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How To Get A Medical Card In Florida

Summary: 

  • Medical marijuana is legal in Florida. 
  • Low-THC medical marijuana (less than .8% THC and 10% or more CBD) is legal in Florida. 
  • Qualified patients can get their Florida medical marijuana card from approved, certified medical marijuana clinics and physicians. 
  • Full-time and part-time Florida residents with qualifying conditions can get a Florida mmj card. 
  • You can have a 70-day supply of medical cannabis in Florida. 
  • You can’t possess over 4 ounces of medical marijuana. 
  • Florida dispensaries don’t accept out-of-state cards. 
  • It’s illegal to transport medical marijuana out of Florida across state lines in your car or on a plane, but current TSA guidance advises TSA officers not to look specifically for medical cannabis. 
  • You can’t use medical marijuana while driving a car, boat, flying a plane, on school grounds, or in public places. 
  • You have to be 18 years of age to be a qualified MMJ patient in Florida. 
  • Medical marijuana caregivers in Florida have to be age 21 or older. 
  • You have to renew your Florida medical marijuana card every year. 
  • You can legally buy medical cannabis at licensed dispensaries in Florida, including RISE Cannabis Dispensaries.  
  • Telehealth or telemedicine appointments for medical cannabis were authorized during the COVID-19 crisis to renew your medical marijuana card in Florida. 
  • You have to be seen in-person to get your initial approval as a Florida medical cannabis patient. 
  • You can’t grow your own cannabis legally in Florida, with or without a medical card. 

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Is marijuana legal in Florida?  

Recreational marijuana use is not legal in Florida, but Florida voters said “yes” to medical marijuana in 2016, and Florida’s medical marijuana law finally went into effect in March 2019. Florida is one of the U.S. states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes 

But, Florida laws require you to have a FL medical marijuana card. You need to qualify for and receive a Florida medical cannabis card to visit a dispensary and obtain and legally use medical marijuana. 

There aren’t any restrictions on the type of cannabis you can be prescribed if you have a qualifying medical condition and receive a Florida medical marijuana card.. Keep reading for the details of Florida cannabis laws along with your rights and responsibilities. 

Florida Medical Marijuana Laws 

Marijuana laws in Florida can be complicated, but qualified patients should remember that the law gives them the right to receive a Florida Medical Marijuana card. 

The Legal Definition Of “Medical Marijuana” 

According to Florida cannabis laws, “medical marijuana” means any type of cannabis or marijuana that has been “authorized by a physician certification.”  

Medical cannabis needs to be purchased from a medical marijuana treatment center or dispensary.  

Marijuana means any part of the cannabis plant, including leaves, seeds, resin, and flowers.  

Medical cannabis in Florida also includes compounds, salts, derivatives, mixtures, or plant preparation that is provided through a medical marijuana treatment center. 

In plain English, if you’re a medical marijuana patient in Florida and you buy legal medical cannabis from a dispensary and use it according to the law, you are using medical marijuana legally. 

Difference Between Medical Marijuana And Low-THC Cannabis In Florida 

You may have heard about Low-THC cannabis. This type of cannabis has minimal THC, the compound that produces a “high” effect. It was legalized for medical purposes in Florida in 2014. 

Low-THC Cannabis in Florida is defined as “cannabis whose dried flowers have no more than 0.8% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and at least 10% CBD (Cannabidiol) by weight.”    

Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Florida? 

Medical marijuana is legal for qualifying individuals in Florida who have eligible medical conditions as diagnosed by a qualified physician. Permanent or temporary Florida residents can qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card if they have qualifying medical conditions.   

Cannabis Possession & Purchasing Limits 

Purchasing 

Qualified Florida medical marijuana patients may purchase up to a 70-day supply of medical cannabis products. They can’t buy over the 4-ounce medical marijuana possession limit. 

Possession 

Same as purchasing: Qualified medical marijuana patients can possess up to a 70-day supply as determined by their qualified physician. However, they can’t have over 4 ounces at one time. 

Reciprocity 

Do Florida Dispensaries Accept Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards? 

Florida medical marijuana dispensaries don’t accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. But there is a provision in the law that accommodates temporary Florida residents who live in the state for part of the year. 

Which States Accept Florida Mmj Cards? 

  • Arkansas and Rhode Island will accept Florida MMJ Cards for purchase as well as possession 
  • A number of states allow possession to holders of a MMJ Florida card in various amounts 
  • If you travel to one of the ten states where recreational cannabis is legal, you can possess and use medical marijuana legally there within state limits and regulations. 

Can Seasonal Residents Apply For A Card? 

  • Florida is famous for its “snowbird” population, but if you’re visiting for any reason, the answer is “yes” you can apply for a FL medical marijuana card. Seasonal residents who live a minimum of 31 consecutive days in Florida and maintain a temporary Florida residence, are eligible to apply for a card. 

Exporting & Traveling 

Exporting medical marijuana across state lines from Florida is a felony because federal law still prohibits cannabis use. Legal advisors say that the law is “cut and dry” because the federal law is clear.  

Can I have medical marijuana in my car? 

Yes, but it must be in its original packaging from the dispensary. Medical marijuana may not be used in a vehicle and as we mentioned, federal law says it may not be transported across state lines. 

Can I board a plane with medical marijuana from Florida? 

The short answer is no. Don’t forget that transporting cannabis across the state could result in federal criminal prosecution. Please always check state laws before travelling. 

Medical Marijuana Driving Laws In Florida (DUI) 

“Driving under the influence” of cannabis is treated the same under the law as a DUI caused by alcohol in Florida. Whether a driver is under the influence of medical cannabis will be determined by the officer’s evaluation of the driver’s Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST).  

If the driver fails the SFST, a blood or urine sample will be taken to determine the presence of THC.  

A first conviction for DUI (marijuana) can result in up to 6 months prison time and a fine of $500 to $1000. 

In general, penalties for a marijuana DUI in Florida are the same as DUI (alcohol) with progressively severe punishment for subsequent convictions.  

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Where can I use marijuana products in Florida? 

Medical marijuana patients in Florida can’t use cannabis in the following locations:  

  • On the grounds of any preschool, primary or secondary school 
  • In the workplace (unless permitted by the employee) 
  • On a school bus 
  • In public places 
  • In a vehicle 
  • In an aircraft 
  • On a motorboat 
  • In a Florida correctional institution 

[Text Wrapping Break]Boating is a time-honored pastime in Florida, but it isn’t legal to use medical cannabis while driving a Florida boat, just as you shouldn’t drink alcohol and drive a boat.  

Marijuana can be consumed in private residence. 

Which Medical Cannabis Products Are Legal In Florida? 

If you’ve looked into medical marijuana laws in some states, you’ll find out that some of them don’t allow people to smoke cannabis flower or any other type of smoked or vaped cannabis. That’s not the case in Florida.  

Smoking cannabis is legal for qualified medical marijuana patients with FL medical cannabis cards. 

Here are the types of medical marijuana products that are legal in Florida: 

  • Flower/Smokable Cannabis 
  • Concentrates and Oils 
  • Tinctures 
  • Capsules 
  • Rubs/Ointments 
  • Edibles 

[Text Wrapping Break]One thing to keep in mind about the types of legal medical marijuana in Florida: it’s not legal to have any “edible” that has THC in it that isn’t prepared by a legal medical marijuana dispensary. The state law technically says you can’t make your own brownies or cannabutter at home. 

Smoking Medical Cannabis 

Although some states limit or prohibit medical marijuana smoking, Florida is no longer one of them. On March 18, 2019, the Senate Bill 182 was filled allowing smokable forms of medical marijuana. Smoked cannabis uses pipes, rolling papers and other inhalation devices to ignite the dried flower and create a smoke which is inhaled.  

How Smoking Medical Marijuana In Florida Became Legal 

Florida initially legalized low-THC cannabis in 2014. Then, the state expanded use for higher-THC levels of medical marijuana for terminally ill patients in 2016.  

Floridians overwhelmingly passed a state Constitutional amendment in 2017 to allow medical marijuana. However, Florida’s governor at the time signed a law banning all smoking of marijuana, against the wishes of the state’s voters. 

Also in 2017, Florida’s Senate Bill 8A, the Medical Use of Marijuana Act, was passed. The Act doesn’t specify limits on either THC or CBD content of cannabis and sets guidelines for its medical prescribing, medical marijuana cards, and dispensaries. 

In March 2019, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed the law completely legalizing medical marijuana use in the state. He said, “Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016.” Three years after Florida’s voters said they wanted legal cannabis for medical purposes, legislative and court challenges were overturned and medical marijuana use, including smoking, became fully legal in Florida. 

Vaping Marijuana 

Can I use a marijuana vape in Florida?  

A vape or vaporizer is a device which heats a cannabis concentrate or oil just to the point that it releases the cannabinoids they contain as an inhalable vapor. This method has a very quick onset of beneficial effects: approximately 90 seconds. If you have a legal FL medical marijuana card and have been prescribed medical cannabis for a qualifying condition, you can use a THC vape. You must still obey all of the other laws regarding use of cannabis in public places, schools, your car, or your boat. 

Public Smoking: Can I smoke medical cannabis in Florida in public?  

No: smoking of medical marijuana is prohibited in public places.            

How to get a medical marijuana card in Florida? 

If you have a qualifying medical condition, you can receive your FL medical cannabis card from a qualified and authorized medical marijuana physician. 

Do I Need An MMJ Card In Florida? 

If you need to use Florida medical cannabis to help you with a medical condition, you can only receive help if you have a medical marijuana card. A Florida MMJ card is required in order to visit a dispensary, buy medical cannabis, and use medical marijuana to help your condition. 

What are the qualifying conditions to get a Florida medical cannabis card? 

Florida’s medical marijuana law identifies the qualifying conditions to receive a medical marijuana card. You can visit a medical marijuana doctor and receive a card if you have one or more of the following medical conditions: 

  • ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) 
  • Cancer 
  • Crohn’s Disease 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Glaucoma 
  • HIV/AIDS 
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Parkinson’s Disease 
  • PTSD 

You can also receive a medical marijuana card if you have chronic non-malignant pain, terminal illnesses or conditions, and depression, anxiety, or migraine headaches. 

Patient Qualification & Registry 

So, if you have a condition that qualifies you to get a medical marijuana card in Florida, how do you do it? You need to be 18 years of age or older and have a qualifying medical condition to get a medical marijuana card in Florida. Here’s what you need to know: 

Qualification 

First, you’ll need to visit a qualified physician. They’ll assess your need for medical marijuana. The physician will determine your need based on the qualifying conditions that you present. Your medical records and a written statement from your regular doctor can help the medical marijuana physician to understand your qualifications and how medical marijuana can help you. 

After the medical marijuana doctor has conducted their review and assessed your need, they will make a recommendation to the Florida Department of Health advising them of your need for treatment.  

Once you’ve had your medical marijuana appointment, you’ll be contacted by e-mail from the Florida Department of Health. They’ll ask you to create an account online. After you create your account, the state will verify your address to make certain that you comply with Florida state residency requirements. Be careful about your address: it turns out that your card could be delayed if there is a difference between the address on your official ID and your application. 

When account set-up is complete and you have sent the required annual state fee of $75, you’ll receive your Florida MMJ card. After you’ve been approved, the Florida Department of Health will provide a temporary use card. You can visit a dispensary with this temporary use card before you receive your permanent card which will include your picture and identifying information. 

Registry 

Once you’ve been approved for your medical marijuana card, your record will be entered into Florida’s medical marijuana use registry. The medical marijuana use registry is a secure database containing data on qualified physicians and patients. 

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Caregiver Qualification & Registry 

If you’re a caregiver and take care of someone with a medical condition that qualifies them to receive medical marijuana in Florida, you can be approved to be a qualified caregiver and provide them with medical cannabis according to their qualified medical needs. Being a caregiver means that you legally can buy, possess, and provide medical cannabis for the person you’re taking care of. You are acting as the legal representative of the patient.  

Qualification as a medical cannabis caregiver 

The steps to become a legal medical marijuana caregiver in Florida are similar to the ones that adult medical marijuana patients take.  

  • First, you need to be over age 21 
  • You also need to be taking care of a patient (child or adult) who has a qualifying condition.  
  • You cannot be a qualified physician or employed by any medical marijuana treatment center 
  • The patient needs to be examined by a licensed physician who’s qualified to recommend medical marijuana 
  • You need to apply and be approved 
  • You also need to successfully complete the Florida Department of Health’s caregiver certification course 
  • If you’re not closely related to the patient (spouse, parent, child), you’ll also need to pass a background check 

Medical Cannabis Caregiver Registry 

Once you complete all of the requirements to become a medical cannabis caregiver, you’ll be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR), a secure database containing data on qualified physicians, caregivers, and patients. 

Where And How Can I Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Florida? 

There are a number of dedicated medical marijuana clinics that have qualified physicians associated with them. A medical marijuana clinic can streamline the process of getting your medical marijuana card.  

Physician assessments can be done at the clinic locations. In addition, due to restrictions resulting from COVID-19, physician assessments can also be done online. The clinic submits the physician’s approval to the Florida Department of Health. 

Potential patients can locate a list of currently qualified physicians on Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use website and contact them on their own. 

What Documents Are Required To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Florida? 

Whether you’re a part-time resident or a full-time Florida resident, you’ll need to prove your identity to receive a FL medical cannabis card. 

Here are the documents you’ll need to go through the process of getting a Florida MMJ card: 

  • Valid Florida Driver’s License or Florida State ID card 
  • For Part-Time Residents: Valid Out of State ID or Passport along with proof of Florida residency as shown by a utility bill, a lease or an automobile or voter registration card 
  • Valid Florida State ID Card or Florida Driver’s License ID number. 
  • Valid passport or Out of State ID with temporary DMV form 
  • Expired Florida ID with temporary DMV form 
  • Valid other Government-issued ID 
  • Valid Resident Card for Florida 
  • Temporary DMV form with any photo ID 
  • Military Card with proof of residency 

A birth certificate isn’t acceptable for a medical marijuana card in Florida, and neither is a social security card. 

If you’re a seasonal resident, you’ll need to provide a proof of address like a mortgage statement or residential lease, and a utility bill, bank statement, or government mail that shows your seasonal Florida address. 

How Much Does A Medical Marijuana Card Usually Cost in Florida? 

You’ll need to be aware of the costs associated with getting your FL mmj card and be prepared for your physician’s visit and the annual fee to the State of Florida. 

Here are the estimated costs of going through the medical marijuana card approval process in Florida: 

  • Your first visit to qualified physician is typically $150-$200 
  • The State of Florida’s annual fee is $75 
  • You have follow-up appointments which are required every 210 days after you have your first appointment. These qualified physician visits are usually between $75-$150 [Text Wrapping Break] 

How Often Do I Need To Renew My Florida Medical Marijuana Card? 

You must renew your Florida MMJ card annually.  

Here’s how it works: 

You will receive an email from the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use 45 days prior to your card’s expiration informing you of the need to renew.  

You can complete the online instructions to renew your card and submit the $75 fee annual fee. Alternatively, you can complete and mail in a hand-written form, also with the annual fee. 

What Can I Do With A Florida Mmj Card? 

You can go to any Florida state licensed dispensary to purchase medical marijuana products. You can use the products as specified by a physician and within state law. 

Where Can I Legally Buy Medical Marijuana In Florida? 

You can legally buy medical marijuana at a licensed, authorized medical marijuana dispensary in Florida. RISE Cannabis has seven locations in Florida where you can buy medical marijuana with your Florida medical cannabis card. 

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Florida Medical Marijuana FAQ 

Who can access my medical marijuana records? Are they private? 

Florida’s medical marijuana registry and database are secure and private. Your records can only be accessed by the following people: 

  • Your physician 
  • Florida Department of Health 
  • Law enforcement 
  • Medical marijuana treatment center staff 

Can I get fired for consuming medical marijuana in Florida? 

Although medical marijuana is legal in Florida, the state also has “drug-free workplace” laws that state that any employer can establish or enforce a drug-free workplace. So, the answer is yes: if you are in a drug-free workplace and your employer tests for cannabis use, you can still be fired even if you’re a medical marijuana patient. 

Is it mandatory to register with the Florida office of medical marijuana use?  

If you are a qualified medical marijuana patient and want to legally use medical cannabis, yes, it’s mandatory to register with the Florida Department of Health’s medical marijuana registry. In other words, yes, you need to get your Florida medical marijuana card. 

How long does the Florida mmj qualification process take? 

Based on average reports, it can take between 9 and 10 days to be approved for a medical marijuana card in Florida. 

Can I grow cannabis myself? 

It’s legal for you to purchase medical marijuana and use it as your doctor has prescribed if you have an mmj card in Florida, but it isn’t legal for you to grow your own medical marijuana.  

Does Florida allow medical cannabis delivery? 

Yes. Florida allows dispensaries to deliver medical cannabis to approved patients. 

Rise Dispensaries at Oviedo and Deerfield Beach have delivery menus. 

Are call/video appointments with mmj doctors legitimate? 

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis released the Emergency Order 20-002, with which he authorized telehealth appointments for medical cannabis during the COVID-19 crisis and emergency follow-up appointments are available. You still need to have an in-person visit for your initial consultation.  

Can you go into a dispensary without a card in Florida? 

No. Only people with patient or caregiver cards are allowed in medical marijuana dispensaries. 

Who is qualified to prescribe medical marijuana? 

“Any doctor” can’t prescribe medical marijuana in Florida. The physician needs to have an unrestricted medical license, and they also need to take a training course and pass the state’s exam. In order to be authorized to prescribe medical cannabis in Florida, they also can’t be involved with the medical marijuana industry, either as part of a dispensary or a cannabis testing laboratory. 

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