How do I get a prescription for medical marijuana?
This is one of the few parts of the law that’s pretty straightforward. You, the patient, go to a doctor who’s state certified to prescribe medicinal marijuana (more on those later). These are the guys you see advertising as “pot docs” on billboards, who charge anywhere from $150-$250 for an examination. You must show you have one of the approved conditions, and, more importantly, that you’ve tried other treatments that haven’t worked. This prevents you from inventing “anxiety” to get legal weed -- like you might do to get a support hamster on an airplane.
If the doctor signs off, you send your application and a check for $75 to the Florida Department of Health, which eventually sends you a card you can take into a dispensary to purchase your pot. Once you have said card you’re placed on the Compassionate Use Registry, basically a list of all the people in the state who have been prescribed marijuana. Your prescription is only good for 30 weeks, at which point you’ll need a doctor to sign off again. After one year you’ll need to have another in-person examination, which will cost you another $250 or so.
What are the approved conditions?
Strolling into the local pot doc and saying you have “chronic pain” like it’s the golden era of pill mills ain’t happening. Medicinal marijuana treatment is limited to a few conditions, specifically ALS, anxiety, anorexia, arthritis, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
The law also allows for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class,” meaning, for example, if you have an autoimmune condition similar to MS, like lupus, a doctor could prescribe marijuana for that. The caveat is meant for people with less common conditions, and is not broad language designed to allow doctors to prescribe for anything. You do actually have to be sick.
How do doctors qualify to prescribe medical marijuana?
Chavez told us that anyone with a medical degree and at least one year of post-graduate residency qualified for a medical license, and therefore could prescribe medicinal marijuana after completing the state-mandated two-hour course. God bless Florida. You can find a handy list of approved doctors here.
Where can I buy medical marijuana in Florida?
Just because you have a medicinal card doesn’t mean you can just call up your source down in Kendall and it’s all hunky-dory with the cops. You can only buy medical marijuana in Florida at a state-approved dispensary. There are almost 100 statewide (even in the panhandle), run by fourteen licensed companies. You must buy from one of them, or you can be cited by police even if your marijuana is legally prescribed. Get pulled over with your state-approved THC oil, and you’ll need to show the cops your card AND proof you bought it at a licensed dispensary, or it’s a long night of bologna sandwiches and ice-cold AC for you.