Below you will find the answers to our most frequently asked questions. Should you have a question that is not listed below or need further information, feel free to email us and we will contact you as soon as possible.
The Florida Legislature in 2014 passed the Compassionate Use Act, the first legal medicinal cannabis program within the state. At first, this only allowed for those with cancer or epilepsy to dispense and purchase low-THC cannabis.
The road to enhanced legal medical marijuana began in November 2016 when voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of an amendment to the state constitution to allow residents who have debilitating illnesses legally obtain as well as use medical marijuana. Governor Rick Scott signed this SB-8A into law on June 23, 2017. This revised the initial Compassionate Use Act, expanding the state’s current medical marijuana program to meet the new stipulations in Amendment 2.
Within the state of Florida, those suffering from debilitating and chronic illnesses can receive medical cannabis. The process begins with an in-patient visit to a qualified Florida physician. To be considered “qualified” in this respect, the physician must have an active and unrestricted medical license and successfully finish the Florida Medical Association’s course.
After a physical examination, a qualified physician can certify a patient so they may purchase marijuana for medical purposes. Following certification from a physician, the patient must complete an application for a medical marijuana ID card from the Department of Health. Upon approval of the application, the patient can legally visit a state dispensary or contact a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center so they may arrange for delivery to their home.
According to the Florida law, patients must be re-certified every 210 days. Physicians have the ability to certify as much as a 70-day course of medicinal cannabis at one time.
Only Florida residents can get a Medical Marijuana Card for use in Florida. You must have a valid Florida ID that proves your residency. For those without a valid Florida ID, you can also use another photo ID, including an out of state ID or passport, in combination with a utility bill, bank statement, or other proof of residency.
There is one important exception to the requirement of Florida residency to get a medical marijuana recommendation. The law does accommodate “seasonal residents” with certification if they have debilitating illnesses. To be eligible for the program and to qualify as a “seasonal resident,” you must reside within Florida for a minimum of 31 consecutive days every calendar year. “Seasonal” residents must use two of the following to prove their status:
- A residential lease or rental agreement, deed, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage, or mortgage payment booklet
- Proof of a residential address
- A utility bill, two months old or more recent
- A utility work order or hookup dated within 60 days prior to registration
- Mail from any financial institution, including investment, checking, and savings account statements within the last two months
- Mail from a municipal, county, state, or Federal government less than two months old
- Any additional documentation proving residential address according to department rule
Legitimate visits to a medical marijuana doctor include the following characteristics:
- The good-faith examination is conducted by the signing MD as opposed to a physician’s assistant. (Basic vitals may be taken by a physician’s assistant.)
- The doctor will have NO affiliation with any marijuana dispensary. They will NOT recommend any marijuana dispensary as doing so is illegal.
- The doctor will collect and review diagnosis documentation from the current doctor prescribing treatment.
- In the case of patients without current active care, the qualifying physician may facilitate your visit to a doctor that is appropriate for your problem or to a free community clinic so you can get a valid diagnosis. Occasionally and depending on the condition, the certifying doctor may evaluate, diagnose and treat. In this circumstance, the qualifying physician may act as the first- or second-hand recommending doctor.
- Following the evaluation, the doctor will NOT write a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, they will write a recommendation for medical marijuana. It is important to note that prescriptions for marijuana are illegal since it is a Schedule I drug.
- Despite this legal distinction between prescriptions and recommendations, Amendment 2 of the Florida State Constitution classifies your medical marijuana recommendation as a Legal State of Florida Medical Document.
- The medical cannabis recommendation remains valid for a year.
The process of being evaluated for medical marijuana use is very similar to the basic medical evaluation that the average physician performs. Upon arrival to the office, you will fill out forms in the patient intake packet. You will then meet the licensed physician and undergo a focused physical exam as well as discuss information about your medical history. The physician will review the medical records you provided as well. Assuming you qualify for use of medical marijuana according to the law and the physician indicates that you might benefit from using medical marijuana, they will then provide access to the online system in order to apply for a card.
During the evaluation, the physician will also give you a treatment plan and discuss the risks, effects, and benefits of this treatment. They will also schedule a follow-up visit to confirm that the treatment plan is having a positive impact. During the evaluation, the physician will additionally explain the various methods of using cannabis that allow you to maximize the drug’s beneficial effects while minimizing side effects.
Those who currently have a debilitating condition and provide adequate records have a high success rate in obtaining a doctor’s recommendation for medicinal marijuana. This is due to our approach as well as our reliance on medical documentation and the expertise of our doctors. It also affords a smooth and seamless experience for the patient. Ultimately, we are committed to providing an alternative therapy for your qualifying medical condition.
To ensure that your appointment with the qualifying physician goes as smoothly as possible, you must bring your proof of residency. You should also bring legitimate documentation or medical records originating from your primary care physician. These documents should describe your diagnosis and include additional information such as your current prescriptions and any insights from your primary care doctor that can make the evaluation process go more smoothly.
You must bring along medical records, X-ray/MRI results, prescriptions and any paperwork if related to worker’s compensation. The evaluating physician will need documented proof of the previous diagnosis or will need to determine that you have a pre-existing condition in order to confirm you qualify for protection under the law and medical cannabis access.
Please provide all documentation relating to your condition. If you have had surgery, please bring a copy of your operative report. Imaging and laboratory results related to your medical condition are also very helpful.
In most cases, bringing the documentation of your last two visits to your primary care doctor or specialist managing your qualifying condition will be sufficient. In any case, it never hurts to provide extra documentation. It is helpful to have a hard copy on hand, even if you send the medical records ahead of time. he medical records ahead of time.
Medicinal Cannabis Miami will guide you through the process of obtaining a Medical Marijuana ID Card. The Florida Department of Health developed a system both for issuing and renewing these Medical Marijuana Registry ID cards to patients as well as caregivers. These ID cards let patients and their caregivers quickly show they are within the Compassionate Use Registry, particularly when combined with the state’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
According to Florida rule 64-4.011, all legal representatives and patients are required by F.A.C. to possess a Compassionate Use Registry ID card to get medical cannabis, cannabis delivery service, or low-THC cannabis.
You can apply for this Compassionate Use Registry ID card by being a Florida resident, being listed as a qualified patient within the Compassionate Use Registry, and submitting an application to the Office of Compassionate Use. The application is completed electronically on-site via the Medical Marijuana Use Registry after your visit with the physician and deemed eligible.
Following approval of your card application, you will receive a temporary verification email directly from the Office of Compassionate Use. This verification allows for the first purchase of medicinal cannabis. The Office of Compassionate Use mails a hard-plastic ID card to Medicinal Cannabis Miami and we coordinate a time for pickup, usually about 30 days following receipt of the application. You cannot have an order filled at a dispensing organization without an approved card application.
According to the Florida law, any patient with a medical marijuana recommendation must have an in-person exam at least one time every 30 weeks. The first visit to the doctor for your evaluation will begin your 30-week cycle, so you must have an appointment within 30 weeks or 210 days of that point. We encourage you to book your next appointment within several weeks or less of each completed one to ensure you find a place on our schedule and to avoid accidentally putting off making an appointment and forgetting as this would result in temporary loss of your medical marijuana recommendation.
If you have any issues regarding your medical marijuana usage or dosage, then we encourage patients to schedule another appointment with Medicinal Cannabis Miami. The doctor can then evaluate and discuss any concerns and work towards a better solution for your symptoms. You may also need to have more frequent visits if you are undergoing active symptomology for your condition.
- The Caregiver is the legal guardian or parent of a patient who is a minor
- The Caregiver is the legal guardian or parent of an adult who has a developmental or intellectual disability
- The patient is registered as a hospice patient
- Provides fraudulent, false, incorrect, or misleading information
- Obtains more marijuana than is permitted by the physician certification
- Falsifies, modifies, or alters the ID card
- Fails to notify the Department in a timely manner of changes to the qualified patient status
- Violates any requirements of the relevant section or any rules within the section
At the moment, Florida state law does not allow for patients to smoke cannabis, even as medical marijuana. Certain cultivators will produce then sell the flower. If you purchase this variety of cannabis, you must vape it using a device which does not make combustion possible.
You can also purchase whole plant cannabis in the oil variety. This can include suppositories, topicals, sublingual tinctures, encapsulations, oil suspensions, and vapor juices. In the near future, the law may expand to include edibles.