- Do you qualify for a Florida based medical marijuana card?
Before you can buy cannabis from a dispensary, you must first visit a licensed physician who is certified to prescribe medical marijuana after having completed the mandatory education requirements laid out by the state of Florida. The physician will then determine if you fall within the eligibility criteria to purchase medical marijuana.
- How to find a certified physician
Finding a state-approved medical marijuana doctor is as simple as visiting the website for Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use and using the “Physician’s Search Tool” to locate a medical professional that has completed the training required by the state and carries the license to practice.
An important point to take into consideration when choosing your medical marijuana doctor is the type of consultation you want done; due to the fact that there are variations in the types that you can avail. Are you looking for an ongoing doctor to treat you on to study just how effective the marijuana is for your medical condition? Or are you simply looking to take the shortest route to a medical marijuana card?
- Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for a medical marijuana card, you need to;
- Be determined by a physician that is certified to suffer from a condition that qualifies you for a card for medical marijuana, which include the following:
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Additionally, according to the Senate Bill 8A of 2016, “diagnosable, debilitating conditions of like, kind, or class,” e.g. anxiety and depression, are conditions that enable a person to be qualified for a card for a medical marijuana. Also included are terminal illnesses – diagnosed by a physician other than the medical marijuana doctor who is examining the patient for eligibility- and chronic pain which is pain from a medical condition that remains persistent long after the course of said medical condition. You can find the comprehensive list of all diseases that qualify under Senate Bill 8A on our homepage.
- Be a temporary, seasonal*, or permanent resident of the state of Florida
To qualify for a card for medical marijuana, you have to provide proof of residence in the state of Florida by providing photo ID and at least one of the documents listed below:
- State ID or driver’s license
- Utility bill paid within the past two months
- Photocopy of house deed or lease agreement
*A seasonal resident, according to Senate Bill 8, is one who takes up residence in the state of Florida for 31 consecutive days at least once each calendar year, maintains a temporary residence in this state, and pays income taxes and is registered to vote in a state other than the state of Florida.
- What should you bring to your appointment?
In addition to the proof-of-residency documents mentioned above, you can bring along your medical records to facilitate the qualification process for a card for medical marijuana, however you are not necessarily required to do so.
However, it will do you well to expect the requirements to vary from each individual medical marijuana doctor to the other and it is common for clinics to each have their own set of requirements to be fulfilled.
- Registering for a medical marijuana card
Once deemed eligible for a card by a doctor that is certified for medical marijuana, you have to apply for a Florida registry identification card. At this stage, you will also be required to fill out a detailed consent form, where you will have to undertake that you acknowledge the complexities of cannabis use; such as that fact that marijuana is still considered a Federal governments ‘controlled substance’, that it has the potential to be addictive, that it is very likely to affect coordination and motor skills, it can lead to side effects such as psychotic signs or depression, and can even sometimes lead to cancer if smoked, and so on.
- What is the cost of obtaining a medical marijuana card?
A typical medical marijuana exam runs from somewhere between $200 and $300. However, this is an expense which is not likely to be covered by your insurance provider.
The cost will also vary according to the kind of consultation you are signing up for. Think back to step 1 of this process: are you seeking a medical marijuana doctor to treat you on an ongoing basis or are you only looking for a one-time initial exam to determine eligibility?
The payment for the registration process itself costs around $75.
- How long will it take for you to get your medical marijuana card?
Usually, it can take anywhere from 10 days to 2-3 weeks for your application to be reviewed and processed by the state of Florida. When your application has been approved, you will receive an email from the state, upon which you will be allowed to purchase medical marijuana in Florida! You do not even have to wait for the physical card to arrive in your mail which can sometimes take another 2-3 months. Just print out the email or download it on your phone, then take the email along with your photo ID to any treatment center for medical marijuana that is state-licensed and their staff will be able to look up your active listing in the state’s database. You will be able to purchase the dispensary’s products without the need for a physical marijuana ID card.
- Purchasing medical marijuana
Medical marijuana doctors and clinics are not allowed to dispense cannabis products. To purchase any medical marijuana products, you can visit any treatment center for medical marijuana that is state-licensed after receiving the approval of your listing from the state of Florida. The list of centers that are licensed for medical marijuana can be found on the state site.
- How much do medical marijuana products cost?
There is no one right answer to this query. The actual products that you purchase at a dispensary can cost you different amounts based on the type of product you are purchasing, the amount in which you are buying said product, and how often you are purchasing the products.
Generally, medical marijuana products start at around $25 and go up from there. On average, patients in Florida spend around $100 to $200 a month. A good way to start off is to start at a lower point to get a feel of what you like and what works for you, and then take it from there if you wish.
Warning: Receiving a medical marijuana certification does not give you the permit to grow marijuana. This can only be done by licensed medical marijuana treatment centers. Moreover, you are not allowed to take your prescribed medication out of the state of Florida; if done so, you are liable to face criminal charges for taking your medication over state lines, even if the other state has its own medical or recreational marijuana laws.
- Suggestions on usage of medical marijuana
Medical marijuana doctors usually advise patients to start low and take it slow. It can be beneficial for you to begin the course of any new medication when you can relax such as the weekend or in the evening, and absolutely avoid consumption during hours of work. if that is something that can be afforded. It is also smart to avoid consumption of your prescribed medication if you are in a setting that requires your complete cognitive function, for example, driving.
Moreover, it is important for you to remember that it can often take a while for the products to take full their full effect; getting impatient will only be detrimental for you.
- How often do you have to renew your marijuana certification with the doctor?
The period of your medical marijuana certification only lasts up to 210 days. Therefore it is important for you to visit your medical marijuana doctor for an in-person consultation every 210 days so that your listing with the state registry remains active.
In addition to this, you will find that your actual medical marijuana card has an expiry period of 1 year. You must apply for renewal of your card 30-60 days prior to the date of expiry, renewals are also available electronically, 45 days before the expiration date of a card.
The cost of renewal of your medical marijuana card is the same as the cost of application to register: $75. Medical marijuana doctors point out that it is often the case that registered patients are not given the notification of the expiry of their cards by the state on time, and many a times patients show up at the medical marijuana treatment centers surprised to know that their cards are no longer valid. Therefore, it is in your best interest to keep up to date with the progression of the validity period for your card and schedule regular visits with your medical marijuana doctors to ensure timely renewal of your certification.