In 2014, Florida governor Rick Scott signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act into law. The legislation provides a framework — managed by the Department of Health—which sanctions the use of low-THC cannabis for medical purposes. Dried marijuana that contains 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychoactive componentTHC) is considered “Low-THC.”
The act authorizes state-licensed physicians to order medical marijuana or low-THC cannabis for patients who have been diagnosed with qualifying conditions, as outlined by the state. Currently, the list of qualifying conditions is limited, and approves Low THC cannabis for “cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms.”
If a patient is suffering from a terminal condition – one for which there is no available cure – they may qualify for medical cannabis, or marijuana products that contain high amounts of THC.
Who is eligible for medical marijuana in Florida?
To qualify for medical cannabis in Florida, patients must meet the following criteria:
- Proof of Florida residency
- Have been treated by their ordering physician for at least three months
- Listed by their doctor in the Compassionate Use Registry
- Diagnosed with a “terminal” condition that is verified by their doctor and confirmed by a separate, independent board-certified physician who specializes in that condition.
- Considered other available treatments currently approved by the FDA
- Provided written, informed consent for the use of an investigational medication, product or device.
- Secured documentation from his or her doctor certifying that these requirements have been met
Locating a medical cannabis doctor
The Florida Department of Health allows only state-licensed doctors who have undergone medical cannabis training to prescribe Low THC and medical cannabis for patients. The list of medical marijuana doctors was revised on July 29, 2016 and is updated every Friday.
6 FL medical marijuana dispensaries
Under the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, Florida has approved the opening of six dispensaries to supply approved residents with low THC marijuana and medical cannabis. At present, Trulieve – located in Tallahassee – is the only operating dispensary.
- Surterra Therapeutics, located in Hillsborough County
- Knox Nursery, located in Orange County
- Modern Health Concepts, located in Miami-Dade County
- Grandiflora (also known as San Felasco Nurseries), located in Alachua County
- Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, located in Alacahua County
- Trulieve, located in Gadsden County
Restrictions for medical cannabis use
Under law, qualifying patients are not allowed to use low-THC and/or medical cannabis products in the following areas:
- In public areas including public transportation
- In a state correctional institution
- In their place of employment if use is restricted
- On the grounds of a preschool, primary school or secondary school
Medical cannabis legislation in Florida
This coming November will be pivotal in determining the future of medical marijuana in Florida. On November 8, voters will have the opportunity to revisit “Amendment 2,” which would legalize marijuana for a variety of debilitating medical conditions such as AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma and post-traumatic stress disorder – to name a few.
With impending changes in legislation and more dispensaries slated to open, Modern Canna Science strives to be Florida’s leading provider of medical cannabinoid testing, helping to ensure patients receive only the highest quality products. For more information about our cannabis testing services, please call (863) 999-9150.
Additional Resources About Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Florida:
- Green Rush Daily, How to Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Florida