The laws on smoking marijuana have changed a lot in recent times all over the USA, including Florida. On March 18, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed in the “Medical Use of Marijuana” with Senate bill 182. Over 70% of Florida voters had voted in favor of this bill being passed.
What does this mean for medical marijuana patients?
Medical marijuana patients can now get cannabis from dispensaries in Florida. If you have a prescription then marijuana can be purchased and smoked legally under Senate bill 182. The medical benefits of medical marijuana have been recognized under Florida marijuana law.
Up to 2.5 oz can be purchased at a time by patients smoking medical marijuana, who can also possess up to 4 oz in total.
However, you can’t walk straight into a dispensary and demand they give you some cannabis. There are restrictions and strict guidelines about the issue of medical marijuana, and how it can be consumed.
Under this bill, there are some restrictions to what constitutes a medical marijuana patient and what you need to do to be prescribed the substance.
Getting a prescription involves speaking to a doctor. This doctor should be certified by the state to prescribe marijuana. You will have an examination and to discuss the conditions and symptoms you are struggling with. The doctor will be able to discuss medication and treatments which have not worked for you before deciding on whether prescribing cannabis is suitable.
Conditions which can lead to prescriptions for smoking medical marijuana are limited. Some of these conditions include anxiety, ALS, cancer, MS, PTSD, Crohns, epilepsy and arthritis. Consulting with a doctor will be the best way to discover how severe your condition is, and the current treatment you are receiving may be changed to medical marijuana.
The decision is not as simple as a list of conditions that are suitable, the doctor’s expertise and evaluation of your symptoms are vital to the decision.
If the doctor has signed off on your medical marijuana requirement, you can apply to the Florida Department of Health for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card. You are added to the Compassionate Use Registry in the state, and your card has a full prescription for 30 weeks. After this time, you will need to speak to a doctor again to sign off on your continued use of marijuana.
Restrictions also apply to smoking itself. For instance, you are not allowed to administer your marijuana in a public place such as a workplace.
The packaging that marijuana comes from should be plain white. Dispensaries have strict guidelines on this, so you will know whether it is a legitimate, medical-issued marijuana product.
Restrictions on How Much Marijuana You Can Possess
Patients who have been prescribed medical marijuana still have restrictions on how much they can possess. The rough guideline is that 4 oz at a time may be possessed. The physician or dispensary can order up to six supplies of marijuana per certification. After these six, you will need to be certified once more.
Each order is designed to be 35 days. A 35-day order is capped at 2.5 oz of medical marijuana for smoking.
Where can I purchase medical marijuana for smoking?
In Florida, the dispensaries and sources of marijuana are closely monitored and regulated.
You can only purchase marijuana for medical use at certain dispensaries which must be approved by the state. There are around 100 around the state.
There is no reason to buy from dispensaries that haven’t been approved or from other sources. If you do, you also risk being cited by the police. Your marijuana prescription is only suitable for use in these dispensaries.
The dispensaries in question will sell marijuana in a variety of different forms, from THC oils to patches and other products to allow you to ingest the marijuana in a way that suits you. Smoking medical marijuana under Senate Bill 182 has only recently been approved as a method.
June 28, 2019, Medical Marijuana Use Registry Update
The Medical Marijuana Use Registry has been updated to allow smoking to administer marijuana. Other administration such as THC oils were previously required, but smoking marijuana for medical reasons is now possible. Under the physician user guide on Florida’s official ‘know the facts’ site about MMJ, you can learn more about the administration of the drug.
Under 18 Patients
Patients who are not yet 18 years of old are not able to get certified to take marijuana for medical usage in the vast majority of cases. However, if the patient is terminally ill, and a second opinion is sought by a pediatrician who has been certified by the Florida state government, the patient may be issued with a marijuana card.