Florida Medical Marijuana Laws

Florida medical marijuana laws apply to a variety of people and entities include physicians, patients, dispensaries, and state organizations. Below we will shed some light on the key Florida medical marijuana laws concerning qualifying conditions, physicians, patients, The Medical Marijuana Use Registry, dispensaries, and other laws surrounding medical marijuana and its usage.

Florida Constitution and Amendment 2

With the passing of Amendment 2 in January of 2017, medical marijuana in the State of Florida was expanded to include additional medical conditions. With the passing of this amendment, the conditions have been expanded to include ailments “of the same kind or class,” opening more patients to the possibilities of getting a recommendation for a Florida medical marijuana card.

Initially, the Florida Legislature approved low-THC medical marijuana only for patients from a very specific list of qualifying conditions.Medical marijuana differs from low-THC cannabis in that it typically contains significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

With this new legislation, there are a lot more patients interested in obtaining a medical marijuana card and taking steps to determine if they will qualify.

Source: Florida Department of Health

Florida Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

“Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

Source: Florida Department of Health

Florida Medical Marijuana Debilitating Conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • PTSD
  • ALS
  • Chrohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Debilitating conditions of the same kind or class*

*”Same kind or class” opens up medical marijuana to a larger number of patients as the qualified physician can use their professional judgement to determine if a patient’s’ condition is debilitating or chronic. Learn more about Florida medical marijuana qualifying conditions.

What is a Qualifying Physician?

A qualifying physician, as defined by the Florida Department of Health, are physicians who have completed the low-THC cannabis continuing medical education course and are certified by the state.

Only medical marijuana state-certified physicians are eligible to provide physician certifications to patients seeking medical marijuana.

Source: Florida Department of Health

What is a Qualifying Patient?

Patients who are “qualified” to receive medical marijuana are those that have been diagnosed to have a debilitating medical condition, have received a certification, and a valid qualifying patient identification card.

Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry

The Medical Marijuana Use Registry is a secure, electronic, and online database for the registration of ordering physicians and qualified patients. It is accessible to ordering physicians, law enforcement, dispensing organization staff, and Office of Medical Marijuana Use staff.

Once a patient visits a qualified physician and undergoes a medical evaluation and is deemed qualified, they then get registered in the Medical Marijuana Use Registry where their status is documented and can be referenced by the above-mentioned personnel.

Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC)

Medical marijuana dispensaries, otherwise known as medical marijuana treatment centers, are state recognized organizations approved to cultivate and dispense medical cannabis. Once patients are registered in the Medical Marijuana Use Registry and provided a recommendation by a qualifying physician, only then can they visit a MMTC and receive their medication.

What Does Florida Medical Marijuana Prohibit?

What may come as a surprise to many, medical marijuana in the state of Florida does not include the possession, use or administration of medical marijuana by smoking. In other words, there is no smokeable flower available to medical marijuana patients at this time.

Unsurprisingly, the transference of medical marijuana to anyone other than the qualifying patient (or their legal representative) is not allowed. Medical marijuana usage is primarily restricted to the qualified patients home and is not permitted in public, at most government institutions, and can be restricted by their place of employment.

Marijuana that was not purchased at a MMTC is not permitted to qualified patients, meaning patients registered in Medical Marijuana Use Registry are susceptible to the same laws as recreational use if they possess, use, or acquire marijuana “off the street.”

Medical marijuana is available in Florida, however, remains illegal under federal law.

Source: Florida Department of Health