Finding out how to get a medical marijuana card in Florida can be a tricky process. In January 2017, the Florida state government passed Amendment 2, which legalized medical (not recreational) marijuana.
According to Amendment 2, “individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a doctor” are able to buy medical marijuana. So, what qualifies as debilitating? According to the state, qualifying medical conditions are:
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- And any other condition that causes “the same severity/symptoms”
These conditions must be diagnosed and treated by a physician. It also makes sense that a physician can recommend the medical card.
Step one – How to get a medical marijuana card in Florida
First, visit one of the many medical marijuana doctors in Florida. To make it easy for citizens, Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use website can be used to find a doctor. Simply go to the website then click on “Physician’s Search Tool.” The website only includes doctors who have taken the state’s required training in order to become certified.
Over 2,300 Florida doctors are on the list – so chances are you can find a doctor near you. Plus, they can coach you fully on how to get a medical marijuana card in Florida. Best of all, these doctors are in a range of specialties, including oncology, dermatology, and even gynecology.
The data is broken down by county so that you can easily find the resources closest to you. When you’re on the website, double-check to make sure that the physician’s license is still “clear and active.” If a doctor has a public complaint against him or is under disciplinary action, then they won’t be able to make the recommendation.
It’s also important to note that you must be a legal resident of Florida.
No medical tourism is allowed in the Sunshine state. This isn’t like Colorado or European countries like Amsterdam. To prove that you are a resident of the state, documentation such as a driver’s license, state ID, lease or mortgage statement, or utility bills is required.
Step – Consult with your doctor.
If you have any of the qualifying conditions, then it’s important to consider medical treatment as a potential option for your needs. If you and your doctor agree that it’s the right treatment for you, then your doctor will add your name to the Florida Marijuana Use Registry. Like all medical data, your name will be protected. The Department of Health maintains this list and references your name on it before approving a medical marijuana card.
Before scheduling an appointment with a doctor, consider what kind of role you want your physician to play. If you want the quickest path to getting a card, then there are plenty of medical marijuana doctors in Florida. However, if you want a doctor who will partner with you on an ongoing basis to evaluate marijuana’s effectiveness on your health, then you might want to be more selective. Generally, having a primary physician is good for this kind of long-term health partnership.
Step 3 – Apply for your medical marijuana card!
After you meet with your physician, it’s time to submit your application online. In some cases, your physician will be able to submit it for you. Once the form is completed, you can submit it on the Office of Medical Marijuana Use website.
It’s important to note that the Department of Health can take up to 8 weeks before reviewing your application. For most patients, this is the slowest part of the process. You can have a flawless application, but the department takes a long time for everyone. If you have a condition that worsens over time, this means that you shouldn’t put off a visit to see your regular doctor.
Costs for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card
There are two parts to the cost of the card itself. The application requires a payment to the Department of Health. This can be paid online via credit or debit card, but the state also permits people to mail a check to the department. The registration fee is $75. Since the card is only good for one year, you would need to pay the annual renewal fee for as long as you need the treatment. The annual rewal is also $75.
We recommend that you put your annual renewal date on your calendar. You’ll also want to mark 45 days prior to the renewal date to actually start the renewal process. This ensures that you aren’t left with any gap in coverage and don’t have to sacrifice your quality of life waiting for a renewed card.