Updated on January 8, 2019.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Do you want to offer your patients a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals? Florida doctors must go through the proper training before they can write a medical marijuana recommendation. To get a license to recommend cannabis medicine, you must follow the steps required by the state.
Who Should Take Florida’s Medical Marijuana Certification Course?
Any licensed doctor in Florida who wants to recommend medical marijuana should take the state’s medical cannabis course. Having the credits from the class makes you eligible to join Florida’s medical marijuana registry. You must register with the state to legally offer recommendations to your patients.
Who Can Take the Medicinal Cannabis Course and Join the Registry?
While anyone can technically take the state course, only licensed medical doctors and osteopathic physicians eligible to recommend medical marijuana in Florida will benefit from taking it. Other medical professionals can’t enter the registry, even if they take the course.
Other parts of your job the state believes are connected to your patients’ safety
You also can’t join the state registry if you have a conflict of interest. Medical professionals who could unfairly benefit from recommending medical marijuana will not receive approval. A physician who works in a medical marijuana treatment center or a marijuana testing laboratory can’t apply — neither can doctors who have a direct or indirect economic interest in those kinds of companies.
You can complete the entire course online without having to attend an in-person lecture. After you purchase the course, you will get an online PDF featuring its content. Doctors must carefully review the PDF and take a test on it. If you get at least 80% of the test answers correct, you will receive two AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.
Florida and its medical associations’ websites give inconsistent information regarding a course for osteopathic physicians. The description for the Florida Medical Association’s class mentions osteopathic physicians can take it as well. But, the Office of Medical Marijuana Use states that the organization providing your class depends on the license you have. Meanwhile, the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association website says its new course isn’t available yet.
When in doubt, contact your relevant medical association or the Office of Medical Marijuana Use to figure out the course you should purchase.
Former Course Requirements for Doctors
Before June 2017, doctors looking for certification had to take an eight-hour course instead of a two-hour one — the longer class no longer meets the education requirements set by the state.
If you previously took the eight-hour class, you still have to take the new two-hour class. Physicians who wanted to keep their license without a gap in time needed to take the new course by December 26, 2017. But, doctors with an expired license can still take the two-hour class and receive a new certification.
What to Do After Finishing the Course
Once you receive the credits from the medical marijuana course, you can sign up for Florida’s online registry and offer certifications to your patients. Follow the steps outlined by the Department of Health to get a username and password for your registry account. Access to the medical marijuana registry lets you:
Add a patient to the registry
Search for a patient already in the database
Create a Physician Certification that authorizes a patient to buy medical marijuana
Create orders that serve as digital recommendations
Once you have authorization from the state to recommend medical marijuana, your information will be added to lists offered by the Department of Health. Patients can then use the website to search for doctors with medical marijuana certifications. If you would like to have your listing removed, you can follow these steps.
Penalties for Physicians Who Don’t Follow Florida Medical Marijuana Laws
Doctors who don’t follow the guidelines set by the Office of Medical Marijuana Use face severe penalties. For example, issuing a certification to a patient you don’t think qualifies for medical marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor, while counterfeiting a registry ID card counts as a third-degree felony. Read Florida’s regulations for marijuana medicine carefully to ensure that you practice legally and safely.
Let MarijuanaDoctors.com Lend a Hand
Everyone can use a study buddy. Use our Florida guides to brush up on your medical marijuana knowledge:
Once you’re signed up with Florida’s medical marijuana registry, MarijuanaDoctors.com can help you find patients in need of natural relief. Sign up for our physician listings to join our database of other compassionate medical professionals.