How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida: Step by Step

Understanding Medical Marijuana in Florida

Medical marijuana has been legally available in Florida since the passing of Amendment 2 in 2016. This legislation allows patients with qualifying medical conditions to obtain a medical marijuana card, enabling them to purchase cannabis products from state-approved dispensaries. If you're a Florida resident interested in how to get a medical marijuana card in Florida, this article will guide you through the necessary steps.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Step 1: Determine If You Qualify

Before you proceed, it's essential to determine if you qualify for a medical marijuana card under Florida law. The state has outlined specific medical conditions that are considered eligible, including but not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Terminal conditions diagnosed by a physician
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain

If you suffer from one of these conditions or a similar condition that is not listed, you may still be eligible. Consult with a qualified physician to discuss your specific medical situation.

Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Step 2: Find a Qualified Physician

In Florida, only physicians who are qualified and registered with the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) can recommend medical marijuana. To find a qualified physician:

  • Visit the OMMU website to access the list of registered physicians.
  • Contact a nearby physician and schedule an appointment for an evaluation.

Step 3: Schedule and Attend an Evaluation

During your appointment, the physician will evaluate your medical condition to determine if you qualify for medical marijuana. Be prepared to provide thorough medical history and any relevant medical records. The physician will discuss the potential benefits and risks of using medical marijuana as part of your treatment plan.

If the physician determines that you qualify, they will enter your information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, which is an online database maintained by the OMMU.

Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Step 4: Apply for Your Medical Marijuana Card

Once your physician has entered your information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, you will receive an email with a link to complete your application. Follow these steps to apply for your medical marijuana card:

  1. Log in: Use the link provided in the email to log in to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
  2. Submit Application: Complete the online application form by providing your personal details, including proof of residency (such as a Florida driver's license or ID card).
  3. Pay Fee: The application fee is $75, payable online via credit or debit card.
  4. Submit Photograph: If you do not have a Florida driver's license or ID card, you will need to submit a passport-style photo.

After submitting your application, you will receive an email confirmation. The Florida Department of Health will review your application, which can take up to 10 business days. Once approved, you will receive a temporary ID via email, which you can use to purchase medical marijuana while you wait for your physical card to arrive by mail.

Step 5: Visit a Dispensary

With your temporary or physical medical marijuana card in hand, you can visit any state-approved dispensary to purchase medical marijuana products. Dispensaries offer a variety of products, including flower, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more. The dispensary staff can help guide you to the products that best suit your needs.

Step 6: Follow Up with Your Physician

Florida law requires patients to have follow-up appointments with their recommending physician at least once every 210 days (approximately seven months) to maintain their eligibility for medical marijuana. During these follow-up visits, your physician will monitor your progress and determine if any adjustments to your treatment plan are necessary.

Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a medical marijuana card in Florida?

After submitting your application, it typically takes up to 10 business days for the Florida Department of Health to review and approve it. Once approved, you will receive a temporary ID via email, and your physical card will arrive by mail within a few weeks.

How much does it cost to get a medical marijuana card in Florida?

The application fee for a medical marijuana card in Florida is $75. Additionally, you will need to pay for the initial physician evaluation, which can vary in cost depending on the provider.

Can I use my medical marijuana card in other states?

Currently, Florida does not have reciprocity agreements with other states, meaning you cannot use your Florida medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis products in other states. However, some states with medical marijuana programs may recognize out-of-state cards; it's best to check the specific regulations of the state you plan to visit.

How long is a medical marijuana card valid in Florida?

A medical marijuana card in Florida is valid for one year from the date of issuance. You will need to renew your card annually by submitting a renewal application and paying the renewal fee.

What if my application is denied?

If your application is denied, you will receive a notification with the reason for denial. You may correct any issues and resubmit your application. If you believe the denial was in error, you can contact the Florida Department of Health for further assistance.

Can minors qualify for a medical marijuana card in Florida?

Yes, minors can qualify for a medical marijuana card in Florida if they have a qualifying medical condition. However, they must have a second physician agree with the recommendation, and a legal guardian must consent to the treatment.

Are there any restrictions on where I can use medical marijuana?

Yes, Florida law prohibits the use of medical marijuana in certain places, including:

  • Public transportation or any public place
  • Places of employment (unless permitted by the employer)
  • On school grounds or in school buses
  • In a state correctional facility
  • While operating a vehicle, aircraft, or boat

Always use medical marijuana responsibly and in accordance with state laws.

Can I grow my own marijuana if I have a medical marijuana card?

No, Florida law does not allow patients to grow their own marijuana, even if they have a medical marijuana card. All medical marijuana must be purchased from state-approved dispensaries.

What types of medical marijuana products are available in Florida?

Florida dispensaries offer a wide range of medical marijuana products, including:

  • Flower (smokable marijuana)
  • Edibles (such as gummies and chocolates)
  • Tinctures (liquid extracts)
  • Topicals (creams and lotions)
  • Vape cartridges
  • Capsules

The availability of specific products may vary between dispensaries, so it's a good idea to call ahead or check the dispensary's website for product availability.

What should I do if I lose my medical marijuana card?

If you lose your medical marijuana card, you can request a replacement through the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. There may be a fee associated with obtaining a replacement card. Contact the OMMU for further instructions.

Can I travel with my medical marijuana?

While you can legally travel with medical marijuana within the state of Florida, it is illegal to transport it across state lines, even if you are traveling to another state where medical marijuana is legal. Always check the laws of your destination before traveling with medical marijuana.

In conclusion, obtaining a medical marijuana card in Florida is a structured yet straightforward process designed to ensure that only qualifying patients receive access to medical cannabis. By following the outlined steps—consulting with a qualified physician, gathering necessary medical records, registering with the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry, and completing the application process—patients can legally acquire and use medical marijuana to manage their conditions. It is important to stay informed about the legal requirements and any updates to state regulations to maintain compliance. With proper guidance and adherence to the steps, patients can effectively navigate the system and gain the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana.

Howard Seth Meiselman, DO

Medically reviewed by Howard Seth Meiselman, DO — Written by Mark Conklin 

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