After you qualify, you’ll receive an email that prompts you to apply for your medical marijuana card. You’ll need to provide a lot of personal information and an application fee but, once you’re done, you’ll soon receive your medical card.
Applying For Your Florida Medical Card
Once a certified marijuana doctor approves that you have a qualification and puts you on the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, you can apply for your Florida medical card. The application is carried out via the Florida Health website.
You’ll receive an email with the subject “Medical Marijuana Use Registry New User Account” giving you the information you need to login and apply for your medical card. You can then navigate to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, fill in a username and password, and begin to complete your application.
If you navigate to the “My Card” portion of the website, your photo should be automatically uploaded from your Driver’s License or Identification Card provided that your doctor has entered your Social Security Number and date of birth on the registry correctly. You’ll also need to upload a copy of your ID as Proof of Residence.
After providing your Proof of Residence, you’ll need to electronically sign your application with your first and last name. You’ll then be prompted to pay the $75 application fee. If you don’t pay, your application won’t be completed and you won’t receive your medical card.
Once you’ve completed filling in your details and paying for your application, you’ll receive a confirmation of payment that you can save or print out. Your application is now completed. After completing your application, your medical card will soon be sent to you. Most patients get their medical cards within around 10 days, although it can take up to 8 weeks.
What Products Can You Use?
Your medical card allows you to use a wide range of marijuana products for medical use. You can buy these from medical dispensaries across the state and you can find a massive selection to suit your needs.
While Florida laws initially restricted medical marijuana patients from smoking marijuana, you can now buy smokable Marijuana Flower. Many strains are available and each strain offers unique effects, so some might be better for your symptoms than others.
Various alternative products are also available. Marijuana Oils or Tinctures are highly popular for users who want a quick and convenient way to treat their symptoms with marijuana. You simply apply some of the oil under your tongue and hold it there for 30-90 seconds to absorb the cannabinoids.
Capsules are also available. These are especially helpful for medical users who want to get a specific dose of THC each day. They’re split into small servings so you can get exactly as much as you need simply by swallowing a capsule and washing it down with some water.
Vape Products are great for users who enjoy the relaxing experience of vaporizing. You can find Vape Pens along with THC Vape Cartridges and Vape Oils to use with them. Generally, you just need to load up your device with your chosen Vape Product, power your device on, and enjoy the smooth, THC-infused vapor it produces.
Other options are also available. Some users may prefer Marijuana Topicals or Concentrates. You can also find a wide variety of CBD products. These products are great for users who want to consume cannabinoids without getting high. Many dispensaries also offer products that contain a balanced dose of THC and CBD.
Where Can You Buy Medical Marijuana In Florida?
Florida now has well over a hundred dispensaries all over the state, so patients should have an easy time finding the products they need. Popular dispensaries include Curaleaf, Trulieve, Surterra Wellness, Liberty Health Sciences, and FLUENT, although you can also find many other dispensaries across Florida.
As long as you have a medical card, you can choose whichever dispensary you want to shop at. You can find a wide range of marijuana and CBD products in each dispensary and you can enter and get the products you need by showing your medical card and another form of identification. Many dispensaries also offer home delivery.
Dispensaries often have different product ranges, so you might want to look at their menus online before you decide which to use. You can also view our Florida Medical Marijuana Dispensary Guide for a breakdown of what every dispensary offers.
Can You Get Marijuana Without A Medical Card In Florida?
Currently, marijuana is only available to qualified patients with medical cards in Florida. That means that you can’t buy marijuana for recreational use and you can’t buy marijuana for medical use unless you have undergone the process of getting your medical card.
Florida still has strict laws on penalties on using marijuana for recreational purposes. The possession of up to 20 grams can result in a misdemeanor that carries up to a year of incarceration and up to a $1,000 fine. Possessing over 20 grams will result in even harsher penalties.
Although many states are beginning to consider legalizing marijuana, news reports state that Florida won’t vote on legalizing pot in 2020, so Floridians will likely have to wait a while to enjoy legal marijuana. The Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative has now been pushed back to 2022.
While using marijuana for recreational purposes is out of the question, consumers can use CBD as an alternative. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that doesn’t get you high and is considered very safe- a WHO report found CBD has no public health risks or potential for abuse.
Regular users can’t access CBD products that use marijuana extracts. However, they can use hemp-based CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains trace levels of THC and is often used to make pure CBD products such as CBD Oils, Topicals, Vapes, and more. These products can often be found legally in vape stores and CBD stores.
Currently, marijuana is only legal for qualified medical marijuana patients in Florida. To qualify for medical marijuana in Florida, you’ll need to have a certified doctor approve that you have a qualifying condition. You can then apply for your medical card online and buy the products you need from dispensaries across the state.
The process of finding a medical marijuana doctor, getting approved, and applying for your medical card can be tricky for some. Luckily, you don’t have to go through the whole thing without any help. Whether you need to find a marijuana doctor or need guidance on completing your application, MY FLORIDA GREEN provides all the help and resources you need.