Florida Marijuana - A Guide to Florida Medical Marijuana and You
It is, in fact, many Floridian's have already taken advantage of our new marijuana program introduced back in November 2017, called Amendment 2. This Legislation was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott and basically wet into effect immediately.
Amendment 2 which was spearheaded by marijuana activist group United For Care, responsible for drafting the original petition that eventually made the ballot in Nov 2016.
It passed by a complete landslide of 71% for Medical Marijuana in Florida.
Alongside United for Care is Orlando based attorney John Morgan who has spearheaded several recent lawsuits against Florida for the "smoking ban" and decriminalization of marijuana in Florida.
But more about that later..
Amendment 2's governing legislation covers all aspects of the medical marijuana industry in Florida and among other things created The Office Of Medical Marijuana Use.
This state entity is charged with approving and maintaining all licensing for medical marijuana dispensaries, doctors, and patients. So what does this mean to you?
1. Florida Doctors that wish to legally recommend medical marijuana must first take a 4-hour class on cannabis and it's medical applications. Plus they must pay $1,000 registration and licensing fee to the OMMU. They will then be listed as a registered Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor and can start recommending cannabis to qualified patients.
2. Amendment 2 also created " Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers," or Dispensaries that can grow, process, transport and finally sell their own medical marijuana products to approved patients, statewide. The legislation allows for only 13 Florida Dispensaries that can open and operate up to 25 satellite locations anywhere in the state. The Florida Marijuana system is refered to as Vertically Intergrated.
Different from other states with legal marijuana where among other things, their dispensaries can sub-contract out certain parts of the cannabis production process. They can hire expert growers to produce specific strains off site, that can then be sold by the dispensary to patients, or recreationally. This is refered to as Horizontally Intergrated.
3. The Office Of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) is the agency that controls approving new applicants/patients into the medical marijuana system. It regulates all doctor, patient cannabis recommendations including how much the dispensaries may fill for any particular patients at any time. (currently a 70 day supply) This is to ensure that no abuse happens and that Florida dispensaries are only selling medical marijuana, to approved patients and no one else.
4. Amendment 2 also greatly expanded the qualifying conditions to obtain marijuana treatments, in the sunshine state. Before this, Floridian's had very limited access to medical marijuana, in fact, only low THC and CBD cannabis were even allowed. Plus earlier legislation stated that you must have a terminal illness to qualify and then you could only get the low THC weed anyways. This was the Charlotte's Web Initiative for Florida Marijuana.
Many argue that it wasn't allowing access to people who could benefit the most and that's basically what started the Amendment 2 grassroots movement, to begin with.
or any other illness of which an MMJ doctor feels the health benefits outweigh the health risks to the patient.
To better elaborate on the patient side of things, since this will most likely affect our readers the most, here are the steps that will bring it all together.
1. Patients seeking relief through cannabis must first qualify under Amendment 2 expanded conditions through a state-certified medical marijuana doctor (as of April 2018 over 1,300 registered MMJ doctors in Florida) Find A Medical Marijuana Doctor Near Me
2. You and your MMJ doctor will come up with the best treatment plan for your needs. Depending on what is best for you, in Florida patients now have access to full strength THC and high CBD marijuana products.
3. Your doctor will then open you a patient portal on the Department Of Health's Office Of Medical Marijuana Use website, which will assign you a patient number and prompt you to do a couple things before approving you for medicine.
4. The OMMU requires all new applicants to upload a 2x2 picture of themselves for the Medical Marijuana Card they will be mailing to your home in a couple weeks. It's important to adhere to the OMMU's exact specifications which are explained in detail, inside your web portal. Failure to be exact may result in your account getting denied.
For instance, the picture they require is 2x2, if you upload, or mail them a different size you may get denied until you send the correct size picture.
5. New patients must also upload proof of Florida residency. Since Florida marijuana is only for people who reside in the state, the OMMU needs a DL, or utility bill showing you live in Florida. (snowbirds are allowed and partial residency is OK)
6. The OMMU charges $75.00 yearly fee for your Medical Marijuana Card and requires the first year be paid before activating your account. You will receive an email from them providing your patient ID# and the correct address in Tallahassee to mail in your registration fees.
7. The OMMU will activate your acct the moment they receive your registration fee and your medical marijuana ID card will come within about 2-3 weeks. However, you don't need to wait that long to buy medical marijuana. Florida dispensaries are connected into the OMMU and can see you're approved and awaiting your card. They will fill any order for you at that time.
Now fast forward to April 2018 where medical marijuana is legal and over 70,000 new patients are already approved and receiving cannabis as medicine.
There are over 50 Florida dispensary locations that have sprouted up across the state. Just about every major city has at least 1 some 2-3 depending on the population density.
All Florida dispensaries carry an assortment of medical marijuana products under the state law, which includes?
Vape Oil for inhalation
Topicals like marijuana-infused lotions and balms
THC, or CBD nasal sprays
* Current (April 2018) Florida law does not allow for marijuana flower, or "buds" to be sold, or smoked.
Remember John Morgan, the lawyer from Orlando we mentioned before? He has filed a lawsuit in Leon County Florida addressing the "Smoking Ban" situation and a Bench Trial date has been set for May 2018.
Help Support John Morgan's Crusade for Florida Marijuana Legalization.
There has also recently been another grassroots movement for full recreational legalization of marijuana in Florida 2020. A petition called The Florida Cannabis Act is obtaining the more than 730,000 signatures needed to introduce this idea for a vote on 2020's ballot.
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