Florida is one of the few states in the United States of America where marijuana is legal, but there is a catch. The consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal. However, in the historic legislation passed in 2014, Florida allowed seriously ill patients with certain medical conditions to purchase low THC marijuana. The legalization of medical marijuana has come as a blessing for such patients as it can help relieve a lot of pain and discomfort. That said, you can’t just walk up to a medical dispensary and expect to walk away with cannabis. To be able to do so, you must first be eligible and subsequently possess a Florida Cannabis Card. Read on to find out more about what a Florida Cannabis Card is and how you can get one.
What is A Florida Cannabis Card?
To put it simply, a Florida Cannabis Card is your ticket to purchasing low THC marijuana from medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida. While the process to obtain a Cannabis Card might be a little drawn out, once you do receive the card, it becomes very convenient to acquire marijuana for medical purposes. Do note though, the card only gives you access to a limited quantity of cannabis that is purchased from licensed dispensaries, growing marijuana continues to remain illegal. Furthermore, consumption of marijuana remains illegal under Federal Law, and by carrying it along, while entering another state, you might be putting one foot on the wrong side of the law.
What are the Eligibility Criteria?
To get a Florida Cannabis Card you must be eligible for it. There are certain qualifying conditions that include medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, ADHD, and Glaucoma. If you are amongst the unfortunate few and meet one of these qualifying conditions, you need to be reviewed by one of the certified Florida cannabis doctors. Once the doctor deems that cannabis needs to be part of your treatment, your name will be submitted to The Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) registry. After your name is submitted, you become eligible to apply for a cannabis card.
How do you Obtain a Florida Cannabis Card?
The process to obtain a Florida cannabis card is not very straightforward and rightly so. It is important to ensure that the consumption of cannabis remains controlled and accessible only to those who genuinely are in the need of it. Here are the steps that you need to follow to get your hands on a Florida Cannabis Card.
Check Your Eligibility
First and foremost, as described earlier, you must be eligible for it. You can only get a Florida cannabis card if cannabis consumption is medically necessary and if you suffer from one of the qualifying medical conditions.
Schedule an Appointment
If you qualify for medical marijuana, you need to schedule an appointment with a certified marijuana doctor. The doctor then evaluates your condition and determines if medical marijuana should be made part of your treatment. While heading to the appointment you should carry all your medical documents, especially those that can confirm your diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition. If you are found to be eligible and in need of medical marijuana, the doctor will give you a recommendation by forwarding your name to the state government registry. However, if you are below the age of 18, a second physician must review and confirm your eligibility.
During this stage, you may also add the name of a caregiver who can purchase medical marijuana on your behalf.
Submit An Application
Once your doctor has recommended your name, you will receive an email containing your login credentials for the Medical Marijuana Use Registry from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. If you had provided the name and details of the caregiver during your appointment with the marijuana doctor, your caregiver would receive an email as well. You may have to check your spam and junk folders in your email client if you are unable to locate the email.
After logging into the website, you should head over to the ‘Your Card’ section and fill up all the necessary details in the application. Once done, you can complete and submit your application by paying a registration fee of 75$. In addition to the processing fee, you will also have to provide some documents as proof of your Florida residency. The accepted documents include:
- If you are an adult resident, you need to submit your Florida driving license.
- If you are a minor, you can either submit your birth certificate or a record from your current school. You can also submit the driving license of your parents or your legal guardians.
- Seasonal residents can provide a lease agreement, a mortgage agreement, utility bills, or recent emails from a financial institution or a government agency.
A similar application has to be submitted by the caregiver as well, which also includes a $75 processing fee. But for a caregiver, there are some additional conditions that exist. First and foremost, the caregiver must not be a qualified physician or in any way linked to a medical marijuana treatment or a medical marijuana testing laboratory. In addition to this, the caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of the State of Florida.
The processing time of the application is generally 10 business days from the date of the submission, out of which 5 days are required to process your payment and another 5 to review your application. The cards are valid for a period of 1 year after which they must be renewed through a similar process.
Medical marijuana is a boon for patients diagnosed with certain medical conditions and gaining access to it can be very straightforward once you have the Florida Cannabis Card. However, to get that card you need to go through certain checks to prevent improper use of medical cannabis. While the process of registering for a Florida Cannabis Card might appear quite complicated, if you have all your documents properly organized and clearly know the steps, it is quite a short process and can be completed in a matter of days.