Getting a Medical Card in FL (Summer 2021 Update)

Updated on July 21, 2021.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

As of June 11, 2021, there are 573,260 patients in Florida with a medical marijuana card. If you have been thinking about trying medical marijuana, you may not know where to start. People living in Florida can get a medical card, making it legal to visit a dispensary to buy cannabis wellness products.

Right now, the laws, health conditions that qualify patients, and the cost of medical cards varies by state. It can be confusing for patients. So, get the facts you need to start the process today to get your Florida medical card.

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How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Florida

Before you can apply for a medical marijuana card in Florida, you have to be qualified. What this means is that you have to have one or more of the health conditions that Florida accepts. Not everyone can get a Florida medical card.

In order to be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Florida, you must be diagnosed by a qualifying physician with one of the following conditions:

Cancer
Epilepsy
Glaucoma
HIV/AIDS
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Crohn’s disease
Parkinson’s disease
Multiple sclerosis
Or any similarly serious medical condition.
Patients may also be diagnosed with a terminal condition or chronic malignant pain caused by a qualifying condition.

  1. Proof of Residency

    You must be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida. When you apply with the State (Step 4), you must submit proof of residency, either by way of a valid Florida driver license or ID card. Seasonal residents may submit a copy of two documents like a mortgage, lease agreement, utility bill or deed.

  2. Proof of Diagnosis

    Your doctor must diagnose you with a qualifying condition, outlined above.

  3. Find a Marijuana Doctor

    You must visit a qualified physician who has completed the required training. As of July 1, 2021, physicians cannot provide a medical cannabis patient referral via telemedicine. The patient must meet in person with the doctor. And the physician is also legally required to provide an addictions education consult, as part of the medical card health evaluation.

  4. Apply with the State of Florida

    You must fill out and submit an application, either by mail or online. Along with your application, you must submit a passport-style photo. Otherwise, the state will use your driver’s license photo. You must also pay the required fees associated with your application. The fee is $75.

Who Can Qualify for Medical Marijuana FL?

In Florida, you have to be eighteen years of age or older. Therefore, when you get your health evaluation and apply to become a registered patient with OMMU, you must provide identification to prove you are eighteen (18) years or older.

If you are under the age of 18-years, you will have to apply with a parent or guardian. That person will be a designated ‘caregiver’ or someone that will be legally allowed to purchase medical marijuana for your health needs.

Caregivers in Florida have to be over twenty-one years and a parent or legal guardian of the minor (child). In some circumstances, people under the age of 21 can become caregivers. However, it requires a special request from the OMMU.

How Much Does a Florida Medical Card Cost?

Before you can get your Florida medical card, you need to be referred to or approved by a doctor. There is a fee for the medical marijuana health evaluation service, whether you attend the office or online in a telemedicine appointment.

The cost of the doctor’s health check varies depending on the physician. But the total cost of registration (after you have received a physician referral) is $77.25. Doctors that can give you the medical marijuana health check are specially trained. Click to see a list of marijuana doctors in Florida.

How do I Get a Medical Card in FL?

Patients in Florida are required to consult with a marijuana doctor every 210 days. This is to help doctors check health or prescription medication changes that can be contraindicated (conflict) with cannabis.l This helps improve patient safety.

In Florida, the MMUR (Medical Marijuana Use Registry) is linked to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) database. That helps to make the application process easier for residents of the Sunshine State.

The picture that was used to issue your driver’s license will automatically upload now on the system. So if you have a driver’s license, there is no need to get a passport-size picture for your marijuana card application. And the FLHSMV also automatically verifies your legal address and residency (proof that you live in Florida).

What Types of Medical Marijuanas are Available in FL?

All cannabis products are available through licensed dispensaries for residents who have a medical marijuana card. This gives Florida medical cardholders the chance to try different types of cannabis. And learn what kind of intake method works best for them.

If you have a respiratory condition, for example, vaping cannabis may not be the best option. Instead, you can search for a medical marijuana dispensary near you and look at the products that they have available. 

In 2021, the following marijuana products are legally available to patients that have a medical card: Whole flower, Vape carts, Pre-rolled cannabis, Kief, Terp saps, and CBD supplements.

As of July 1, 2021, the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) in Florida requires that patients sign a waiver regarding smokable cannabis. The waiver also outlines precautions such as smoking near oxygen containers and the health risks of mold in paraphernalia.

Where do you Get Medical Marijuana in FL?

The Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) licenses medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida. Dispensaries for medical cardholders are called Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs).

Dispensaries in Florida are vertically integrated. That means every dispensary must cultivate, process and manufacture, and retail medical cannabis products to patients. This means that each MMTC is responsible for quality control, safety, and third-party testing of medical marijuana for patients in Florida.

When Did Medical Marijuana in FL Become Legal?

Medical marijuana in Florida was legalized through the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. The new legislation was enacted on January 1, 2015. At that time, patients had access only to low-THC marijuana for qualified patients.

Why Doesn’t Florida Have Online Doctors?

The Florida Board of Medicine has stated that physicians are prohibited from prescribing controlled substances (including cannabis) through telemedicine appointments. The only exception to this rule is in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Physicians cannot prescribe cannabis legally. But they can ‘order’ it for a patient. Because of the contradiction, for the time being, doctors have to see a patient in-person to complete an MMJ health evaluation.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Medical Card in Florida?

In Florida, the MMUR (Medical Marijuana Use Registry) is linked to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) database. That helps to make the application process easier for residents of the Sunshine State.

The picture that was used to issue your driver’s license will automatically upload now on the system. So if you have a driver’s license, there is no need to get a passport-size picture for your marijuana card application. And the FLHSMV also automatically verifies your legal address and residency (proof that you live in Florida).

Applying for Your Florida Marijuana Card Offline

Suppose you make a paper application to OMMU for your Florida medical card. In that case, you will still be required to provide copies of your photo identification and other documents and mail them in. However, mailing your application takes longer than doing it online.

This new service has made it faster and easier to get your Florida medical card. When you apply online, it takes about ten (10) days for the OMMU to respond. If you are approved, you should receive your Florida medical marijuana card in three to five (3-5) business days after that. Your card will arrive by mail.

If you want to check your medical card application status, you can use the OMMU website or call 1-800-808-9580.

Do I Need to Create My Own MMJ Patient Profile?

When you completed your health evaluation with a Florida marijuana doctor, you provided an email address. You will receive an email with the subject line: “Medical Marijuana Use Registry New User Account.” That email will contain a link to the website to complete setting up your patient profile online. The username for your account will be the email address you provided to your doctor.

How Do I Renew My Florida Medical Marijuana Card?

Your Florida medical card is good for one (1) year. At the time of writing (June 2021), the cost of renewing a Florida medical marijuana card is $75.00 plus a $2.25 transaction fee. The medical card must be renewed annually before the expiration date. Therefore, it is essential to allow time for processing.

If you allow your Florida medical card to expire, you will have to go through the application process again. And that means getting another medical health evaluation from a Florida marijuana doctor and paying the registration fees again.

What to Do If You Lose Your Medical Card in Florida

If you do not have your medical card, you will not be allowed to purchase medicinal cannabis from an MMTC dispensary. You need to have a government-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license) and your medical card to buy cannabis.

Patients who have lost their Florida medical card can submit a “Change, Replacement or Surrender Request Form” on the OMMU website. In addition, you will need to provide a copy (front and back) of your driver’s license and pay a $15 replacement fee.

Caregivers must complete this form and process after a patient is deceased or if the physician no longer recommends medical cannabis treatments for the patient.

If you change addresses, you also have to let the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use know. When you update the address for your driver’s license, make sure you submit an address change for your medical card.

What’s Coming Up?

Florida lawmakers attempted to cap the maximum potency of medical marijuana to 10% for smokable products. However, there is already a low-THC cap on medical cannabis for therapeutic use for children. 

House Bill 1455 does not appear to be going through in the first half of 2021. In which case, the maximum cap on THC may not be enacted. Time in the regular legislative session may run out before the Senate can hear SB 1958 (Senate version of Bill 1455).

The History of Medical Marijuana in FL

May 25, 2018 — Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that the ban against smokable forms of cannabis was unconstitutional. This allowed for the legalization of smokable cannabis, including whole flower.

Source Web 2021: mpp.org

March 25, 2016 — House Bill 307 signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. This allowed terminally ill patients to use cannabis for end-of-life care. House Bill 307 passed with 99-16 votes and in the Florida Senate, with 28-11 votes. Qualifying health conditions approved in 2016 included HIV (positive status), cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, glaucoma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic nonmalignant pain, in-person, and multiple sclerosis. In addition, smokable forms of medical cannabis were banned from sale to medical cardholders.

Source Web 2021: flsenate.gov

June 16, 2014 — Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 1030, the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act” to allow low-THC and high CBD cannabis oil produced from Charlotte’s Web for patients with epilepsy, cancer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It passed the House of Representatives with a sweeping 111-7 vote and the Senate with a 30-9 approval.

Source Web 2021: ballotpedia.org

January 27, 2013 — 745,613 signatures from Florida residents were collected by “United for Care,” a medical cannabis advocacy group. Only 683,149 signatures were required. The Supreme Court of Florida qualified the successful initiative to place Amendment 2 on the ballot for voters. Over 71% of Florida voters approved the Amendment.

Source Web 2021: Reuters.com

Florida Medical Marijuana Program: Contact Details

Florida Department Of Health: Office Of Medical Marijuana Use

4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin M-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: 800-808-9580
Email: medicalmarijuanause@flhealth.gov

Website: Florida Department Of Health: Office Of Medical Marijuana 

OMMU Mailing Address – Patient and Caregiver ID Card Applications:

PO Box 31313
Tampa, FL 33631-3313

OMMU Mailing Address – Non-ID Card Applications:

4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin M-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399

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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 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.”

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