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August 6, 2019 by dougsureel 0 Comments

Everything to Know About Using A Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Finding your MMJ Use Registration Identity card in the mail can be a big relief. Finally, you have access to your needed medication. However, you should remember that the guidelines attached to using a medical marijuana card are very thorough. 

These guidelines are efforts (by the government) to ensure that medical marijuana products are only made available to the patients who need them. This means that for anyone who is planning to use a medical marijuana (MMJ) card, there are several factors you need to be aware of. These factors often come up as questions from patients of our registered physicians. 

With these questions in mind, we’ve put together some FAQs which can help you during the process of using your MMJ card. 

Where can I get medical marijuana in Florida?

Once you receive your MMJ Use Registration Identity card, you can contact one of the licensed treatment centres and fill an order, or visit a dispensary. According to The Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), patients and caregivers can only access marijuana through a state approved medical marijuana treatment center. Here are some dispensaries recommended by GreenHealth to approved patients. 

Can I smoke my medical marijuana?

On March, 18, 2019, Governor DeSantis signed the Senate Bill 182 which makes smoking medical marijuana legal. However, this law only makes it legal if your physician has determined that smoking is the one of the appropriate routes of administration for the patient. You can only be provided with a 35 day supply of medical marijuana for smoking, and can possess a maximum of 4 ounces on your person. Smoking in public places is still prohibited. 

Can I cultivate my own medical marijuana?

It is illegal in Florida to grow or cultivate your own marijuana for personal or commercial purposes. According to Florida law, you can only purchase medical marijuana at licensed treatment centres and dispensaries. These centres have gone through the needed processes to safely grow, cultivate, and dispense medical marijuana. Please remember that marijuana is still illegal under the federal law. If caught growing marijuana in Florida, you will be handed over to law enforcement for interrogation and investigation. 

How much medical marijuana can I consume?

Your daily dosage will be dependent on your doctor’s prescription. When you receive your MMJ card, your physician will disclose how much medical marijuana will be needed for your monthly treatment. Your recommended dosage will determine how much marijuana you will be allowed to purchase, and what marijuana products will be made available to you (e.g. low-THC or high-CBD). It goes without saying that you should follow the dosage provided to ensure that your medication lasts through the needed time frame. 

Is there a difference between medical marijuana and low-THC?

Medical marijuana includes all parts of the cannabis plant: the seed, leaf, extracted resin, mixtures using some parts of the plants, and so on. Low-THC marijuana is one of the elements which can be extracted from the cannabis plant through specific cultivation methods. Low-THC are the dried flowers of the cannabis plants which contain the health benefits, but little of the psychoactive effects usually associated with marijuana. 

I have a caregiver. Can they purchase my medical marijuana for me?

Your caregiver can help you to acquire and administer medical marijuana treatments. Your caregiver should be someone who you trust and can help out with your medical needs. They should be able to accompany you to treatment centres, or go in your place if you are not up to the task. 

Depending on the severity of your illness, you can also volunteer to be a caregiver to someone else. However, you will be required to apply for a caregiver card (separate from your patient card) to access medical marijuana for their treatments.

*Important Requirements for a Qualified Caregiver

A caregiver must be:

  • 21 years or above.
  • Able to provide a written document which states their agreement to assist a patient with their usage of medical marijuana. 
  • Providing care for only one patient, except they are legally exempted from this clause. 

A caregiver must not be:

  • A certified physician or doctor. 
  • Receiving any form of payment or compensation beyond the expenses incurred while providing the patient with a service. 
  • Employed at/affiliated with a medical marijuana treatment centre, dispensary, or laboratory. 

Encourage your caregiver to review Section 381.986(6), F.S so they are familiar with the regulations attached to the role. 

Can I take my medical marijuana to another state? 

No. Your MMJ card is only valid within Florida. As stated earlier, possession of marijuana is still a federal crime and you can be prosecuted for possession, especially in states where marijuana is still completely illegal. Avoid crossing state lines with any form of medical marijuana products. Alternatively, when visiting another state temporarily, you can ask your physician for a signed letter of necessity. A signed letter is generally accepted by dispensaries in other states where MMJ has been legalized.

My card will expire soon. How do I apply for a renewal? 

To maintain a valid medical marijuana use card, you must submit a renewal application every year. This application should be submitted within 45-days of expiration, not before. Both the patient and their caregiver are qualified to complete this application process. If you’re unsure of the expiration date of your MMJ card, it’s printed on the front of the card. 

Mistakes that Could Cause You to Lose Your Medical Marijuana Card 

Now that you have a good understanding of how to use your medical marijuana Use Registration Identity card, you should also be familiar with the prohibited actions of the card bearers. On the issue of medical marijuana, the Department of Health works directly with criminal justice agencies to ensure that patients are not misusing their access to MMJ. 

If a criminal justice agency finds a card holder breaking one of several laws under ch. 893, their license could be suspended or revoked. 

Such situations could include:

  • Providing falsified, fraudulent, or misleading information during the application process. If discovered after issuing the MMJ card, the card will be revoked. 
  • Altering or modifying the card in any way after it has been received.  
  • Failure to notify the Office of Medical Marijuana Use of any health development that could affect the patient’s qualification for medical marijuana. 
  • Purchasing medical marijuana in a quantify higher than the recommended dosage provide by the physician. 
  • Purchasing medical marijuana from sources other than licensed treatment centres and dispensaries. 
  • Using a medical marijuana product, excluding low-THC, in a public place such as public transportation, aircraft, or school grounds. This is considered a misdemeanor of first degree. 
  • Violation any of the regulations stated under ch. 893 and other sections which may be included in the future. 

Anyone caught breaking these rules as stipulated in ch. 893 will not be convicted if they submit their MMJ license on or before their court hearing date. Violating these rules will also make it difficult, or even impossible, for that individual to acquire a new medical marijuana card in future. 

To ensure that you always have access to the medication you need, it’s important to get familiar with the regulations and avoid breaking them. Once an individual is charged with a violation, their card is immediately revoked. Depending on the outcome of the following investigation, the individual is either suspended from MMJ access, fully revoked, or given full access again. 

Your caregiver’s access could also be suspended 

Similar guidelines apply to caregivers. The access of any caregiver will be revoked if it is discovered that they source for medical marijuana anywhere other than a certified treatment centre. Under ch. 893, caregivers are also not allowed to transfer MMJ from one person to another. If caught, their access will be revoked immediately, and their case may be referred to a criminal justice agency, depending on the offence. Also, once a patient’s MMJ card is revoked, their caregiver’s access is also revoked. 

Note: If a physician determines that their patient no longer needs medical marijuana in a healthcare capacity, they can also revoke the patient’s certification to access MMJ. Your doctor is expected to practice in compliance with the legal practice standards. This means that they closely monitor your health progress, and will periodically decide if your medical marijuana treatment is still needed or not. However, MMJ licensed doctors are very familiar with the health benefits of MMJ, and will not pull their patient’s access without a good reason.  

Enjoy the Benefits of your Medical Marijuana Card

With your new MMJ card, you can enjoy continuous access to medication for your health needs. Your card also provides you with access to different licensed dispensaries which are closely regulated. This way, you are assured that the MMJ products you buy are of high quality, and cultivated mostly for their health benefits.  Owning a medical marijuana card also gives you less restrictions as long as you follow Florida laws while administering your medication. 

With a simplified application process, less costs, better products, and less usage restrictions, there has never been a better time to own a medical marijuana use registration ID card.

August 6, 2019 by dougsureel 0 Comments

Is Marijuana Legal In Florida?

Back in 2016, a large majority of voters in Florida affirmed a constitutional amendment meant to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The then Governor Rick Scott signed it in 2017 and declared the forms of medical marijuana permitted for use. According to him, cannabis concentrations like tinctures, topicals, capsules and vapes were allowed but the law prohibited the use of smokable weed in the state.

However, after two years, the Florida residents got their way when the Governor signed the legislation removing the ban and legalizing the smoking of medical marijuana in Florida. The bill permits patients above the age of 18 years to buy 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every 35 days.

According to this bill, patients below the age of 18 can also use smokable medical cannabis if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness after getting a second opinion from a physician. The bill also requires patients to sign a consent form that acknowledges the health risks of marijuana smoking.

The Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Florida

In the two years between 2017 and 2019, groups supporting medical marijuana argued that cannabis concentrates might not work for all patients. The legislation ensures that it is legal for doctors in Florida to prescribe smokable marijuana to people for whom it is necessary. According to the new law, smokable medical marijuana will not be available to people under 18 unless a terminal illness is identified by two doctors.

Other limitations include ban in public and private business places subject to cigarette smoking ban. The legalization of medical marijuana demonstrates that the state does not disregard the voice of its people. It allows people to access the best medicine for their health conditions in the form their doctor determines would work for them. Patients can now purchase smokable weed from licensed dispensaries if they are prescribed by the doctor and avail its beneficial effects for a variety of health conditions.

Qualifying Conditions for the Use of Medical Marijuana in Florida

In the United States, more than 30 states currently permit medical marijuana use for a number of health problems. Every state has its own list of qualifying diseases and they vary across the country but a general requirement is that the doctor must certify the patient’s diagnosis.

The most common condition people describe when enrolling in the state-approved medical marijuana program is Chronic Pain. The qualifying conditions that make a person eligible for medical marijuana use include Epilepsy, Cancer, Glaucoma, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s Disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Apart from these, medical conditions similar in nature to those in the list are permitted.

A terminal illness identified by a doctor other than the physician approving marijuana use is also valid. Other conditions include chronic non-malignant pain associated with a qualifying condition persisting beyond the normal course of the condition.

How to Get the Florida Medical Marijuana Card

According to the law, a doctor licensed for certification of medical marijuana use is allowed to decide what conditions are comparable to the qualifying diseases. For example, your physician may determine that chronic pain, anxiety, depression or some other health condition compare to the list of conditions or they are responsible for non-malignant pain and may advise the use of medical marijuana to the patient.

Those who are interested in using medical cannabis for the alleviation of symptoms like nausea, pain, suppressed appetite or others associated with health conditions can apply for medical marijuana card in Florida through a streamlined process.

The toughest part of getting the medical marijuana card is having the doctor identify that you are eligible for the program. To enrol for the program, you can fill out the registration form available to Florida residents. Patients can obtain their medical records from their physician showing they are affected by a condition qualifying for the use of medical marijuana and book an appointment with a doctor certified for issuing marijuana cards. Patients should also show that they have tried other available treatments for their condition and they did not work.

All applicants should register with the Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use. After a licensed physician approves, the application is sent to the Florida Department of Health with a $75 registration fees.

The Department issues the medical marijuana card to the patient who can use it to purchase medicinal cannabis products from dispensaries. This process can take anywhere from a month to 3 months to complete. Every 30 weeks, the person should be re-examined by the physician for the renewal of the card.

Florida Marijuana Laws History

Between 1978 and 2014, many attempts were made to legalize medical marijuana but they were in vain. It was in 2014 that the ‘Charlotte’s Web’ bill was passed by the Florida legislators regarding the use of low-THC extracts for the treatment of a number of serious health conditions like epilepsy. The program was expanded in 2016 to permit the use of medical marijuana for patients with terminal illnesses without any restriction on the THC levels. It was until July 2016 that no cannabis dispensary was opened in Florida. In the same year, advocates could get the 2014 Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act passed. This bill fell short of positive votes required to pass the amendment.

In 2015, several municipalities including Orlando, Tampa, Miami-Dade County and Key West started permitting officers to cite people possessing cannabis rather than arresting them. Finally, things began transforming when, in 2016, Amendment 2 was passed with 71 percent vote. This legislation governed a complete medical marijuana use program. A special session was held to pass a bill for regulations governing the use of medical marijuana like growing cannabis at home and buying dried flower.

In 2017, the Legislature passed a bill to ban the use of smokable marijuana and two other bills decriminalized the possession of minor quantities of marijuana. Last spring, Leon County Circuit Court Judge was brought a case on behalf of two patients challenging the legislature’s action restricting people’s options. The judge said that patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions could use smokable medical marijuana as recommended by their physicians.

Smokable Whole Flower Marijuana in Florida

The Senate Bill 182 amending the medical marijuana program was passed in March 2019 coming into effect immediately. According to the law, patients can visit their doctor certifying for the card to receive the addition of smokable flower to the prescription. Depending on the condition of the patient, the doctor can approve or refuse the addition of flower. The approved patients can buy 2.5 ounces of bud every 35 days from licensed dispensaries. One can buy smoking weed accessories at marijuana dispensaries to smoke medicinal cannabis. These accessories are also available at stores selling pipes and bongs.

The bill outlined some important things –

  • Removing the ban on the sale of cannabis flower at dispensaries by renewing the meaning of ‘medical use’.
  • The prescribing physician should report what other forms of marijuana the patient has used in the past.
  • The Department requires the applicant to see the doctor in person to get access to smokable marijuana.
  • The doctor should prescribe the new dose every 35 days.
  • Prohibition of prescribing flower for patients under the age of 18 unless they are diagnosed with a terminal illness and a physician determines smokable flower as a recommendable treatment.
  • The limit of the total amount of marijuana bud possessed by a qualifying patient is set as 4 ounces.
  • The patient is limited to buying 2.5 ounces of flower every 35 days.

Recreational Marijuana in Florida

The drug possession laws in Florida are unaffected by the new amendment. Recreational marijuana is legalized in 10 states of the U.S. But all forms of recreational marijuana remain illegal for possession at the federal level. Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is an offense punishable to a sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a fine of $1000. Possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is an offense that comes with a fine of $5000 and 5-year imprisonment. Sale of weed is also offensive and it is punishable by a sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000. However, certain municipalities have chosen to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. For example, Orlando permits police officers to cite the offenders rather than arresting them. An officer can opt to write a citation with a fine of $100 for a first-time offense and more for the subsequent offenses. Many other municipalities still treat marijuana possession as an arrestable offense.

Final Thoughts

With the Florida authorities liberating the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana in its different forms, there is increased hope for those who want to use it as a natural, effective treatment for various health conditions. Considering the fact that other medicines produce a number of adverse effects on the body, the interest in marijuana has risen over these years. The marijuana industry, as a whole, is taking initiatives to insist on companies to take measures regarding the provision of high-quality cannabis products to benefit people interested in trying this magical herb.

August 6, 2019 by dougsureel 0 Comments

How To Get Medical Marijuana In Florida?

Marketing marijuana in Miami was illegal for years and finally, the Florida government has signed a legislation legalizing the use of smokable medical weed. You can now find advertisement of weed on the top of taxi cabs. After Amendment 2 that legalized medical marijuana in 2016, advertisements for marijuana doctors are seen popping up on cabs, local weeklies and billboards. People fascinated about medical marijuana now have a new way of consuming it apart from vapes, oils, lotions, capsules and tinctures which were already available after 2016. Dispensaries have recently started opening up in big numbers across the state and today, there are dozens of stores open for business. However, more and more residents are concerned about how to get medical marijuana in Florida.

In this post, we have tried to explain in detail how to get medical marijuana in Florida to benefit from its amazing health benefits.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Florida

In order to qualify for getting medical marijuana in Florida, it is essential that the person has been diagnosed with an ailment that is on the list of the state’s medical marijuana conditions. These conditions include diseases like Cancer, Epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Glaucoma, Crohn’s Disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Seizures, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Chronic Nonmalignant Pain. In addition to these, the conditions similar to the ones in the list and condition diagnosed by a physician other than the one issuing the certificate are permitted to get medical marijuana in Florida. For example, if you have an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis, like lupus, your physician can prescribe medical marijuana for you.

A person suffering from any of these conditions can obtain the medical marijuana card or a permit to visit dispensaries to buy medical marijuana products with the recommendation of a local physician. A licensed marijuana doctor in Florida can issue a written recommendation after verifying that the person has a condition qualifying for the use of medical marijuana. Anybody with a professional medical degree and minimum one year of post-graduate residency is allowed to prescribe marijuana after going through a 2-hour state-mandated course.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Ever since the state legalized the use of medical marijuana back in 2017, the general process of application and obtaining medical marijuana has remained the same to a great extent. You can consult any of the licensed marijuana doctors in Florida and get yourself examined to prove that you are affected by one of the listed conditions for medicinal marijuana use and also that you have tried other treatments and they did not work. Your doctor would sign off an application which you can send to the Florida Department of Health with a check of $75 which is the application processing fee. The Department reviews and approves your application after which you receive the marijuana card you can use to shop for your weed at a dispensary.

Once you receive the card, you are listed on the Compassionate Use Registry that lists people in Florida who are prescribed marijuana. The prescription is valid for 30 weeks after which you will need the doctor to sign off again after the in-person examination.

As a resident with verification of residency in Florida, the process of getting medical marijuana card comprises of the following steps:

Step 1: Make an appointment with the doctor

The first step in obtaining a medical marijuana card in Florida is to consult a physician with your medical records to receive a signed statement. The doctor you visit should possess a medical marijuana license in Florida and must be registered with the Medical Marijuana Use Registry of the state. You can look for the latest list of medical marijuana doctors in Florida to choose one. Moreover, you must be a patient of the doctor for minimum three months before you receive the recommendation for medical marijuana. You also need to be a Florida resident in order to apply for the card and you will require the proof of residency like a passport or other photo identification.

Step 2: Go To The Medical Marijuana doctor consultation

Once you find a qualified physician in Florida, send your medical history to the office and make appointment for the medical marijuana doctor, the doctor enters your name and other details into the Florida Marijuana Use Registry or the Compassionate Care Registry run by the Department of Health. Only when you are entered officially in the registry, you can apply for the Florida Medical Marijuana Card.

Step 3: Complete the application and submit it online

When your doctor has approved your use of medical marijuana and entered you into the Registry, you can proceed to submit the application to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use or get the physician office submit on your behalf. Submission of application is perhaps the longest part of this process as in some cases, it can take up to two months for the Department to review the application and issue the card even when all the papers are in order. The online application process is simple. Application processing fee is $75 and it can take 5 business days to process online payments. You can expect your application to be processed after another five days after which it gets approved.

You need not wait for the medical marijuana card to start shopping at dispensaries. Once your application has been approved, you get identification through email which you can use to shop medical marijuana until the physical card arrives.

Florida Medical Marijuana Card Costs

Patients willing to apply for a medical marijuana card in Florida have to pay two types of fees:

1. The charges of seeing a licensed doctor whose charges vary depending on the location

2. The registration fee for the medical marijuana card application, which is $75.

The applicant also requires full face passport-type color photographs. The cost of consulting a qualified marijuana doctor in Florida varies though it is about $150 on average. Once issued, the card needs to be renewed annually, again costing the registration fee and consultation charges.

Where Do You Get Medical Marijuana in Florida

Simply getting a medicinal marijuana card is not enough to get your medicine. You will need to visit a state-approved dispensary to buy medical marijuana in Florida. There are about 100 dispensaries in the state run by 14 licensed companies. In order to avoid being caught by the police even when your marijuana is legally prescribed, it is necessary that you buy from one of these. If you are caught with an approved CBD oil product, you will need to prove to the cops that you purchased it from a licensed dispensary and show them your card.

What Can You Buy at a Florida Dispensary

Here in Florida, you are not allowed to enter the store with your prescription and pick up an ounce of bud. You can not even pick up a pack of minty-delicious brownies like in other legal states. You get oils, extracts, tinctures and smokable marijuana. A bill was passed this March to remove the ban on smokable marijuana after which patients are permitted to buy up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower at an interval of 35 days. However, buying the weed is not so simple in Florida as in other states.

Florida dispensaries are different from those in Colorado. You don’t find the product in the jar for examination. Everything is packed in tight containers which you can’t see into and sold by weight and patients are not allowed to sort through the jars to pick the nicest looking product. Smokable weed, at this time, is not in the dispensaries as the Department of Health is working on the rules.

How Beneficial is Medical Marijuana?

The most popular use of medical marijuana in Florida is for pain relief. Most people suffering from chronic conditions prefer using marijuana as it is far less addictive as compared to opioids and seem to ease the pain associated with multiple sclerosis and general pain. According to medical experts, medical marijuana it an amazing muscle relaxant and is known to reduce tremors in conditions like Parkinson’s disease and help with other disorders like fibromyalgia. Medical marijuana is also known to stimulate appetite in HIV/AIDS patients and others affected by suppressed appetite due to some kind of treatment or medical condition. It is also used to help with weight loss and nausea during chemotherapy and can even be used to treat glaucoma.

A promising area of medical marijuana is its use for post-traumatic stress disorder and for people suffering from pain associated with HIV, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

August 6, 2019 by dougsureel 0 Comments

Florida Marijuana Laws

Marijuana for medical purposes remains legal under certain conditions. Generally, drug laws prohibit marijuana but that depends on the specific state. There are several statutes in Florida to regulate the dispersion and possession of Marijuana.

The possession, sale and trafficking of marijuana is illegal in Florida. Stature 893.13, et seq. explains the types of offenses and penalties if found guilty of a marijuana-related offence. Additionally, convictions related to marijuana can result in the suspension of a Florida driver’s license.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Possession of marijuana is illegal under Statute 893.13. A person caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana can be found guilty of a first degree misdemeanor and be liable to pay a fine or be sentenced to one year in jail.

A fine and up to five years jail time is the punishment for a person found guilty of carrying between 20 grams and 25lbs of marijuana. Additionally, the same sentence can be given to any person found with more than 300 plants.

A person found with more than 25 lbs of marijuana will not get a possession sentence. The excessive amount of marijuana is considered trafficking and will be considered a first degree felony.

Penalties for the Sale of Marijuana

The sale of marijuana is illegal and can hold grave consequences. Selling marijuana is considered a third degree felony offense. Any subsequent offense will hold a penalty of 15 years jail time.

The sale or distribution of less than 20 grams of marijuana, without being given any consideration, will be classified as a first degree misdemeanor and penalties will be according to the statutes.

Penalties for Trafficking Marijuana

Trafficking marijuana is a first degree felony and carries a sentence according to the given guidelines of the State of Florida. Trafficking of marijuana weighing between 25 and 2000 pounds carries a mandatory sentence of three years in jail and a fine of $25,000.

Marijuana weighing between 2000 and 10,000 pounds will leave the offender with a mandatory fine of $50,000 and seven years jail time. Trafficking more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana imposes a mandatory 15 year jail sentence and $200,000 dollar fine on the offender.

State vs Federal Laws

 A state may have certain marijuana laws in place but the possession and sale of marijuana remains illegal according to the Controlled Substance Act. If the state law is different to the federal law, then the federal law will take precedence. Some states allow for recreational marijuana use but federal law enforcement has not yet prosecuted minor cases.

Legalization of Medical Marijuana Usage

Florida has made the use of medical marijuana legal according to two separate laws. Firstly, the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution enables states, including Florida, to make state laws for medical marijuana use and monitoring the responsibility of the State Constitution.

Secondly, medical marijuana is made legal by the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, commonly called Amendment 2. The amendment has made changes to the Florida Constitution and provides rights to medical patients to use marijuana, although only for medical purposes and not recreational use. Furthermore, Amendment 2 regulates the growth and use of medical marijuana by a governing body.

Amendment 2 broadened the scope of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. The Act did not protect all medical marijuana users and only gave immunity to people using low-THC cannabis levels. The introduction of Amendment 2 increased the breadth of conditions using medical marijuana. Doctors can recommend medical marijuana use to a patient, assuming benefits are more than potential side effects.

On 3 January 2017, Amendment 2 took full effect. The amendment provides for the sale and consumption of high-THC, under regulatory conditions.

Florida State patients suffering from ailments listed below are considered eligible for Medical Cannabis – Additional

Individuals with the following conditions can be a candidate for the use of medical marijuana:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic muscle spasms
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures

Doctors can also prescribe medical marijuana usage for other conditions, according to certain guidelines. Specific criteria must be met to qualify for the usage of medical marijuana. Conditions are constantly being added to the list, making it imperative to check for updates on a regular basis.

Recommendations for Marijuana

Medical professionals can recommend the use of medical marijuana by a patient but marijuana cannot be prescribed as a medication. Federal government regulates prescription drugs and marijuana has not yet been classified as a prescription drug. Marijuana is considered a prohibited and illegal substance under Federal laws. This is why medical marijuana can only be recommended but not prescribed by a doctor.

Furthermore, the doctor will simply recommend a suitable amount of marijuana to be used by the patient. Once a patient gets permission to use medical marijuana from the relevant authorities, the patient can then approach regulated marijuana dispensaries and growers. The dispensaries will provide medical marijuana to the patient according to the doctor’s recommendations but nothing more.

Another reason why doctors can recommend the use of marijuana is that recommendations form part of freedom of speech. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to speak freely and makes marijuana recommendations legal.

Medical Marijuana Card

Patients using medical marijuana will be issued a card to indicate a place on the Compassionate Use Registry. The card is known by many different names, including a cannabis card, Florida medical marijuana card, or the official name, Compassionate Use Registry Identification Card. People who carry the card for medical marijuana usage will receive indemnity while carrying or using medical marijuana.

Admin to Apply for Medical Marijuana Program

Besides being seen by several physicians to obtain recommendations, a person will need to complete certain forms and provide paperwork to receive a medical marijuana card. The following documents must be provided as part of the application for a medical marijuana card in Florida:

  • Florida proof of residency (e.g. Florida driver’s license/ ID, corresponding name on utility bill)
  • Medical records stipulating medical condition for marijuana use
  • Fully signed form for release of information
  • Certification by licensed physician under the medical marijuana program of Florida

All information submitted will be kept confidential. Marijuana doctors and the Florida Department of Health are bound by HIPPA laws and confidentiality agreements. Law enforcement can access limited information but only when a query is raised after a person is pulled over.

Minors using Medical Marijuana

Minors can be enrolled into the medical marijuana program and qualify for a card. The difference is that the minor must receive a marijuana certification from a second doctor and not just one physician. Additionally, a parent or legal guardian must provide written consent.

License from Other State

Each state will provide a medical license to qualifying individuals. A license from a different state is not valid in Florida. A person wanting to receive a Florida marijuana license has to undergo evaluation by a certified doctor in Florida. If a person is placed on Florida’s Compassionate Use Registry database, the individual will be allowed to obtain marijuana for medical use as part of a treatment regimen.

Expiry and Renewal

The Florida medical marijuana card is dated and will expire. The card validity is one calendar year from issue. The card can be renewed after the patient has been seen by a certified marijuana doctor and a reevaluation has been completed.

The physician will provide the patient with a new medical marijuana certificate and this must be sent to the Florida Department of Health along with a new application for a medical marijuana card.

The Florida Department of Health will issue a new cannabis card but any delay in application will result in a person being unprotected during the time from a card lapse until renewal. The Department recommends starting the application a minimum of 45 days before the expiry of the current marijuana card.

Compassionate Use

Compassionate use is the term used to refer to use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Department of Health in Florida contains the Office of Compassionate use. The Office regulates medical marijuana usage and administrates the Compassionate Use Register.

The Compassionate Use Register contains the names and information of all patients using medical marijuana. Local law enforcement and the state use the register to verify validity of patients using marijuana. Being listed on the register prevents a patient from being charged with marijuana-related offenses.

Marijuana users may require a Cannabis Delivery Device to administer the marijuana into the body. The device has many purposes, including the preparation, storing, and ingesting of marijuana. Some states may see such a device as drug “paraphernalia” when referring to illegal marijuana usage. To simplify the process, Florida’s medical marijuana program calls any such item a Cannabis Delivery Device, which remains legal.

Doctors Recommending Medical Marijuana

Only registered marijuana doctors can recommend the use of cannabis. Once the mandatory registration and training has taken place, the doctor will be able to enroll a patient in the Florida Compassionate Use Registry. This means that not all doctors are able to recommend marijuana as a complementary treatment.

August 6, 2019 by dougsureel 0 Comments

Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors

Using marijuana for medical purposes is legal in Florida. Legislature first made cannabis use legal in 2014 when the Compassionate Use Act was signed into law. The Act gives cancer and epilepsy sufferers access to cannabis with low levels of THC. In 2016, the scope of the law was broadened to give terminally ill patients access to cannabis of full strength, under the Right to Try Act.

Additionally, Amendment 2 was passed by Florida voters in 2016, with an overwhelming majority. The changes enable a larger cannabis program for medical purposes and came into full effect in January 2017. During the same year, Senate Bill 8A was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The changes removed a 90 day waiting period for approval and led to operational guidelines for Amendment 2. The medical marijuana program in Florida is constantly evolving and will continue to grow with time.

The laws only apply to the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Recreational cannabis use remains illegal. Any person found in possession of or consuming marijuana may be subject to a fine or even jail time. Sharing medical marijuana is illegal, even if it is with another qualifying patient.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card

A medical marijuana card is a permit given to individuals who may use cannabis for medical purposes. Not all people qualify for a card and patients must go through an application process with a registered physician.

A qualified doctor has gone through comprehensive training related to medical marijuana. Only qualified doctors may recommend marijuana usage, thus, a patient must find a certified doctor for a recommendation.

A patient must make an appointment with a certified physician and see the doctor in person. A medical professional may then recommend the use of medical marijuana and provide the patient with certification, including entrance in the Compassionate Use Registry. The patient must submit a medical marijuana card application and accompanying documents to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

A temporary permit will be sent via email until the permanent ID card is received by the patient. The doctor’s recommendation can then be taken to a licensed dispensary to obtain the required marijuana.

Only Florida residents can register for the Florida Compassionate Use Registry. Part of the application process will be submitting a proof of residence.

A legal representative for the patient or minor must be over the age of 21 years old, have power of attorney, and not be employed at a medical marijuana treatment center. Additionally, the legal representative or caregiver must pass background checks and complete a certification course. The individual must also be assigned to the specific patient in the Compassionate Use Registry.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

Florida has a list of conditions for treatment with medical marijuana, which is updated on a frequent basis. The list is not exhaustive and other conditions may be suitable for medical cannabis treatments if the symptoms are similar to those of conditions on the list.

Some of the conditions that have a positive response to marijuana include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Chrohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures

A person with any of these conditions, or similar conditions, does not qualify for medical marijuana use automatically. The correct processes, doctor’s visits and documentation need to be completed for a patient to be entered into the Registry.

Visiting a Clinic

The first step to getting a medical marijuana card is to book an appointment with a doctor. Most physicians require documentation to be submitted before the appointment to ensure that a person may be a compassionate use candidate. Along with the documentation, patients are required to submit passport photos and a government issue ID.

The first visit is approximately an hour in duration and includes completion of the required forms for the State application. The appointment is face to face and cannot take place as a virtual appointment, such as via video chat.

A follow-up visit for a second certification takes place about 4 months after the first appointment. The follow-up ensures the patient’s recommended dosage is correct and provide any additional information. From there on, a doctor’s visit will be mandatory every 6 months to keep the certification up to date.

Paying for the appointment and treatment will be at the patient’s expense. Medical insurance does not cover marijuana as it remains illegal at federal level.


All treatment plans are confidential due to HIPAA privacy standards. Medical records will not be shared without a patient’s written consent. The information is shared with the Office of Compassionate Use to get a patient onto the registry but the office will treat the information as confidential.

Law enforcement may verify a patient’s information with the Health Department. This happens seldom as it will only be required if an officer pulls a person over and presents a medical marijuana ID card.

Recommendation of Medical Cannabis

A physician cannot prescribe the use of medical marijuana to a patient; the doctor can only provide a recommendation. Medical professionals are governed by federal law, which always ranks higher than state laws. Under the Controlled Substances Act, a federal document, medical marijuana is seen as an illegal substance, regardless of a state making it legal.

According to the First Amendment, every person has the right to freedom of speech. A recommendation is seen as freedom of speech and cannot be illegal, even if given by a medical professional. Prescriptions cannot be given for illegal substances, thus a doctor will give a medical marijuana recommendation, including the type of marijuana and dosage for a specific individual, as part of an individual’s freedom of speech.

Purchasing Medical Marijuana

Marijuana can only be purchased from certified Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers. These centers are also called dispensaries and provide medical marijuana to registered patients. Some of the dispensaries also have a delivery service for patients.

A marijuana order for a maximum of 70 days can be given at any one time. A patient does not have to purchase the entire order at once. Experimenting with different marijuana strains and products is advisable as it will help a patient to find the right combination. Marijuana for smoking is limited by law and a maximum of 2.5 ounces can be purchased every 35 days. No more than 4 ounces can be in a person’s possession at any time.

The doctor has the final say in the amount of medical marijuana a patient may purchase, as well as the delivery method to the body. Standard delivery methods include inhalation, topical application, smoking, and oral consumption. The doctor will ensure the benefits of the delivery method outweigh any potential side effects.

A patient cannot grow cannabis for medical purposes and must purchase marijuana from a registered dispensary. It is illegal for a person to grow cannabis, regardless of whether it is for medical or recreational purposes. Furthermore, medical marijuana may only be used on private property and not within the line of sight of public.

Picking Up Medication

The patient will need to pick up medical marijuana in person. Alternatively, the patient’s registered caregiver can collect medical marijuana, carry it and help with administration of the medication. The legal guardian of a minor will need to collect the medication for a minor.

The process for caregiver registration and required documentation is constantly evolving and thorough research should be completed to ensure the correct documentation is submitted to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

Each state has its own marijuana laws and a patient needs to check state requirements before travelling. There is no guarantee that the Florida license will be applicable in other states, or that a patient can purchase medical marijuana in a different state.

Difference between CBD and THC

Both CBD and THC are cannabis compounds that provide health benefits. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is what most people know as pot and known for creating a high. THC has a bigger psychoactive effect on the body. Cannabidiol (CBD) has less of a psychoactive effect and focuses more on therapeutic benefits.

Marijuana comes in different types and may contain various levels of THC and CBD. The medical condition a patient has can react well to either THC or CBD, depending on the symptoms, and may have a life changing effect on a patient. The specific medical condition will dictate the best marijuana strain for a person to use.

Products with Higher THC

THC has properties as an anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, muscle relaxant, and is an anti-spasmodic. Cancer also reacts well to THC treatments and works against the growth of cancer cells.

THC may be recommended for the following conditions

  • ADHD
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Autism
  • Chemotherapy
  • Depression
  • Glaucoma
  • Insomnia
  • Pain Management
  • Parkinson’s disease

Products with Higher CBD

CBD is generally considered to counteract a wider range of conditions since it does not cause extreme psychoactive effects. CBD helps aid communication within the endocannabinoid system. The properties of CBD include fighting inflammation, antiemetic, antioxidant anticonvulsant and is an antipsychotic.

The conditions where CBD may be prescribed include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Pain management
  • Paranoia

August 6, 2019 by dougsureel 0 Comments

CBD For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – What You Should Know?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a condition that affects over 45 million people in the U.S. It is a bowel disorder that lasts for a long time and causes bloating, discomfort, abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits. While this form of bowel disease is difficult to treat, there are some revolutionary approaches that minimize the effects of IBS.

CBD oil for IBS is a ground-breaking product that works against this long-term disorder and today, we are going to discuss about it in detail. Cannabinoids are rapidly getting a reputation as a new class of medicines.

The unique interaction of these natural components with the body systems and their wide scope of uses make them stars in the medicinal world. CBD has particularly gained a lot of popularity as an effective compound with no psychoactive effects, suiting a wide range of people suffering from different conditions.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a medical condition affecting the body’s digestive system. It is a chronic disease that affects patients all through their lives, causing a lot of stress and frustration. While it can occur to anybody of any age, it is common among women. It is uncertain what exactly causes IBS but many theories relate it to the too fast or too slow passing of food through the digestive tract, stress, oversensitive gut nerves and even genetics. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition though there are some ways to control the symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome usually starts with stomach cramps and pain, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating. The symptoms can become worse or better and patients may have good and bad days though it is unclear what causes the fluctuations. Apart from these common symptoms, sufferers may be affected by nausea, flatulence, backache, fatigue and incontinence. Research also suggests that IBS is related to depression and anxiety due to the chronic nature of its symptoms.

All these symptoms are highly nasty and unpleasant and patients are often desperate about treating them.

How CBD Helps IBS Symptoms?

IBS is a functional digestive disorder with common digestive problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain as well as mood disturbances and inflammation. Cannabinoid receptors found in our body help treat conditions like anxiety, seizures, insomnia and inflammation.

Using products containing cannabidiol can help our endocannabinoid system maintain balance and help with mood, sleep, appetite, pain and inflammation. Here are some of the ways CBD can help treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Reduced Intestinal Inflammation

CBD oil is effective at preventing painful intestinal inflammation. When patients with IBS use CBD oil, endocannabinoids in the body relieve gut inflammation. When CBD is used to treat IBS, there is an additional benefit that it is completely non-psychoactive.

Lesser Spasmodic Occurrences

The research on IBS does not clearly indicate the cause for the condition. It can either be dietary or stress-related. Some cases see the combination of the two. While the causes are not clear, the symptoms are pretty universal. Gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation are the symptoms that cause so much trouble for the patients.

When CBD is used, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract and relaxes the tissue. This results in fewer spasmodic episodes and less discomfort. CBD also reduces gastrointestinal distress, making it highly effective for IBS.

Regulates Pain

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be a really uncomfortable condition. We may suffer for mistakes we make regarding the food and deal with pain, discomfort and bloating. But knowing that you have an effective pain reliever at hand really helps. CBD is known for its pain relief effects in the medical field. Not only does it alleviate nausea but also helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Getting rid of these symptoms of IBS can give the patients their daily life back. When the condition is uncomfortable, they have something to do about it. Many patients fear they will have to live with the discomfort and pain through their lives as they don’t find what works. With the right dose of CBD, the treatment is effective.

Improved Motility

IBS is a condition with a number of causes and symptoms. No two people can experience the disorder in the same way as various physical and mental factors come into play. A problem that plays a big part in most people’s IBS is anxiety. Anxiety resulting from simple stress can lead to hypermotility where food moves quickly through the gastrointestinal tract. This results in IBS symptoms in many people and can cause poor digestion, loss of water and degraded nutrient absorption. Consuming cannabinoid has been known to help with hypermotility. It works great for healing diarrhea.

Stimulate Appetite

The bowel condition makes you nauseated and affects the appetite. This causes the patients to stop eating for some time periods and then overeat when the appetite returns. And as they overeat, IBS symptoms show up again. It becomes a cycle in which many people get stuck every year. It is possible to deal with these problems using over-the-counter medicines but most of the time, they are ineffective. Nausea suppressants generally don’t work to promote a healthy appetite. Clinical studies show that CBD is effective at suppressing nausea and promoting a healthy appetite. It is, for this reason, an amazing tool to fight IBS symptoms.

Does It Really Work?

The industry of CBD Oil is growing at a fast rate in the US, Canada and across Europe. CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant and is not psychoactive like THC, another popular component extracted from the plant. A number of studies have been conducted to throw light on various health benefits of CBD.

CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system of the body. This system consists of two types of receptors – CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors found in the brain are stimulated by THC while CB2 receptors are affected by cannabidiol. The neurologist Ethan Russo in 2008 suggested that IBS can be caused by a deficiency of endocannabinoids, the natural cannabinoids occurring in the body produced through biological processes. The review serves as a strong base for CBD’s effectiveness at treating the symptoms of IBS.

The British Journal of Pharmacology revealed in 2016 that CBD actually has positive effects on IBS symptoms. When consumed, CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors in the digestive tract, showing a number of beneficial effects. CBD has properties known to alleviate spasms in the tract and improve the motility of the intestine.

CBD, in simple words, works by stimulating your body to ease the symptoms of IBS. CBD being a naturally occurring compound, it is a safer treatment to use in the IBS condition.

Why Use CBD Oil Over Other Treatments?

IBS is quite tricky to treat because the traditional treatments might not work for everyone. There are cases where people end up having tried everything and nowhere to turn to. However, if you do a quick Google search, you would find the real-life stories and reviews from people who have used CBD oil to treat the symptoms of IBS. Most of these patients shared that though they saw no improvement in their condition with whatever treatment they tried, CBD seemed to work for them.

While CBD does not claim to have no side effects, the effects that occur are usually favorable and mild as compared to those of medicines. Moreover, it does not claim to cure IBS but it is definitely an easy way to get relief from the awful symptoms.

Some people are skeptical about the use of CBD oil because of the way media has presented it over the decades. However, as we saw, CBD has no psychoactive properties and is not known to get the person high. In fact, CBD has already entered the medicinal industry in the form of various products including soft gels, capsules, oils and tinctures and prescribed by medical marijuana doctors in Florida and other states where cannabis is legalized for medicinal purposes.

Final Thoughts

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a highly uncomfortable condition affecting millions of people across the world. It is quite unusual that there is no proven cure for such a condition. Thankfully, there are some treatments that help relieve the frustrating symptoms of IBS including probiotics, medications and dietary changes. But these treatments work on trial and error basis and patients experience flare-ups in their condition despite all the lifestyle and diet changes.

Studies have shown that CBD can prove to be a solution for people looking for safe, simple, natural ways to treat the condition of IBS. Though it does not claim to cure the disorder, people using CBD Oil for IBS testify the positive effects it causes on the body. CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, easing spasms and inflammation and improving motility in the intestine. CBD, thus, reduces the IBS symptoms by relieving constipation, cramps and diarrhea.

Considering these facts, it can be concluded that CBD Oil really works in treating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. People suffering from this condition can consult a healthcare practitioner for guidance on the use of CBD for IBS. There are many CBD Doctors who can help you add CBD to your current medication to benefit the IBS condition.

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