More than 850,000 Floridians have medical marijuana cards, which give them the chance to purchase and use a variety of marijuana products, since voters approved such use in 2016.
Soon, Floridians may get a chance to vote on whether to allow recreational, nonmedical marijuana. But for now, here’s what to know about Florida’s medical marijuana process.
How can I get a medical marijuana card?
Patients need to get an in-person medical examination from a qualified physician. A list of qualified physicians is available on the state’s medical marijuana website.
Physicians must diagnose a patient with at least one qualifying medical condition. For people under the age of 18, two physicians need to agree on the diagnosis.
Once a physician has certified that a person should get a medical marijuana card, they will enter the patient’s information in the state’s medical marijuana use registry. From there, the patient needs to finish filling out the application on their end.
What conditions qualify for a medical marijuana card?
Physicians have some leeway in how they determine what conditions qualify a patient for medical marijuana. Florida statute outlines all of the following conditions as applicable:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- A terminal condition
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
Florida law also allows a physician to qualify a patient for medical marijuana if there are any other medical conditions “of the same kind of class.” That means conditions like anxiety, eating disorders and sickle cell anemia can also qualify, depending on a physician’s judgment.
A physician said I qualify. Now what?
Once a physician puts a patient’s information into the medical marijuana use registry, the patient has to go online to complete the registration application. That can be accessed online at https://mmuregistry.flhealth.gov/Public/LogIn.
The patient will be asked to upload a photo and prove Florida residency by providing a state driver’s license or ID card. Seasonal Florida residents can prove their residency by supplying a copy of documents like a deed or a utility bill.
The patient must also submit a processing fee.
How much does it cost?
A medical marijuana card costs $75 each time it is issued or renewed.
That cost is in addition to any cost of seeing a physician. Those appointments vary in price depending on how much the physician charges.
Insurance does not pay for medical marijuana because it is illegal federally.
How do I renew my card?
State-issued medical marijuana cards have listed expiration dates.
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Renewal applications open 45 days before the expiration date.
A physician who has already seen a patient in person can do renewal certifications through telehealth. A patient must see a physician every seven months to keep their certification active, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Once I have my card, where can I buy medical marijuana?
Florida has licensed 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.
How much marijuana can I buy? In what forms?
Physicians will determine the dosage allowed.
Florida health officials created a rule in 2022 that set the maximum dosage amounts for different marijuana products. The rule established that marijuana for smoking should not exceed 2.5 ounces for a 35-day supply.
For edibles, the allowed daily dose, based on a 70-day supply limit, is 60 mg THC. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” feeling. For inhaling like with vapes, the daily dose is 350 mg THC.
For oral ingestion, like tinctures, the maximum daily dose is 200 mg THC. For suppositories, the limit is 195 mg THC. Topical application, like through creams, is limited to 150 mg THC. The daily dose for marijuana for smoking is capped at weight, not at THC content, at 2.025 grams.
A physician who feels a patient would benefit from more marijuana than the daily dosage allows can request an exception.
When did Florida get medical marijuana?
Florida passed its medical marijuana statute in 2016, when 71% of voters decided to approve an amendment allowing it.
Is nonmedical marijuana legal?
No. But an amendment seeks to change that in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court is currently weighing whether to allow the amendment on the 2024 ballot. The Florida attorney general is seeking to have it disqualified. If it is allowed on the ballot, voters will have the chance to support or reject it in 2024. An amendment needs 60% of the vote to pass.