Medical Practice

Legalities and Application Process in the State of Florida

Virginia Thornley, M.D.

@VThornleyMD

July 12, 2018

Background

Cannabis is the most misunderstood, controversial and stigmatized medicine known to man. It was a top medical agent used widely by physicians from the 1850’s until the 1930’s when lawmakers ruled it as illicit classifying it schedule I. Stigmas on its clandestine effects were extensively propagated while the medical value was dismissed and forgotten. Because of grassroots movements with some of the sickest patients in society benefiting from medical cannabis there has been a reemergence of its utilization for medical purposes. In recommending it and using it medically, one most be aware not only of its medical use but the legal implications.

Florida Laws

The state laws which govern the state of Florida cover legal medical use but it is illegal for recreational use. It can only be medically recommended orally, by vaporizer, cream or patch. Smoking is federally illegal.   It is illegal for a physician to prescribe it and cannot write it on a prescription but may recommend.

In the state of FL as of 7/2018, cannabis is federally illegal and is a schedule 1 category drug. Recreational use by smoking is illegal. It may be medically recommended by a qualified physician. One needs to be registered under a physician and under the medical marijuana registry. Medical cannabis products are procured through a licensed regulated  dispensary.  It is illegal to carry it across states. It may be illegal to carry to other countries. The rules and laws change rapidly. In some workplaces where workers are tested, it is illegal to have in your system regardless of being medically recommended. Know your work laws and group membership laws.

Application Process

There are 13 indications in Florida, you are evaluated by a qualified licensed physician. If you meet criteria you are given a registry number and may apply through e-mail or mail. If by mail a $75 fee is required either through check or money order and a passport sized ID picture you can get through your local pharmacy. If by email apply through website and your driver’s license will serve as your picture. You will need to read, understand and sign a consent form for its use

In Florida, an e-mail comes before the medical marijuana card in this state. 

 

Current Statistics as of July 2018

Currently, in Florida as of 7/2018 there are 132,256 registrants, 1539 qualified licensed physicians out of 75,000 who can recommend. Wait time is 13 days for processing. There are 13 treatment centers and 43 dispensaries serving Florida. http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-medical-marijuana-use/ommu-updates/index.html The office of the medical marijuana use follows the Florida Legislature in section 381.986, F.S. (2018).

 

Updates July 2018
• The mailing address for Patient and Caregiver ID card applications has changed:

PO Box 31313, Tampa, FL 33631-3313.

 

Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers Name Dispensing Locations
Trulieve Tallahassee, Tampa, Clearwater, Pensacola, Miami, Edgewater, Lady Lake, Jacksonville, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Vero Beach, New Port Richey, delivery
Surterra Therapeutics Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa, North Port, Deltona, Orlando, Largo, Miami Beach, delivery
Curaleaf Miami, Kendall, Lake Worth, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Palm Bay, Palm Harbor, delivery
Knox Medical Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, Jacksonville, Lake Worth, St. Petersburg, Fort Walton Beach, delivery

Liberty Health Science Summerfield, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, delivery

Vidacann Holly Hill, delivery

Altmed Florida Apollo Beach, delivery The Green Solution Dispensing via delivery

GrowHealthy Dispensing via delivery

Columbia Care Florida Processing Authorization

3 Boys Farm Cultivation Authorization only

Treadwell Nursery Cultivation Authorization only

Keith St. Germain Nursery Farms Cultivation Authorization only

 

Legal Updates The implementation of Amendment 2 and section 381.986, F.S. (2018) continues to be frequently litigated.

Smoking Ban
People United for Medical Marijuana v. DOH, et. al., 2d Judicial Circuit Case No. 2017-CA-1394

Court of Appeal reinstated the stay and noted that Plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of the case. The lower court’s order is not currently in effect.

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