Ever since Amendment 2 legalized medical marijuana use in Florida, an increasing number of patients have turned to cannabis to relieve pain, stimulate appetite, and manage other symptoms caused by various medical conditions.
Over the past few years, medical marijuana changed the lives of patients all over the state, helping them live more comfortable and normal lives. This has sparked the interest of many other Florida residents, who are wondering how they can get started with medical marijuana.
Below, we examine how you can begin using medical marijuana, starting with the qualification requirements.
How Can I Qualify for Medical Marijuana?
According to Florida state law, patients suffering from the following conditions may qualify for medical marijuana treatment:
Medical marijuana doctors are also authorized to treat other “diagnosable, debilitating conditions of like, kind, or class” (such as anxiety, depression, and migraines), as well as terminal conditions (diagnosed by a physician other than the physician issuing certification) and chronic nonmalignant pain (defined as pain caused by a qualifying medical condition that persists beyond the usual course of that condition).
For a full list of conditions that may qualify, please see: Condition Resources.
However, even if you have a condition that qualifies you for medical marijuana treatment, you can’t just walk into a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC), or dispensary, and make a purchase. The first step is to qualify for a state-issued medical marijuana card. These cards are what dispensaries will use to confirm your eligibility, and will be needed each time you purchase medical marijuana.
How Do I Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
In order to get a medial marijuana card, you need to visit a certified doctor who can assess your need for medical marijuana and submit a recommendation to the state on your behalf. Of course, you must also be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida.
It is important to visit licensed, board-certified medical marijuana doctors because they are specifically qualified to provide you with recommendations for treatment. At CannaMD, we are proud to staff a team of medical marijuana doctors that are trained, licensed, and qualified to certify patients for medical marijuana treatment.
To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call 1 (855) 420-9170 or fill out a quick application!
What Can I Expect from My Medical Marijuana Doctor’s Appointment?
During your appointment at CannaMD, you will talk with one of our certified physicians to determine your eligibility for medical marijuana. Your initial appointment will cover your medical cannabis order and recommendation (or prescription) for 210 days.
During this appointment, we ask that patients bring in proof of diagnosis for the medical condition that they are seeking treatment for. A progress note or physician-signed note is ideal documentation, as long as it includes your doctor’s name, signature, and the condition that you have been diagnosed with.
Once we confirm that you are eligible for medical marijuana use, we will send a recommendation to the Florida Department of Health to notify them that you require treatment. Within a few days of your appointment, the Florida Department of Health will send an email asking you to create an online account. Account creation allows the state to confirm your residency and is the final step in the process of getting your medical marijuana card.
After you complete your account and pay the state-required fee of $75, you will receive your medical marijuana card!
Now I Have My Medical Marijuana Card. What’s Next?
Once you have your medical marijuana card, you are officially able to purchase medical cannabis from MMTCs or dispensaries. These are facilities that are authorized by the government to sell medical marijuana to qualified patients. There are many medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.
(Looking for an authorized dispensary near you? Visit CannaMD’s Dispensary Resource Page!)
Once you locate a dispensary, all you have to do is bring your ID and medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis products.
It’s also important to note that most dispensaries offer home delivery!
How Can I Use My Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana comes in several forms and, as mentioned above, our doctors can help you determine the dosage and method of ingestion that is best for you.
Florida medical marijuana is available via the primary delivery methods:
Editor’s Note (3/18/19): Edibles are also allowed, but no rules have been developed for their use. As of March 18, 2019, smoking marijuana is also legal.
If you are familiar with cannabis, you may notice that dry marijuana flower is not on this list, which would be used for smoking. Currently, smoking is not a legalized medical marijuana delivery method in Florida. As such, dispensaries will not be selling cannabis in this form. However, this may change in the near future.
To stay up to date on the legality of smoking medical marijuana, be sure to check out: Florida Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban: Updates.
When it comes to methods of ingesting medical marijuana, edibles are somewhat of a gray area. Although they are legal, there have not been any rules to regulate their use. This means that they are not technically available for medical marijuana use yet.
Where Can I Use My Medical Marijuana?
Just because you have qualified for medical marijuana does not mean you can use it anywhere you’d like. Medical marijuana may be legal, but recreational marijuana is still illegal, and use of cannabis is strictly regulated throughout the state.
Generally, use of medical marijuana is prohibited in most public places. You are not allowed to use medical marijuana at work, unless you have permission from your employer. If you are at a school or in a vehicle, either public or private, use will also be prohibited. There are a few exceptions here, however, that only apply to patients using low-THC cannabis. These patients are permitted to use medical marijuana in some public places, including public transportation.
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to keep your medical marijuana use inside the home or in other private locations.
For more details, see: Where Can’t I Use Medical Marijuana in Florida?