Florida Medical Marijuana Program
In 2014, Florida legislatures passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. Florida’s medical marijuana laws allow certain patients to obtain medical marijuana if they qualify. The act was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. Unlike other states medical marijuana programs, Florida’s medical marijuana law is a framework for providing patients with medicinal cannabis that is low in THC. Low THC means the psychoactive component of cannabis is less present so consuming it is less likely to produce a “high.”
Who qualifies for the Florida Medical Marijuana Program?
The list of qualifying conditions in FL is pretty limited right now. To qualify for the state’s program one must have:
- A terminal condition that is attested to by their physician and confirmed by a second, independent evaluation by a board-certified physician with a specialty for that condition.
- Considered all other treatment options for the terminal condition currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Given written, informed consent for the use of an investigational drug, biological product or device.
- Obtained documentation from his or her treating physician that he or she meets these requirements.
Further requirements include:
- Patient must be a Florida resident.
- A patient must be registered with the Compassionate Use Registry by their ordering physician.
- Patient must be treated by recommending physician for at least three months immediately preceding the recommendation for low-THC or medical cannabis.
Where to find a Medical Marijuana doctor in Florida?
The department of health has compiled a list of doctors who have undergone medical marijuana training and can prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients.
Where are the dispensaries currently located in Florida?
So far, the Florida Department of Health has approved six dispensing organizations who will be responsible for cultivating and dispensing their own low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, and derivative products. The approved dispensing organizations are:
Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, Alacahua County
Grandiflora (San Felasco Nurseries), Alachua County
Trulieve (Hackney Nursery), Gadsden County
Surterra Therapeutics (Alpha Foliage, Inc.), Hillsborough County
Modern Health Concepts, Miami-Dade County
Knox Nursery, Orange County
What does a medical card get you at a Florida dispensary?
Florida opened it’s first dispensary about a week ago. Low-THC cannabis that is high in CBD can be found on the shelves of Florida’s one dispensary. You’ll be able to pick up a 45-day supply of medical cannabis which is 50% more than you’re allowed to carry in many other states with medical marijuana laws.
Where can patients smoke?
Even with a medical card, in Florida you cannot smoke in any public place, employers may restrict cannabis use at work, and it’s completely forbidden on the grounds of preschool, primary school, or secondary schools.
Are patients shielded from discrimination?
Legal medical marijuana patients in Florida should be safe from any punishment or discrimination when looking for a job. Employers may not deny you a job in FL because you are registered with the medical marijuana program and you cannot be arrested as long as you have your medical marijuana card on you and less than a 45-day supply.
Future of Medical Marijuana in Florida
Dispensing in FL has just begun and more will open in the near future. Low-THC and medical cannabis products are not available for purchase within the state of FL. Florida’s department of health anticipates that products will be available to patients via dispensary by September of 2016.