Much to everyone’s surprise, Florida now has a (not-quite-yet-functioning) medical marijuana program (MMP)! Of course, there are some severe restrictions, and it could be argued that Florida has some of the strictest qualifying criteria and medical marijuana laws around. Here’s a guide to getting a medical marijuana card in Florida …
Telemedicine to recommend cannabis is prohibited in Florida. Physician must complete an in-person physical examination.
How Old Do I Have to Be to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?
18 years old or over. Caregivers must be 18 years old or over.
How Long Does it take to Get My MMJ Card?
30 – 90 days, although people are trying to shorten this long waiting period.
Between $20 and $50. However, Florida patients may need to renew their recommendation every 45 days, meaning costs can be from $160 to $400 annually.
Possession Limit (Medical Marijuana Patients)
No limits are specified. However, any cannabis sold in Florida must be at least 10% CBD and a maximum of 0.8% THC, with the exception of terminally ill patients who have a recommendation from their physician stating they may need a higher THC strain or product.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and conditions that cause seizures
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic, nonmalignant pain
- A terminal condition or illness, with a diagnosis of 12 months or less to live.
- Any condition severe enough to merit recommendation of medical marijuana by a physician
Medical Marijuana Laws
2016 – Voters approve of Amendment 2, Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative.
2017 – Patients may start developing a bona-fide relationship with a doctor in order to apply for a medical marijuana card.
Patients may nominate a caregiver to cultivate their cannabis, although home cultivation is not allowed. This means caregivers will need certification, and will likely be prohibited in terms of how many plants they can grow, the number of patients they can act as caregiver for and whether or not they can use medical marijuana for themselves. Caregivers may be prohibited from using medical marijuana for themselves.
Up to 5 dispensaries are to be established in Florida. They may deliver to qualified patients.
Cannabis strains must be at least 10% CBD and a maximum of 0.8% THC. Those with terminal illnesses may obtain strains higher in THC, but must do so from an appropriately-licensed dispensary.
No more than 5 state-licensed dispensaries to be operational at any one time.
Possession amounts for patients to be determined by medical need.
There is no reciprocity with other states.
Possession or sale without remuneration of 20 grams or less of cannabis without a valid medical marijuana card is a misdemeanor, with incarceration of up to 1 year and/or a $1,000 dollar fine. Repeat offenses may attract higher sentences.
Possession of any more than 20 grams without a Florida-issued medical marijuana card is a felony and can bring up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000.
Possession of more the 25 pounds brings a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years, increasing to 7 years for more than 2,000 pounds. Mandatory sentences and fines increase the more cannabis a person has in their possession.
Physicians wishing to recommend cannabis in Florida must complete a 2-hour course and examination offered by the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association.
Conviction causes a driver’s license suspension of 1 year.