How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida: A Step-by-Step Guide
Medical marijuana is a natural and effective option for many people who suffer from various medical conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, chronic pain, and more. In Florida, medical marijuana is legal for qualified patients who have a valid medical marijuana card.
A medical marijuana card (or an MMJ card) is a piece of identification that allows you to buy medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary. It also protects you from legal penalties for possessing or using medical marijuana in Florida.
But how do you get a medical marijuana card in Florida? What are the requirements, the process, and the costs involved? In this post, we will answer these questions and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to get your medical marijuana card in Florida.
Step 1: Check if you qualify for medical marijuana in Florida
The first step to getting your medical marijuana card in Florida is to check if you qualify for medical marijuana in Florida. According to the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (also known as Amendment 2), you must meet the following criteria to qualify for medical marijuana in Florida:
- You must be 18 years of age or older (or have parental consent if you are under 18).
- You must have a qualifying medical condition that has been diagnosed by a licensed physician.
- You must be a Florida resident with proof of residency (such as a valid Florida driver’s license or ID card).
The list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana in Florida includes:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed above
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the physician issuing the certification
If you have one of these conditions, you can proceed to the next step. If you are not sure if your condition qualifies, you can consult with a qualified physician who can evaluate your condition and determine if medical marijuana is right for you.
Step 2: Find a qualified physician who can certify your condition
The second step to getting your medical marijuana card in Florida is to find a qualified physician who can certify your condition and enter your information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. A qualified physician is a licensed physician who has completed a 2-hour course and examination on medical marijuana.
You can find a list of qualified physicians on the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) website or use online platforms like Marijuana Doctors or Leafwell that connect you with certified doctors near you.
Once you find a qualified physician, you need to schedule an appointment with them and bring your proof of residency and medical records that document your diagnosis and treatment history. The physician will conduct an in-person physical examination and review your medical history to determine if you qualify for medical marijuana.
If the physician determines that you qualify for medical marijuana, they will enter your information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry and issue you a certification that states:
- Your qualifying medical condition
- The recommended dosage and route of administration of medical marijuana
- The amount of medical marijuana that can be dispensed at one time
- The number of refills authorized
The certification is valid for up to 210 days (or 70 days with two renewals) and must be renewed before it expires. You can only have one certification at a time from one physician.
Step 3: Apply for your medical marijuana card online or by mail
The third step to getting your medical marijuana card in Florida is to apply for your medical marijuana card online or by mail. You can do this after your physician enters your information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
To apply online, you need to visit the OMMU website and create an account using your email address. Then, you need to complete an online application form and upload a passport-style photo and proof of residency. You also need to pay a $75 application fee using a credit card or e-check.
To apply by mail, you need to download and print an application form from the OMMU website and fill it out. Then, you need to attach a passport-style photo and proof of residency and mail them along with a $75 check or money order payable to the Florida Department of Health to:
Office of Medical Marijuana Use PO Box 31313 Tampa, FL 33631-3313
The OMMU will review your application and approve or deny it within 14 days of receiving it. If your application is approved, you will receive an approval email with a temporary medical marijuana card that you can print and use until you receive your physical card in the mail. If your application is denied, you will receive a denial letter with the reason for denial and instructions on how to appeal.
Your medical marijuana card is valid for up to one year from the date of issuance and must be renewed before it expires. You can renew your card online or by mail by following the same steps as above and paying a $75 renewal fee.
Step 4: Buy medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary
The fourth and final step to getting your medical marijuana card in Florida is to buy medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary. A state-licensed dispensary is a facility that has been authorized by the OMMU to cultivate, process, and dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and caregivers.
You can find a list of state-licensed dispensaries on the OMMU website or use online platforms like Weedmaps or Leafly that show you the nearest dispensaries and their menus, prices, and reviews.
To buy medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary, you need to present your medical marijuana card and a valid photo ID. You can only buy medical marijuana that matches your physician’s certification in terms of dosage, route of administration, amount, and refills.
You can buy up to 2.5 ounces of smokable medical marijuana every 35 days and up to 4 ounces of other forms of medical marijuana every 70 days. You can also buy devices that are necessary to administer medical marijuana, such as vaporizers, pipes, or syringes.
You can only buy medical marijuana from one dispensary at a time and you cannot transfer or sell it to anyone else. You can also have your medical marijuana delivered to your home by the dispensary if they offer delivery services.
You can use your medical marijuana in your private residence or in any other place where smoking is allowed. You cannot use your medical marijuana in public places, schools, workplaces, vehicles, or anywhere else where it is prohibited by law.
Getting your medical marijuana card in Florida is not a complicated process, but it does require some time, effort, and money. You need to have a qualifying medical condition, find a qualified physician who can certify your condition, apply for your card online or by mail, and buy your medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary.
By following these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana for your health and well-being. Medical marijuana can help you relieve your symptoms, improve your quality of life, and reduce your reliance on conventional medications or therapies.