More than 850,000 Floridians have medical marijuana cards, which give them the ability to purchase and use a variety of marijuana products, since voters approved such use in 2016.
Soon, Floridians may have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to allow marijuana for recreational, not medical, use. But for now, here’s what you need to know about the medical marijuana process in Florida.
Patients must undergo an in-person medical examination by a qualified physician. A list of qualified doctors is available on the state’s medical marijuana website.
Physicians must diagnose a patient with at least one qualifying medical condition. For people under 18, two doctors must agree on the diagnosis.
Once a doctor certifies that a person should obtain a medical marijuana card, he or she will enter the patient’s information into the state’s medical marijuana registry. From there, the patient must complete the application on their end.
Doctors have some latitude in how they determine what conditions qualify a patient for medical marijuana. Florida law describes all of the following conditions, where applicable:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- A terminal condition
- Chronic non-malignant pain
Florida law also allows a doctor to qualify a patient for medical marijuana if there are other medical conditions “of the same class type.” This means conditions like anxiety, eating disorders and sickle cell anemia may also qualify, based on a physician’s judgment.
Once a physician enters a patient’s information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, the patient must go online to complete the registration request. This is available online at https://mmuregistry.flhealth.gov/Public/LogIn.
The patient will be asked to upload a photo and prove Florida residency by providing a driver’s license or state ID card. Seasonal residents of Florida can prove their residency by providing a copy of documents such as a deed or utility bill.
The patient must also submit a treatment fee.
A medical marijuana card costs $75 each time is issued or renewed.
This cost is in addition to any cost of seeing a doctor. The price of these appointments varies depending on the rate charged by the doctor.
Insurance doesn’t pay for medical marijuana because it’s federally illegal.
State-issued medical marijuana cards have expiration dates.
Renewal requests open 45 days before the expiration date.
A doctor who has already seen a patient in person can renew their certifications via telehealth. A patient must see a doctor every seven months to keep their certification active, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Florida has 25 qualified treatment centers, including dispensaries like Trulieve, MÜV, and Curaleaf. Florida maintains a searchable list of dispensaries across the state, which can be found at https://knowthefactsmmj.com/mmtc/.
There are 46 dispensaries in Pinellas County and 40 in Hillsborough County.
Doctors will determine the authorized dosage.
Florida health officials created a rule in 2022 that sets maximum doses for different marijuana products. The rule established that smoking marijuana should not exceed 2.5 ounces for a 35-day supply.
For edible products, the allowable daily dose, based on a 70-day supply limit, is 60 mg of THC. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” feeling. For inhalation as for vapes, the daily dose is 350 mg of THC.
For oral ingestion, such as tinctures, the maximum daily dose is 200 mg of THC. For suppositories, the limit is 195 mg of THC. Topical application, such as through creams, is limited to 150 mg of THC. The daily dose of smoking marijuana is capped by weight, not THC content, at 2.025 grams.
A physician who believes that a patient would benefit from consuming marijuana in excess of the permitted daily dose may request an exception.
Florida passed its medical marijuana law in 2016, when 71% of voters decided to approve an amendment allowing it.
No, but an amendment seeks to change that in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court is consideration is currently being given to whether to authorize the amendment on the 2024 ballot. Florida’s attorney general is seeking to have him disqualified. If allowed on the ballot, voters will have the option to support or reject it in 2024. An amendment requires 60% of the vote to pass.