On November 8, 2016, Amendment 2 was passed under the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The Department of Health was given the responsibility of monitoring distribution and production of marijuana, set qualifications for care givers and issuing identification cards.
On June 9, 2017, a special session by the Florida State Legislature was held and the Senate Bill (SB 8A), the Medical Use of Marijuana Act, was born. The goal was to create the standards in order to implement Amendment 2 and we will go over a brief synopsis that Rick Scott signed into law on June 23, 2017. The medical conditions were defined for a qualifying patient and it banned the smoking of marijuana. Patients were allowed 70-day supplies with two refills before needing a new prescription. A cap on retail dispensaries and treatment centers was determined. Doctors prescribing medical marijuana were required to take a two hour course through either the Florida Medical Association or Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. Doctors with financial interest in marijuana growing or testing facilities were deemed ineligible to prescribe. In 2018, Senate Bill 726 was proposed and passed, which allowed medical marijuana users to be able to smoke the marijuana.
Steps to Obtaining
1. You must be 18 or older.
2. You must be a Florida Resident with a valid Florida ID. A photo ID from another state or passport can be used with proof of residency (bank statement or utility bill).
3. You must have legitimate medical records from your physician indicating your diagnosis and must have a “debilitating medical condition.” before making an appointment with a prescribing doctor. Other interventions must have been attempted without success and the doctor must determine medical marijuana’s benefits outweigh the risk.
4. The doctor will register you with Marijuana Use Registry, run by the Department of Health.
5. You or your doctor will submit a completed application to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. A legal representative can also put the application in on your behalf. This process could take a couple of months, depending on how quickly it takes the Department of Health to review and issue your card. If there are any issues with the paperwork, there will be delays in receiving your card.
You will have to pay the physician who is approving you and then you will pay the $75.00 registration fee with the Department of Health. You will need to have a full face color photo, similar to that of a passport. Your card must be renewed annually and you will have to pay the $75.00 registration fee to the DOH again. The marijuana is not covered by insurance, so that will also be an out of pocket expense.
The following list is based off of the information submitted in Amendment 2. There are other debilitating conditions that do qualify outside of this list, so it’s important to do research and speak to a physician:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Medical conditions comparable to those listed. The physician can make the determination to recommend the medical use of marijuana if they feel the benefits will outweigh the risk
- A terminal condition