Florida Department of Health
Office of Medical Marijuana Use
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Note from State, on sources for medical marijuana
The Florida Department of Health has 6 months to establish program regulations, and determine a possession limit. It has 9 months from the passage of law, to start issuing Florida medical marijuana identification cards. A valid recommendation certification from a physician will serve the purpose of acting as a qualifying patient I.D. card, until such time as the Department is ready to starting issuing cards.
The Florida Patient Registry application fee is yet to be determined. Once established, the Florida Marijuana Registry will be mandatory.
As legislation changes in Florida, check back to this section for information about how those legislative changes will affect the medical marijuana program in Florida.
Introduced on January 12, 2016, Senate Bill 852 — “Repealing provisions relating to the compassionate use of low-THC cannabis; creating the “Florida Medical Marijuana Act”; authorizing a registered patient or a designated caregiver to purchase, acquire, and possess up to the allowed amount of medical marijuana for a patient’s medical use” — died in Regulated Industries Committee, on March 11, 2016.
House Bill 1183, was filed on January 07, 2016 — “Allows registered patients & designated caregivers to purchase, acquire, & possess medical-grade marijuana subject to specified requirements… specifies act does not require or restrict health insurance coverage for purchase of medical-grade marijuana” — but, died in Judiciary Committee, March 11, 2016.
Although both, Senate Bill 852 and House Bill 1183, both died in their efforts to bring compassionate care to the patients of Florida, all hopes at legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, are not dead just yet.
On November 08, 2016, the people of Florida will vote on Ballot Initiative Amendment 2, when they head to the polls — “Amendment 2” allows for the medical use of marijuana by individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.
The amendment, sponsored by the People United for Medical Marijuana — required to collect at least 683,149 signatures, to put the proposed amendment on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot — managed to collect 716,270 signatures, a week before its deadline, ensuring it’s place on the ballot.
The Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, attempted to keep the initiative from the November ballot, claiming the wording to be misleading, however, the Florida Supreme Court ultimately ruled 4-3, in favor of allowing state voters to decide the issue for themselves, in the upcoming elections.
Considering the considerable amount of support, for medical marijuana in Florida, many experts believe that Ballot Initiative 2 will pass, thereby allowing patients diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, to obtain a cannabis certification from a licensed Florida medical marijuana doctor, that will ultimately, allow the patient to legally acquire and consume, marijuana medically.
Additionally, the Initiative will also allow the Department of Health to architect and implement the infrastructure necessary, to manage the State’s medical marijuana program — this includes the registration and regulation of medical marijuana centers that cultivate, and distribute cannabis; and is responsible for the patient’s state registration, and issuing of medical marijuana identification cards.
* UPDATE: On November 08, 2016, voters in Florida said “yes” to medical marijuana, approving the state’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Amendment 2. The Initiative passed with overwhelming support, winning more than 71.1% of votes.
Amendment 2 effectively states that individuals diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, may use marijuana for medical purposes on the advisement of a licensed Florida physician. The Florida medical marijuana law defines “debilitating medical condition” to include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer; chronic pain; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); terminal illness; or any other ailment/condition of the same type/class as or comparable to those enumerated, as determined by a physicians opinion that the medical use of marijuana would surpass any potential, and unlikely, health risks.
Amendment 2 also protects a physician’s right to issue a medical marijuana recommendation to patients, stating that physicians will not be subject to criminal or civil liability under Florida law for issuing a medical marijuana certification to a patient with a qualifying condition.
Furthermore, the initiative allows medical marijuana patients to appoint caregivers to cultivate their cannabis, and enlists the Department of Health in charge of registering and regulating centers that cultivate and dispense medical marijuana, as well as issuing state-registered medical marijuana identification cards to patients and caregivers who qualify.
As Florida now begins the process of establishing and instituting a statewide medical marijuana program, it is going to still take some time before the program will be effectively ready to start. MarijuanaDoctors.com will keep patients informed on the program’s progress, as it develops. In the meantime patients who meet Amendment 2’s requirements may begin the process early by establishing a bonafide doctor-patient relationship with a marijuana doctor — this is the first step in the process of becoming a medical marijuana patient, as stipulated by the initiative.
** ATTENTION ALL FLORIDA PATIENTS — Although it will take several months for the Florida Medical Marijuana Program to effectively begin, patients may start seeing physicians now, with the objective of establishing the state-required bonafide doctor-patient relationship, for early access to the medicine once it becomes available. MarijuanaDoctors.com will keep patients updated on the program’s progress and developments, so check back frequently to stay informed.
**ATTENTION FLORIDA PHYSICIANS — In order for a recommendation for medical marijuana to be valid, physicians must submit Patient – Doctor Statutorily Required-Documentation to the Boards of Medicine or Osteopathic Medicine within 14 days of issuing a certification. This documentation submits informatoin to the Coalition of Medical Marijuana Research and Education, but no personal, identifying information is disclosed.
Update: As of June 2017, SB 8A and SB6A were passed, implementing Article X, section 29 of the Florida Constitution. Not only did this expand the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana, but it also removes the 90-day waiting period required under the Compassionate Use law.
The government initially issues 11 cultivation licenses across the state that allow growers and producers to operate in the state. One of these licenses is now held by Liberty Health Sciences, a US-based investor and operator backed by Aphria Inc, one of the companies responsible for the expansion of the medical marijuana industry in Canada.
This company is looking to open new dispensary networks in The Villages in north-central Florida, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville this year. There is talk of locations opening in Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Pensacola in 2018.
MarijuanaDoctors.com will keep patients up-to-date on the program’s progress, as it continues to develop.
Doctors must first make a physical examination and conduct a full examination of the patient’s medical history in order to issue a prescription for medical marijuana. As of June 2017, doctors are not allowed to use telemedicine to prescribe medical marijuana.
The State of Florida has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued Florida Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per Florida state guidelines.
Since the Florida medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new Florida medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the Florida medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link to find out more about Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program. We have compiled the following Florida medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of Florida’s laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in Florida.
Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the Department of Health services and/or Department of Justice. For a comprehensive list of Florida’s qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states”.