Informational links for Patients

FAQ’s from the FL DOH Office of Compassionate Use

Office of Compassionate Use Patient Guide

Growers/Dispensaries in Florida

The Florida Department of Health has approved six ‘growers’ to cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis and derivative products to patients. The approved dispensing organizations are:

LEGAL

Landslide victory for medical marijuana in Florida Voters in Florida approved Amendment 2 with over 70 percent of the vote, amending the State constitution to allow qualifying medical patients to possess, obtain and use strains of medical cannabis that are potent in THC. Previous state law restricted the use of strains of medical cannabis containing THC to qualifying patients that were terminally ill. With the passing of Amendment 2, Florida becomes the 26th state in the Nation to adopt a medical cannabis program that includes whole-plant remedies, THC included. Under Amendment 2, the Department of Health will have six months to promulgate licensure standards for Medical marijuana Treatment Centers. Although Amendment 2 has yet to take effect, you can expect the Department of Health to release these a full set of standards and regulations by June 2017. The State has yet to determine whether or not Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers must operate as a non-profit entity, or will be allowed to operate on a for-profit business model.

Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers

Amendment 2 defines a “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center” as any entity that “acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their caregivers and is registered by the Department.” Any individual, team or business entity interested in the Florida medical cannabis market will need to apply and obtain a permit from the Department of Health to operate as a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center. This same license will be needed for any and all types of cannabis business operations. The Department of Health will oversee all procedures for the registration of MMTCs, including the issuance of a license to operate, renewal of license, and the suspension and revocation of licenses for MMTCs that fail to comply with (yet to be determined) operational standards.

History of Florida Medical Marijuana Laws

On June 16, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed the Compassionate Cannabis Act of 2014 into law. It authorizes physicians to order low-THC cannabis oil and derivative products for patients with cancer, epilepsy, or chronic seizures or muscle spasms. It also authorized the Department of Health to license organizations to manufacture, possess, sell and dispense that low-THC cannabis for authorized patients.

On November 23, 2015, Florida granted five licenses to cultivate and distribute low-THC medical marijuana. A sixth was approved after the nursery was erroneously excluded, and in connection with the passing of HB 307. These will be operational by early September 2016.

On March 25, 2016, Governor Scott signed HB 307, expanding the state medical marijuana program. The bill allows terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis without THC limits through the Right to Try Act. The Bill increases the requirements for physician-patient relationships, establishes standards for dispensing organizations, and authorizes independent testing laboratories to handle cannabis. It also permits three additional dispensing licenses once Florida has 250,000 active qualified patients – more than any State currently tracks. At least one must be a class member of certain class-action cases and a member of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association.

On January 27, 2016, Florida certified that enough signatures had been signed for a ballot measure
more broadly legalizing medical marijuana. Amendment authors adjusted this measure to respond to concerns from a similar 2014 ballot measure that came close to the required 60% threshold.

Amendment 2

* Voters in Florida approved Amendment 2 with over 70 percent of the vote, amending the State constitution to allow qualifying medical patients to possess, obtain and use strains of medical cannabis that are potent in THC. Previous state law restricted the use of strains of medical cannabis containing THC to qualifying patients that were terminally ill.

With the passing of Amendment 2, Florida becomes the 26th state in the Nation to adopt a medical cannabis program that includes whole-plant remedies, THC included.

Patients with a condition that has been determined by a physician to be * debilitating in any way can legally obtain medical cannabis treatments in either the flower or concentrated form, and in low THC doses. High doses of THC will be available under Amendment 2, but restricted to patients that are terminally ill. This condition must be confirmed by two physicians before a recommendation for THC potent medical cannabis can be issued. * Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers will now be able to offer qualifying patients edibles, tinctures, aerosols, oils and ointments in a variety of CBD to THC ratios.

Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession

Florida continues to demonstrate a progressive stance toward the advocacy of cannabis. Many cities and counties—including Miami-Dade County, Tampa, Key West and Orlando—have already taken measures to decriminalize the possession of cannabis. These new ordinances, instead, view the possession of less than 20 grams of dry marijuana flower as an infraction worthy of a citation—not criminal conviction.

PATIENT INFORMATION

Two Types of Medical Marijuana – Two Categories of Patients

Florida law permits certain permanent Florida residents to obtain medical cannabis via an authorized physician who has undergone required training and licensed under Florida Statues 458 or 459. When no other satisfactory treatment exists and the authorized physician determines that the benefits of ordering cannabis / medical marijuana for that patient outweigh the risks, there are two types of cannabis / medical marijuana that two categories of patients can obtain:

  1. Low-THC Cannabis: Patients with cancer or a condition that causes chronic seizures or chronic muscle spasms may qualify to receive low-THC cannabis. Low-THC cannabis has very low amounts of the psychoactive ingredient THC and does not usually produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis.
  2. Medical Cannabis: If a patient is suffering from a terminal condition, as determined by two physicians, the patient may qualify for medical cannabis. This product can contain sufficient levels of the psychoactive ingredient THC to produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis.
    present laws. We are waiting on amendment 2 laws to be written and executed. see above *

How Do I Take Medical Marijuana / Cannabis?

The state of Florida currently approves the following methods:

  1. Capsules: product is suspended in oil in a capsule
  2. Oral syringe: place the oil under the tongue, on a cracker, or fill empty capsules
  3. Vaporizer pen: inhale the product but not carcinogens
  4. Tincture: squeeze drops from a dispenser bulb under the tongue visit the dispensary websites (listed near bottom of this page) for explanations of various forms and their advantages, and contact the dispensaries directly for specific product information and prices.

Rules for Doctors treating Patients with Medical Marijuana

Florida physician is authorized to order low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis, only if the physician:

  1. Holds an active, unrestricted license as a physician or an osteopathic physician
  2. Has treated the patient for at least three months immediately preceding the patient’s registration in the compassionate use registry
  3. Has successfully completed the Florida Medical Association course and examination.
  4. Has determined that the risks of treating the patient with low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis / medical marijuana are reasonable in light of the potential benefit to the patient
  5. Registers as the orderer of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis for the named patient on the Compassionate Use Registry
  6. May not prescribe more than a 45-day supply with each prescription
  7. Maintains a patient treatment plan that includes the dose, route of administration, planned duration and monitoring of the patient’s symptoms and other indicators of tolerance or reaction to the low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis
  8. Submits the patient treatment plan quarterly to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy for research on the safety and efficacy of low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis
  9. Obtains the voluntary, written informed consent of the patient or the patient’s legal representative/guardian to treatment with medical marijuana