Florida is one of the few states in the US that has legalized Marijuana for medical use. Medical Marijuana is increasingly being used to treat many stubborn and chronic medical conditions that otherwise have very few treatment options. With this in mind, the state of Florida moved to legalize Marijuana for medicinal purposes. Amendment 2 provided an impetus to the Medical Marijuana Program in Florida. With the passing of all the necessary bills, Marijuana doctors are now equipped to help patients suffering from various conditions.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Before we understand the Medical Marijuana Program in Florida better, let us take a quick look at Medical Marijuana and how it is changing lives.
Medical Marijuana is simply Marijuana used for medical purposes. The marijuana plant and the chemicals in it are used to treat patients suffering from certain conditions. While the plant may consist of over 100 different chemicals, two compounds are of importance and value to us. They are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). Both these chemicals are used by Marijuana doctors when treating patients.
Many chronic medical conditions can be quite debilitating. While prescription medications are available, they are not always effective and can cause strong and long term side effects. Research has proven that Marijuana can cure these conditions and provide relief from pain and suffering. For this reason, many are shifting to Marijuana for treatment purposes. While Marijuana was always a key recreational drug, it is also gaining significance as an effective treatment option.
The THC component of Marijuana is responsible for causing the recreational “Marijuana high” and is generally banned. So, what is the difference between Medical and Recreational Marijuana? How does Marijuana qualify as being of medical nature?
For Marijuana to be legal consumption, it needs to have low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. In Florida, legal Marijuana should have THC levels less than 0.8%, and CBD levels should be around 20%
The Medical Marijuana Program in Florida has laid down certain conditions for Marijuana to be considered legal for medical patients.
Only the Marijuana grown by approved Marijuana treatment centers is considered for medical treatments. All these centers should be approved and have licenses for all the three following stages:
- Cultivation of Marijuana
- Processing of Marijuana
- Treating patients with Marijuana
These approved Medical Marijuana treatments will sell or dispense only low THC marijuana. This means that THC levels are at or less than 0.8%, and CBD levels are at 20%. The patient will be given the necessary chemicals to treat their condition and will not be exposed to Marijuana high.
An important point to note here is that home growing Marijuana, even if a patient is approved for marijuana treatment, is illegal in Florida and carries severe penalties and sentences.
What conditions can Medical Marijuana treat?
A registered Medical Marijuana doctor can treat patients with the following conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkison’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Muscle Spasms
- Chronic Pain
- Wasting syndrome
- Any other chronic or severe conditions that a doctor may deem necessary to be treated with Marijuana.
How can I qualify as a Medical Marijuana Patient in Florida?
To qualify as a medical marijuana patient, you will need to fulfill a few criteria.
You should be a permanent resident of Florida. Or you should at least be a seasonal resident.
Besides, you should be of 18 years of age and above. If you are younger than 18, you should have a second opinion from another qualified Marijuana medical doctor.
You should be under the treatment of a qualified and registered Marijuana doctor and have at least one of the qualifying medical conditions. You can refer to the list above.
If you can fulfill all the above conditions, you will be eligible to enroll for the marijuana program in Florida and obtain a Medical Marijuana card.
How can I enroll in the Marijuana Medical Program in Florida?
If you fulfill the above eligibility criteria, you can register for the Medical Marijuana card with just a few steps.
- Call a registered marijuana doctor to arrange for an evaluation. You can use websites like this to find the list of licensed doctors. If you stay in Sarasota, you can contact the Sarasota Marijuana Doctors to get started with your Marijuana Medical Program.
- You may have to carry proof of ID and residency when you meet your doctor for a consultation.
- Always remember to bring your previous medical records, if any, when meeting your registered marijuana doctor.
- The doctor will decide whether you qualify for the medical marijuana program in Florida or not.
Once you are eligible, you will receive a patient ID, with which you will need to complete the online registration process on the Florida state’s website.
- The patient ID will serve as your first step for a marijuana card.
- Your doctor will also register you on the state’s Medical Marijuana User Database.
- Once the process is complete, you will receive an activation email within 2 to 3 weeks.
- You will receive a medical marijuana card within 6 to 8 weeks.
- The card will ease the process of getting treatment from medical marijuana doctors in Florida.
Do Medical Marijuana Cards in Florida have a validity period?
Medical cards once obtained are valid for 210 days. You must recertify your card every 70 days to ensure that they continue to stay valid.
Your Medical Marijuana card in Florida is your passport for getting treated with Marijuana. You will also be qualified to buy medical Marijuana to treat your medical conditions.
How do I use my Medical Marijuana Card in Florida?
Marijuana clinics are also known as dispensaries in Florida. You may have to join your dispensary as a member with your card. With this membership, you can buy Marijuana for treating your medical condition.