Up until November of 2016, Florida medical marijuana use was dictated by the 2014 Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. Under this act, only those suffering from severe muscle spasms, seizures, cancer, or a terminal condition not treatable were able to purchase medical marijuana for their treatment. Even those who qualified to use medical marijuana could only purchase low-THC varieties of medical marijuana unless their life expectancy was less than one year.
Under Amendment 2, the list of conditions that are deemed acceptable to treat with medical marijuana has been increased to 10. These include PTSD, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV, AIDS, Crohn’s Disease, Epilepsy, ALS, and cancer. If you have one of these conditions and are interested in getting access to legal medical marijuana to be used in your treatment plan, you must get a state-issued ID card. Here is the process for obtaining one if you live in Miami.
Find a Licensed Marijuana Physician
You must be seen by a licensed physician who is qualified to recommend medical marijuana as the first step in your journey to receive a medical marijuana ID card. You can find approved physicians in the Office of Compassionate Use site. Once you have chosen a physician, schedule an appointment with them to talk about your condition.
The physician will take a detailed medical inventory on you and determine if you have a documented case involving one of the 10 conditions. He or she will also find out if you have tried other treatments for your condition. For example, if you have PTSD, the physician will find out if you have tried counseling, anti-depressants, medication, therapy, or other prescription medications to treat symptoms. He or she will also ask why these treatments have not produced satisfying results to determine if medical marijuana would be a more suitable option.
It’s important to realize that even though Amendment 2 has passed, it does not give everyone a free pass to buy and use medical marijuana. Unlike other states like California or Colorado, Florida still has very strict laws that govern the use of marijuana. In other states where medical marijuana is legal, nearly any condition that causes chronic pain causes anxiety or has an otherwise detrimental effect on quality of life can qualify an individual to receive a medical marijuana recommendation. In Florida, only the ten conditions listed above can qualify an individual to apply for a state-issued ID card. Though it’s likely these laws will expand and include more conditions in the future, the current legislation limits use to this relatively narrow range of conditions.
Apply for Your MMJ ID Card
If it is determined that you do have one of the ten approved conditions and that you have tried other forms of treatment, your doctor may then write a recommendation for medical marijuana. You can then use this recommendation along with the proper forms and application fees to apply for your state-issued ID card. If approved, your ID card will arrive in the mail and be good for up to one year.
Buying Medical Marijuana with Your ID Card
With a state-issued ID card, you can legally buy medical marijuana in the state of Florida at any approved dispensary. You cannot buy marijuana off the street, from an unauthorized dealer or grower, or grow marijuana in your home or place of business. When you find an authorized dispensary, you will work with qualified individuals who can look at your physician’s recommendation and help direct you to the type, strain, and potency of medical marijuana that can best treat your condition.
Under Amendment 2, smoked forms of marijuana are still illegal. With your ID card, you will be able to purchase medical marijuana in the form of oils, creams, tinctures, or flowers that can be made into edibles or vaped. Oils can be dissolved under the tongue to produce maximum effects while creams can be rubbed on the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream. Edible flowers can be baked into brownies or other goods or used to make teas or other forms of consumable marijuana. If you choose to vape medical marijuana, ask the staff at the dispensary about the best type of vaporizer for your needs to get the maximum impact out of your medical marijuana purchase.
The most critical step to getting your medical marijuana ID card in Miami is to find and schedule an appointment with a licensed medical marijuana physician. As the law expands, there will be many shops that open online or in ‘medical offices’ that are not licensed to recommend marijuana. These scam clinics can easily take your money and leave you with a phony ID card or no card at all. Do your research when you are looking for a medical marijuana physician and choose one that is licensed by the state of Florida and that has actual physicians on site to perform your medical evaluation. You must be seen by a qualified medical marijuana physician in the state of Florida to move the process of obtaining legal medical marijuana forward.
Do you have one of the ten listed conditions that are now recommended for medical marijuana use in the state of Florida? If so, ensure that you have proper documentation and access to medical records before you schedule an appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor. The more information and documentation you are able to bring into your appointment, the better your chances are for receiving a recommendation to purchase and use medical marijuana in your treatment program. During your appointment, make sure you ask plenty of questions about the types and potencies of medical marijuana that best treat your condition and how to determine dosage, times of day to use the marijuana, and possible side effects of your mmj treatment. Though side effects are usually mild and much less dangerous than those from prescription medications, you could still experience fatigue, dizziness, a ‘high’, or even some increased anxiety. These are all normal and can be counteracted by hydrating, adjusting dosage, or trying a different type of marijuana.
If you are interested in trying medical marijuana to treat your health condition, schedule an appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor today. If you have questions about receiving your mmj card so you can legally purchase marijuana, visit us at mmjdoctors.com.