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Medical Marijuana in Florida: Legality and Regulations

Publish on Oct 10, 2023 by allenharper

Since 2016, marijuana, recommended by licensed healthcare professionals, has been legal in Florida. The state allows access to medical cannabis as a treatment option for qualifying medical conditions. However, recreational use is not permitted under marijuana laws.

Medical Marijuana in Florida: Legality and Regulations

Florida’s Progress Toward Legalizing Medical Cannabis.

On June 16, 2014, Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 1030, or Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act 2014. It’s the beginning of the legalization of weed in Florida. However, this bill allowed only low-THC medical marijuana for patients with epilepsy, cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. On November 8, 2016, Amendment 2 was approved with 71.3% of the vote. Amendment 2 legalized full-strength medical marijuana for qualified patients suffering from a chronic or debilitating illness. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) established the OCU or Office of Compassionate Use to manage the state’s medical cannabis program. In September 2020, sales of cannabis edible products began after approval by the Florida Department of Health.

Florida’s Progress Toward Legalizing Recreational Cannabis.

In April 2021, the Florida Supreme Court found the appeal of recreational use of marijuana misleading and, therefore, would not appear on the 2022 ballot. In a second initiative to legalize recreational cannabis, the court again ruled that the summary was “affirmatively misleading. In June 2023, the recreational use of marijuana amendment qualified for the 2024 ballot.

What Are The Qualifying Medical Conditions For Medical Marijuana In Florida?

To register for the medical marijuana program in Florida, you must have a specific medical condition. The law legalized the use of cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation for treatment of:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or other comparable debilitating medical conditions.
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician.

Requirements for Obtaining a Medical Cannabis Card in Florida.

The Florida Department of Health sets specific requirements that you must meet to be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Florida. Here are the essential requirements:

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • You must be a permanent or seasonal Florida resident.
  • You must have a qualifying medical condition.
  • A qualified physician must diagnose you.

Can I Get My Medical Marijuana Recommendation Through Telehealth?

Florida now allows you to get recertification through telehealth services. Recently, the legislature introduced HB 387, enabling telehealth renewals. However, the state requires an in-person consultation to get your first certification. This hybrid approach, combining in-person consultations for initial certifications and telehealth for renewals, balances the need for thorough assessments and the benefits of telemedicine. It also acknowledges the increasing demand for remote healthcare services while maintaining the necessary care and security standards.
Medical Marijuana Recommendation Through Telehealth

What Types Of Medical Marijuana Products Are Available In Florida?

After obtaining a Florida medical marijuana card, you can access various marijuana products. You can select from multiple medical marijuana products that suit your preferences and medical needs. The forms of marijuana available for qualified patients are:

  • Edibles.
  • Inhalation.
  • Capsules, tablets, or tinctures.
  • Sublingual.
  • Topicals such as creams, balms, lotions, and patches.
  • Flower.

Remember, the availability of specific products may vary depending on the medical marijuana treatment centers in your area. Additionally, it’s essential to consult your doctor and follow their recommendations for the most suitable product for you.

Is Smoking Weed Legal In Florida?

Initially, Florida regulations did not allow for marijuana smoking. You can only be consumed by vaping or as oils, sprays, or pills. On May 25, 2018, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled the ban on smoking. A house bill that removed the prohibition on smoking medical marijuana was signed into law in March 2019.

Are There Restrictions On How Much Medical Marijuana I Can Possess In Florida?

You may not get more than 70-day supply limits of marijuana or more than 35-day supply limits of marijuana in a form for smoking by your doctor. A 35-day supply limit for smokable cannabis shall not exceed 2.5 ounces.

Where Can I Buy Medical Cannabis In Florida?

Medical marijuana is legal, but it doesn’t mean you can buy marijuana from anywhere. You can only buy from medical marijuana treatment centers or MMTCs in Florida. They are authorized in Florida to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients.

Here is a list of licensed medical marijuana centers in Florida. You must purchase from one of them, or you may face legal penalties even if your marijuana is legally prescribed.

Are There Restrictions On Where I Can Use Medical Marijuana?

Following specific rules regarding where to consume cannabis safely in Florida is essential. It is illegal to consume marijuana in any public place. These places include
  • Parks
  • Sidewalks
  • Beaches, and other public areas.
Moreover, marijuana consumption is strictly prohibited on
  • School Campuses
  • Universities
It is against the law to use marijuana inside any motor vehicle, whether you are a driver or a passenger. It includes
  • Cars
  • Two Wheelers or three-wheelers
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Aircraft
Florida has strict marijuana laws against driving under the influence of marijuana. So, the best and safest place to consume cannabis in Florida is your private residence or home. As per the laws, marijuana consumption should occur in a private residence.

Can I Grow My Marijuana For Medical Use In Florida?

In Florida, the cultivation of marijuana for personal or medical use is strictly prohibited. The state allows qualified patients to obtain medical cannabis from MMTC, but home cultivation is prohibited. Engaging in unauthorized cultivation of marijuana in Florida can result in criminal penalties. It’s essential to adhere to state regulations and obtain medical cannabis from licensed sources.

Is It Legal For Minors To Use Medical Marijuana Card In Florida?

A minor or below 18 can obtain a medical marijuana card in Florida, but specific requirements and safeguards are in place. Children seeking a medical marijuana card in Florida must have approval from two licensed or qualified physicians. In addition to the medical assessments, parental consent is a crucial component. The minor’s parents or legal guardians must also consent for the child to have a medical marijuana card.

Can I Hire A Caregiver For My Medical Marijuana Treatment In Florida?

After weed legalization in Florida, you can designate a caregiver while applying to the Florida marijuana registry. You may only select one caregiver at a time. If you are a minor, you must define your parents or legal guardian as a caregiver. Your designated caregiver can purchase cannabis and assist you with administering your marijuana treatment. Caregivers must be at least 21 years old, not be a physician, or have any financial interest in an MMTC.

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