Medical Cannabis Laws in Florida
Up until very recently, there were only a very few individuals in Florida who could legally buy cannabis to treat a medical condition. The drug only available to those who had a terminal condition under the Compassionate Care Act and even those who qualified could only buy medical weed with a very low THC component. While the CBD that was present in this marijuana could still help with many conditions, THC is often the key to helping those with depression and chronic pain.
Fortunately for those who are interested in using medical pot to deal with pain, neurological disorders, anxiety, or tremors, medical marijuana is now more widely available under Amendment 2, which was passed and went into effect in November of 2016.
What Recently Changed in Florida Medical Cannabis Law?
Amendment 2 broadens the categories of those who can benefit from the use of cannabis to treat a medical condition. Whereas this drug was only available to those with a terminal illness prior to the passing of the law, it is now legal for those with ten qualifying conditions to apply for a state-issued ID that will allow them to purchase medical weed from an approved dispensary. Those who are approved can also access marijuana with a higher THC component than was available under the Compassionate Care Act. THC can often help with conditions that are anxiety or pain related and the right percentage of THC in a strain of medical cannabis can ensure that its full power as a medicine is realized. Many experts recommend around a 15% THC content to activate the ‘entourage effect’ that refers to what happens with the more than 80 cannabinoids in cannabis all work together to fight pain and disease.
Who Does the New Law Impact?
The new law impacts anyone who suffers from the 10 conditions now approved to be treated with medical cannabis. These include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, epilepsy, PTSD, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. These are considered ‘debilitating medical conditions’ under Amendment 2 and may qualify individuals suffering from them to buy medical pot from an approved dispensary.
Those who suffer from one of the ten approved conditions must prove to a physician that use of medical weed would provide more benefits that risks for the patient. They may want to see medical records that indicate a treatment history for the disorder and determine whether lifestyle changes, alternative medicines, prescriptions, or other treatments have been attempted by the patient. If they determine that other treatments have been used and have either proven to be ineffective or have detrimental side effects, they may recommend the use of medical marijuana.
The new law does not impact those who have a medical condition not listed above and does not affect those who want to purchase marijuana for recreational use. It also does not affect those who wish to grow marijuana in their homes. It is still illegal for those who have not been sanctioned by the state of Florida to grow or sell medical marijuana.
What Types of Medical Pot Are Covered Under Amendment 2?
Pot that can be smoked is still illegal in Florida under Amendment 2. Those who qualify for a medical recommendation and receive a state-issued ID card may buy medical pot at an approved dispensary in the form of oils, lotions, pills, and flowers that can be vaped or used to create edibles. Cannabis plants that can be grown in a patient’s home are still illegal under Amendment 2.
Amendment 2 does not change Florida’s recreational drug possession laws. You can still be arrested for driving under the influence of pot or smoking cannabis in public. The law also does not affect federal law, which completely prohibits marijuana possession and distribution.
Can Anyone Grow Medical Cannabis Under the New Law?
Under Amendment 2, there are only seven nurseries across the state that are authorized to grow and cultivate medical cannabis. These nurseries have partnered with approved companies to process, sell, and market their products to dispensaries. Some of the nurseries plan to open their own dispensaries where they can sell their product in the form of tinctures or oils. Anyone not approved to grow or sell marijuana by the state of Florida may not do so under Amendment 2.
How Do I Qualify to Buy Medical Weed in Florida?
To buy medical weed in Florida under the new state laws, you must get a state-issued ID card. To get one of these cards, you must schedule an appointment with a physician who has been approved to recommend medical weed. When you meet with this licensed physician, he or she will go over your medical background and determine if you suffer from one of the 10 conditions now covered under Amendment 2. It will also be determined if you have tried other treatments for your condition and if the benefits of using medical weed in your treatment will outweigh any risks.
If approved, the physician will write you a recommendation that you can then use to apply for your state-issued ID card with the Department of Health. Along with the recommendation, you will need to prove that you are a Florida resident and pay the appropriate fees. If approved, you will receive your state-issued ID card in the mail and be able to use it for one year. You may use your card to purchase medical weed in the form of oils, tinctures, lotions, or flowers at any dispensary approved by the state of Florida.
If you have one of the 10 medical conditions or diseases now approved under Amendment 2 and are interested in learning more about using medical marijuana to treat your condition, you should see a licensed medical marijuana doctor. He or she can help walk you through the steps to obtaining a state-issued ID and help identify what strains and forms of medical marijuana will be best for your treatment. To schedule an appointment with a qualified physician, visit mmjdoctor.com today.
Marijuana contains over 60 active compounds called cannabinoids. It also contains the highly popular compound – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is associated with the “high” effect of smoking marijuana and another non-psychoactive compound known cannabidiol (CBD) that has opposite effects.