FAQs & Help Center
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We receive many different questions about our practice and qualifying patients. Below you will find the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. Should there be a question that you have that is not listed, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
What conditions qualify me for the Florida Medical Marijuana Program?
Qualifying conditions are specified within the state Constitution are as follows:
Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
A Terminal Condition
Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated
*Chronic pain may only be a qualifying condition if the patient has another qualifying condition.
Am I allowed to smoke medical marijuana?
Florida now allows for access to “whole flower” medicine which includes the ability to smoke Medical Cannabis. The state has added requirements which include additions to the informed consent and a physical discussion with the Doctor as to the hazards of smoking. The state also is asking if other routes have been attempted, and how effective they have been. This may require a short period of time where the other routes are advised initially, and then the “smokable” option added.
Can I grow medical marijuana if I have a legal order from a doctor?
No. There are no current provisions in Florida law that allow personal growing of marijuana, even for qualified patients.
Do I have to be a resident of Florida to receive treatment?
No. The state does have specific residency requirements for patients, but the law allows for the certification of “seasonal residents” with debilitating illnesses. As long as you reside within the state of Florida for at least 31 consecutive days each calendar year, you are able to qualify for the program.
How can I become a caregiver or assign one to my care?
Often times, people suffering from chronic and debilitating illnesses require the assistance of another individual for their healthcare needs.
With medical cannabis in Florida, patients have the ability to assign a Legal Representative or Caregiver for themselves.
Under the new law, Caregivers must be at least 21 years of age and (with a few exceptions) can only care for one patient at a time.
If a Caregiver is the parent or legal guardian of a minor patient or the parent or legal guardian of an adult with an intellectual or developmental disability, or if a patient is a registered Hospice patient, more than one Caregiver may be assigned to a patient.
Caregivers must also not be a qualified physician or be employed by (or have economic interest in) a medical marijuana treatment center. Caregivers must agree in writing to assist with the qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana, be registered within the Medical Marijuana Use Registry as a caregiver, successfully complete a biannual caregiver certification course, and pass a background check if they’re not a close relative (spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent, child, or grandchild) of the patient.
Currently, the state allows up to two caregivers (Legal Representatives) to be assigned to patients within the Registry. Caregivers must apply and be approved for a Medical Marijuana Patient ID Card and must supply proof of Legal Representation status (certified birth certificate for minor children, or power of attorney or health care surrogate documentation.)
Because of the implementation of Florida’s new medical cannabis law, we are unsure when the old requirements will be replaced with the new.
How do I get my Florida Medical Marijuana ID card?
The Florida Department of Health has created a system for issuing and renewing Medical Marijuana Registry identification cards for patients and their caregivers. In combination with the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, identification cards will further allow patients and caregivers to quickly demonstrate that they are registered in the Compassionate Use Registry.
Florida rule 64-4.011, F.A.C. requires all patients and legal representatives to have a valid Compassionate Use Registry identification card to obtain low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis, or a cannabis delivery device. To apply for a Compassionate Use Registry identification card, a patient must:
Be a Florida resident,
Be a qualified patient in the Compassionate Use Registry,
Submit a completed application to the Office of Compassionate Use
Patients and caregivers may apply for a Compassionate Use Registry identification card electronically on the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, or mail a completed application to the Office of Compassionate Use. Applicants must have an email address added to their Patient Profile to submit an electronic application.
All applications must be submitted to the Office of Compassionate Use, and must include a full-face, passport-type color photograph taken within 90 day, and a registration fee of $75. Compassionate Use Registry identification cards remain active for one year.
Patients who are minors must designate a legal representative on his or her application, and in the Compassionate Use Registry. Legal representatives must also submit a completed application to the Office of Compassionate Use to obtain a Compassionate Use Registry identification card.
Once a card application has been approved, the patient and legal representative will receive temporary verification from the Office of Compassionate Use sent to their email. This verification will allow patients the ability to purchase their first order of medical cannabis. Approximately 30 days after the receipt of payment, the Office of Compassionate Use will mail a hard plastic identification card to the patient and/or Legal Representative (caregiver).
A patient must have an approved card application prior to filling an order at a dispensing organization.
How does the Florida Medical Marijuana program work?
Individuals suffering from chronic and debilitating illnesses are eligible to receive medical cannabis within the state of Florida.
To begin the process, a patient must have an in-person visit with a Florida physician who is qualified to recommend medical marijuana. In order to provide certifications to patients, a doctor must have an active, unrestricted medical license and must complete a course issued by the Florida Medical Association.
Once the physician has examined the patient, he or she can qualify (or “certify”) them to be able to purchase medical marijuana. After a patient is certified by a physician they must complete a medical marijuana ID card application with the Department of Health. When the Department approves the patient’s ID card application, the patient is legally then able to visit any of the state’s dispensaries or call a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center ("dispensary") to arrange for delivery.
The law requires patients to be re-certified each 210 days, and the physician can certify up to a 70-day supply of cannabis at a time at a maximum daily dose that is yet to be determined by the Department of Health.
I already have a medical marijuana license in another state. Can't I just get one in Florida?
No. There is no reciprocity between states’ medical marijuana programs. Just because you have a license in California, Washington, Michigan, or any other state with a medical marijuana program, doesn’t mean you necessarily qualify in Florida.
I'm traveling to another state where medical marijuana is legal. What do I need to do to get medication?
Different states have different qualification stipulations, but if you’re traveling to a state with a legal medical cannabis program, let us know. We can provide you with a letter of medical necessity signed by your physician that is generally accepted by dispensaries in other states.
How can I get my medicine?
The state of Florida allows whole plant cannabis and in the form of oil forms – such as vapor juices, oil suspensions, encapsulations, sublingual tinctures, topicals, and suppositories. Under the law, edibles will be available soon.
Is Medical Marijuana legal in Florida?
Yes. In November 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved the passage of a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to allow for residents with debilitating illnesses to legally obtain and use medical marijuana.
On June 23, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed SB-8A into law, revising the original Compassionate Use Act (s.381.986) and allowing for the legal expansion of the state’s existing medical marijuana program to conform to the new stipulations set fourth by Amendment 2.
What are acceptable forms of Florida residency proof?
When applying for a medical marijuana patient ID card, an adult resident must provide a copy of his or her valid Florida driver’s license or a copy of a valid Florida identification card.
For patients under the age of 18, the parent or legal guardian must provide the Department with a certified copy of a birth certificate or a current record of registration from a Florida K-12 school. Additionally, the parent or legal guardian must have a valid Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card.
Patients that qualify as “seasonal”, may use two of the following instruments to prove their legal residency status:
A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement.
One proof of residential address from the seasonal resident’s parent, step-parent, legal guardian or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides and a statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her.
A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration in the medical use registry.
A utility bill, not more than 2 months old.
Mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than 2 months old.
Mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, not more than 2 months old.
Any other documentation that provides proof of residential address as determined by department rule.
What can cause me to lose my medical marijuana recommendation?
While the doctor may – at any point – revoke a patient’s certification for cannabis, the Department of Health may suspend or revoke the registration of a qualified patient or caregiver if the qualified patient or caregiver:
Provides misleading, incorrect, false, or fraudulent information to the department;
Obtains a supply of marijuana in an amount greater than the amount authorized by the physician certification;
Falsifies, alters, or otherwise modifies an identification card;
Fails to timely notify the department of any changes to his or her qualified patient status; or
Violates the requirements of this section or any rule adopted under this section
Additionally, the Department of Health has the legal authority to do the following:
The department shall immediately suspend the registration of a qualified patient charged with a violation of chapter 893 until final disposition of any alleged offense. Thereafter, the department may extend the suspension, revoke the registration, or reinstate the registration.
The department shall immediately suspend the registration of any caregiver charged with a violation of chapter 893 until final disposition of any alleged offense. The department shall revoke a caregiver registration if the caregiver does not meet the stipulated requirements.
The department may revoke the registration of a qualified patient or caregiver who cultivates marijuana or who acquires, possesses, or delivers marijuana from any person or entity other than a medical marijuana treatment center.
The department shall revoke the registration of a qualified patient, and the patient’s associated caregiver, upon notification that the patient no longer meets the criteria of a qualified patient.
What if I am not suffering from a Qualifying Condition?
While ten different debilitating conditions are enumerated within the law, the state Constitution and the established law allows physicians the authority to certify patients who are suffering from “medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated” for which the physician believes the benefits to the patient would outweigh the risk.
Because cannabis has had no instances of fatality, has a small and predictable side effect profile, has very few drug interactions, and has shown promise in the treatment for many different ailments, it is easy for the physician to certify a course of cannabis treatment for a wide variety of illnesses upon examination of the patient and review of the patient’s medical history.
For each medical conditions of the same kind or class or as comparable to, the qualifying physician must send to their respective board:
1. Documentation supporting the qualified physician’s opinion that the medical condition is of the same kind or class as the conditions listed in this question.
2. Documentation that establishes the efficacy of marijuana as treatment for the condition.
3. Documentation supporting the qualified physician’s opinion that the benefits of medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for the patient.
4. Any other documentation as required by board rule.
What is the history of Florida's Medical Marijuana program?
In 2014, the Florida Legislature passed the Compassionate Use Act which was the first legal medical cannabis program in the state’s history. The original Compassionate Use Act only allowed for low-THC cannabis (Charlotte’s Web strain) to be dispensed and purchased by patients suffering from cancer and epilepsy.
In 2016, the Legislature passed the Right To Try act which allowed for full potency cannabis to be dispensed to patients suffering from a diagnosed terminal condition.
Also in 2016, the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative was introduced by citizen referendum and passed with a 71.3% majority on November 8. This language amended the state constitution and mandated an expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program.
On June 9, 2017, the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate passed respective legislation to implement the expanded program by replacing large portions of the existing Compassionate Use Act, which officially became law on June 23, 2017.
Where can I find out more about the price & availability of Medical Marijuana in Florida?
Each MMTC (Dispensary) has its own unique product line and pricing structure. Additionally, each Dispensary offers its own discounts and promotions. We advise patients to contact each of the Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to obtain pricing and availability information. Contact information can be found below:
The Botanist shopbotanist.com/
Where is the closest Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinic or Dispensary?
Currently in Florida, there is a vertical integration system in place. This means that the state will grant one license to an organization that allows them to cultivate, process, and dispense cannabis to patients.
Florida has fourteen authorized dispensing organizations:
Liberty Health Sciences
Clinical Policy: Can I provide you with my existing medical records?
Yes, in fact we highly recommend you provide us with as much health information from the past 12 months from your primary care physician and/or specialists as you can. We don’t need labs or diagnostic results, only charted records of your diagnosis.
You can bring these records with you during your initial appointment, or we’ll have you fill out a medical records release when you come in for your appointment that we will fax to your other doctors. Please do not have records sent prior to your first visit with us.
Clinical Policy: Do you accept insurance?
Because cannabis is still prohibited at a Federal level, we are unable to accept medical insurance. We are, however, a legal medical practice and each patient will be provided with a receipt upon payment they can submit to their insurance companies for reimbursement if allowed.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and cash.
Clinical Policy: How much are visits?
Certification visits, which are required each 30 weeks, cost $200.
All new patients are required to return approximately 90-days from their initial certification visit for an office visit. The purpose of this visit is to evaluate each patient’s progress using their medication in relation to their active symptoms.
Recertification visits, which are required each 30 weeks, cost $150.
For all visits, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and cash.
Clinical Policy: How often do I need to see the doctor?
Under Florida law, patients must be seen for an in-person examination at minimum of once every every 30 weeks. Your initial appointment at a cost of $200 with the doctor begins the 30 week timer.
Since we have a duty to assess patient’s treatment and to better ensure a high standard of care, new patients must return for an office visit within 90-days of their initial certification appointment. The cost of this visit is free of charge.
90-days after your initial office visit (180 days after your first appointment), you’ll return for a recertification appointment. The cost of recertification visits is $150, payable by cash or charge.
After your first recertification visit, provided you’re comfortable with your usage and dosage and aren’t undergoing active symptomology of your debilitating condition, we will schedule you for regular recertification visits each 180 days.
Clinical Policy: What can I expect at my first appointment?
For your initial certification appointment, you should arrive 10-15 minutes early. If you haven’t read, and completed your Patient Forms or completed our Online Intake, you’ll need to arrive at least an hour early.
Please also note that free parking is available behind and around our clinic.
Since there is more involved in an initial appointment with our clinic, please allow for 45 minutes to an hour. Should you need a work or school excuse, we can provide one.
When you arrive, we’ll check your paperwork to ensure it’s filled out completely and everything is in order. If you see another doctor for your condition, we’ll have you complete a medical records form so we can send off for information documenting your condition. Then we’ll accept your payment (our services must be paid prior to them being rendered).
From there, you’ll be taken to the exam room and either the doctor or a medical assistant will take your vitals. The doctor will then perform a full physical examination and develop a treatment plan based upon the exam and your health history. Once your exam is complete, we’ll schedule a recertification or office appointment before you leave if we qualify you under the Florida law.
Clinical Policy: What happens if I have to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
Due to the fact we have a high volume of patients who are waiting to be seen, should you need to cancel or reschedule your initial appointment, please give us a call at (239) 208-6676.
Clinical Policy: What is your refund policy?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide refunds for services already rendered.