Cannabis in the State of Florida
Since the Sunshine State legalized medical cannabis in 2016, more than 360,000 Florida residents see relief from debilitating symptoms they suffer from underlying conditions. Fast forward to 2020, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Brandes is pushing for the passage of SB 1860, which would legalize and regulate recreational cannabis use for all citizens. Efforts for legalization almost made the 2020 ballot, which would have left the decision up to Florida residents, however that failed, reports the Miami Herald.
Meanwhile, certain areas of Florida have made significant decriminalization efforts, with Disney World’s own Orlando citing fines rather than arresting residents who possess 20 grams of cannabis or less. However, when it comes to medical cannabis licensing for dispensary regulations, the state remains in limbo. Though a ruling on stand-alone licensing was projected in the summer of 2020, oral arguments are delayed until October 2020.
The licensing decision spurred a lawsuit that is now in front of the Supreme Court, with the outcome significantly affecting the sale of medical cannabis in the state, which last reported in July 2020 was significant for Orlando, according to the state weekly update. The Orlando dispensary VidaCann sold 3,942,891 mg of THC-based medical cannabis in the first week of July. If the state moves forward with recreational use, the licensing decision will dictate further dispensary regulations.
Becoming a Medical Marijuana Patient in Florida
To become a medical marijuana patient in Florida, it’s a three-step process. First, Veriheal can help you book an appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor who will review your ailments and medical condition. Second, once you are evaluated and if you are approved, you’ll receive a medical cannabis recommendation from the doctor. Lastly, once you are approved for medical marijuan, you can buy medical marijuana from any Florida dispensary in your area.
- You MUST complete the Patient Attestation Form and bring it into your appointment with the doctor.
- You MUST re-certify your license/medical card every 70 days by seeing a doctor. We do not charge extra for these additional visits for re-certification within the same year.
- You MUST complete the application for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card with the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). Submit all necessary documentation and a $75 application fee.
- A medical marijuana card in Florida is ONLY VALID FOR 210 DAYS. You will need to renew your card entirely within that timeframe. A doctor can consult with you through Veriheal’s platform to make sure your card remains valid.
To qualify for the medical marijuana program in Florida, you must:
- Be an adult (18-years-old or older).
- Be recommended by a physician for marijuana use (physician must be registered with the Florida MMJ program.)
- Have proof of a qualifying medical condition(s) in the form of medical records.
- Minors must have recommendations from two physicians and their legal guardian must give consent.
The state will send you your physical, hard-copy medical marijuana card once your application is approved.
Patient Qualifying Conditions
Florida has a list of qualifying conditions that make residents of the state eligible for medical cannabis certification. Thus far, the Sunshine State has approved the following conditions:
The state also details that any “medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above,” and “a terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification,” qualify patients for certification.
Lastly, a “chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition” is also considered according to the state. Along with having a qualifying medical condition, residents must also meet other state requirements to be eligible for a medical cannabis license.
Caregiver Requirements in Florida
Like the patient, a caregiver must meet specific requirements by the state to assist a patient with medical cannabis use. A caregiver must prove their address with a valid driver’s license or state identification card, have an email address, and provide a photo. The cost of a caregiver card is $75; however, Veriheal can help caregivers and qualified patients apply together, saving money that is guaranteed to be refunded if the approval does not go through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You must have either a valid Florida driver’s license or current state identification card to prove your residency. There are also special conditions for seasonal residents from which they can also get their cards.
From start to finish, the physician consultation usually only takes about 10-15 minutes. The complete process from having an appointment to registering with the state and ultimately accessing dispensaries can be expected to take at least 2-3 weeks. Luckily, Veriheal has on-demand appointments available and you can get set up with a consultation very quickly.
Veriheal has a very high approval rate. However, if you are not approved, you are refunded in full.
The cost is $199 and that covers your consultation with a licensed Florida practitioner and final authorized certificate if you are approved. It is cost efficient to pay $379 for the patient/caregiver application, which allows both the patient and caregiver (or friend or family member) to set up an appointment with a practitioner. Keep in mind that there is an additional state fee that you will pay when registering with the state after you are approved by a physician.
Medical cannabis patients are able to purchase all kinds of MMJ products at their local dispensary. Products include everything from dry cannabis flower, pre-rolls, and vapes, to tinctures and topicals.