Let’s eavesdrop on someone who’s thinking of using medical marijuana for an ailment they haven’t yet found a satisfactory solution for. This person may be imaginary, but you’ll probably recognize some of the thoughts, if not all. It can be a confusing process!
“Do I need to register for the state’s medical marijuana program? How does the registry work, and what information do I need to provide?”
“Am I eligible to use medical marijuana in Florida? What are the qualifying conditions, and do I need a doctor’s recommendation?”
“How do I apply for a medical marijuana ID card? What are the steps involved, and is there an application fee?”
“Once I have the ID card, where can I purchase medical marijuana? Are there specific dispensaries or pharmacies I need to go to?”
“Are there any limitations or restrictions on the amount or form of medical marijuana I can purchase or possess?”
“How long does the application process take, and when can I expect to receive my ID card if approved?”
“Are there any renewal requirements for the ID card, and if so, how often do I need to renew it?”
In this blog post, we’ll answer some of those questions so you can feel more confident about starting the process!
Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry
The Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry is a secure online database maintained by the Florida Department of Health. It’s a platform established in 2017. The aim was to facilitate the registration process for patients and caregivers who are eligible to receive medical marijuana in Florida.
The other official body is The Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). This is a division within the Florida Department of Health responsible for overseeing the Registry. It’s where physicians submit notifications regarding your eligibility. It’s also where you can apply for or renew your identification cards.
Eligibility for Medical Marijuana Use in Florida
If you’re considering medical marijuana use in Florida, there are certain requirements you must meet.
First, you must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a qualified physician to ensure you’re not using marijuana for recreational purposes but rather for legitimate medical reasons.
Second, you must be either a permanent or seasonal Florida resident (see below), as Florida’s medical marijuana program is only available to those legally allowed to reside in the state.
The currently qualifying medical conditions include:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Pain
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Conditions similar to the ones above (ask us if you’re not sure)
- A terminal condition
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
It’s important to note that medical marijuana should not be used as a first-line treatment option. You should, instead, consider it an alternative or supplemental treatment for specific medical conditions.
Make sure you discuss the potential benefits and risks of medical marijuana use with your qualified physician before making any decisions.
What is the Medical Marijuana Use Registration Process Like?
Once you have a recommendation from a qualified physician, they submit their application to the OMMU and include the following:
- A completed patient application document
- Copy of your Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, or other proof of your residency
- Proof or payment of the application fee
- Full-face passport-type photos taken within the 90 days preceding your application
Once you’re approved by the Registry, your card should arrive with around two weeks.
To ensure the continuation of an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card, you must apply annually. The renewal application can only be submitted starting 45 days prior to your card’s expiration date.
Can Patients Have the Support of Caregivers?
Yes. In Florida, if you’re eligible, you can designate a caregiver who can legally help you with the medical use of marijuana and purchase and possess it on your behalf. In the case of minors, it’s actually mandatory to have a designated caregiver.
Caregivers must also be added to the Registry and submit a caregiver application to OMMU to obtain their own identification card. The process is similar to the one that the patients have to follow. Caregivers also have to submit their application annually, 45 days before the card’s expiration date.
Are Seasonal Residents Eligible for the Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card?
Absolutely! Seasonal residents of Florida may also be eligible for medical marijuana treatment if they have a qualifying medical condition. As per Florida Law SB 8-A, a “seasonal resident” has to:
- Temporarily reside in Florida for a minimum period of 31 consecutive days in each calendar year.
- Maintain a temporary residence in Florida, but also return to their state or jurisdiction of residence at least once during each calendar year.
- Be registered to vote, or pay income tax, in another state or jurisdiction.
Get Medical Marijuana From Florida Dispensaries
Once you and /or your caregiver have received the card(s), you can place your order at one of the licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC). There are 574 dispensaries in Florida, and they are the only businesses allowed to offer medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis to qualified patients and caregivers.
These dispensaries are licensed and regulated by the Florida Department of Health to ensure product safety and quality.
With a variety of cannabis products available, including flowers, edibles, concentrates, and more, knowledgeable staff members assist you in selecting suitable options for your medical needs.
In addition, dispensaries often provide educational resources and consultations, and can even offer deliveries.
To make purchases, you must present your valid medical marijuana ID card issued by the OMMU mentioned above. For 2023 on, there there are updated rules about the quantity of supplies you can order. We’ll explain these to you if you go ahead with using medical marijuana!
Can I Use My Florida Card in Dispensaries Out of State?
If you possess a medical cannabis card issued in Florida, you may be able to use it at dispensaries in certain other states. It’s best to verify state-specific regulations to ensure compliance before making any assumptions.
However, while those states may allow patients holding out-of-state medical marijuana cards (for example, from Florida) to make dispensary purchases, Florida itself does not currently reciprocate this practice. If you’re reading this and come from another state and have no Florida seasonal residency, you will not be able to use your own card in Florida.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry: Your Pathway to Relief
The Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry is an important part of the system that provides access to medical marijuana for you if you have a qualifying medical condition.