Smoke medical marijuana? This rule update might affect you

"For the most part we think patients are in a pretty good spot.”
Published July 11, 2019

If you smoke marijuana for medical purposes, it’s time to check in with your doctor.

Starting Friday, any doctor’s orders for medical marijuana that contain a recommendation for smokable, whole flower marijuana must be up to date.

The system was updated June 28 to include smokable flower as a newly established route of administration for medical patients.

Before the June 28 rule update, doctors would write in the recommendation for smokable marijuana in the “notes” section of the order. Now, there is a designated spot for the recommendation. Patients will have to be re-added into the registry with this new format if they haven’t already, according to the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

The Department of Health gave doctors and dispensaries a two-week notice of the rule update, in hopes of making the transition easier.

Trulieve, which operates the most dispensaries in Florida, sent out a note to patients Wednesday night encouraging them to check the online registry and talk to their doctors to avoid interruptions in medical care.

“I don’t anticipate it being a huge roadblock for patients,” said Trulieve spokeswoman Victoria Walker. “There will be some people who will have to adjust, but for the most part we think patients are in a pretty good spot.”

Surterra, the second-largest marijuana company in Florida, also sent a note to patients warning them of the change.

“We have all the steps and necessary to make this process as clear and smooth as possible,” the company wrote in a press release.

According to the state’s marijuana office, doctors will have to cancel the patient’s certification and re-enter it to include smoking. The office recommends that patients log into their registry profiles online to check their order status after the July 12th deadline.

If patients do not have an active order for smokable flower in the system, they should call their doctor to get an updated order.