Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016. Florida governor, DeSantis, qualified patients should be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, thus doing away with the smoking ban.
The bill, which was co-sponsored by Republican State Sen. Jeff Brandes and Democrat Linda Stewart, allows patients over the age of 18 to have 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower every 35 days. Moreover, patients under the age of 18 can have access to smokable marijuana on condition that they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a second opinion from a pediatrician.
The same bill states that patients should sign an informed consent form acknowledging the health risks of smoking marijuana.
The laws of smoking marijuana have gone through a lot of changes across the USA, including Florida. Therefore, it is wise to stay updated on the laws for smoking marijuana in Florida to be on the right side and get the most out of medical marijuana. Keep reading to discover more about the laws for smoking medical marijuana in Florida.
What does the recent law mean for medical marijuana patients?
If you quite follow the recent happenings about the laws regarding the use of medical marijuana in Florida, then most probably you are aware that in mid-March 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed in the Medical Use of Marijuana with the Senate Bill 182. You’re also aware that over 70 percent of Florida voters had voted in favor of this bill being passed.
So what does this law mean for medical marijuana patients?
Patients can now purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries in Florida. The patient is required to have a prescription in order to purchase marijuana and smoke legally as required in the Senate bill 182. Florida law goes further to recognize the medical benefits of marijuana.
The law allows medical marijuana patients over the age of 18 to purchase 2.5 ounces of smoking medical marijuana at a time, and they can also possess up to 4 ounces in total.
This law looks good for the medical marijuana patients in Florida, however, you can’t just get into a dispensary and order cannabis. There are restrictions and strict guidelines about the purchase of medical marijuana as well as how it can be consumed.
Restrictions for smoking medical marijuana in Florida
This bill that was signed into law sometime in March 2019, outlines certain restrictions to what qualifies one as a medical marijuana patient and what you should do to be prescribed medical marijuana.
To get a prescription for smoking medical marijuana, you must speak to a doctor. The doctor must be certified by the state of Florida to prescribe marijuana. The doctor for marijuana will examine as you discuss the conditions and symptoms that you’re facing. The discussion should also involve the medication n and treatments that have not successfully worked for you before deciding on whether prescribing marijuana is good for you.
Conditions that qualify someone for medical marijuana or for smoking medical marijuana include HIV/AIDs, epilepsy, cancer, PTSD, Arthritis, anxiety, ALS and glaucoma. Consulting with a certified doctor is the best way to discover the severity of your conditions and whether the current medical and treatment that you are on should be changed to medical marijuana.
There are more than 2,000 physicians that have taken the state-mandated course that qualifies them to examine patients who require a prescription for medical marijuana, and they can recommend products that might help. So, finding a certified physician is not difficult.
The doctor’s expertise and evaluation of your symptoms are vital to the decision of prescribing medical marijuana for you.
Once you receive a signed prescription, proceed to apply to the Florida Department of Health for a Florida Marijuana Card. You will be added to the Compassionate Use Registry in the state, whereby your card will come with a full prescription for 30 weeks. After 30 weeks are over you must renew the card by first consulting a doctor to sign off you on your continued use of marijuana.
The bill also outlines a restriction that applies to smoking itself. For instance, medical marijuana patients are not allowed to smoke in outdoor public places or inside workplaces. They can smoke it at home.
Additionally, patients under the age of 18 with a terminal illness may smoke medical marijuana if they receive a second opinion and recommendation from a pediatrician.
Some restrictions also apply to licensed medical marijuana companies. These Florida licensed companies are required to apply for a variance with the health department giving the details of the smokable medical marijuana they plan to offer. They must get approval for these products before offering them for sale.
Due to the legalization of smokable medical marijuana in Florida, most of the licensed companies in the state, which grow, manufacture and sell their own products, are looking forward to the addition of smokable products to the products they offer.
Another restriction on the packaging of marijuana. This packaging must be plain white so that you can know whether it is a legitimate, medical-issued marijuana product.
There are other restrictions regarding how much medical marijuana patients can possess. Basically, they should possess 4 ounces at a time. The dispensary or physician can order up to six supplies of marijuana per certification. After these six, you will have to get certified again. Each order is designed to be 35 days, where every 35-day order is limited to 2.5 ounces of smokable medical marijuana.
While more than 70 percent of Florida voters voted in favor of this bill being passed, state agencies and lawmakers have been very slow in implementing the rules to allow the industry to grow. The health department, in particular, has been under heavy criticism over long wait times for issuing medical I.D, which is a requirement for patients to access medical marijuana products.
Where can I purchase medical marijuana for smoking in Florida?
In Florida, you can buy medical marijuana from the licensed dispensaries which are closely monitored and regulated. The dispensary where you purchase your product must be approved by the state, and they are around 100 spread across Florida.
You don’t want to buy from dispensaries or from other sources that haven’t been approved by the state. If you do, you risk being cited by the police, something you don’t want to happen to you. Your prescription is only for use in the dispensaries.
Marijuana is sold in a variety of different forms, from THC oils to patches and other forms to allow you to ingest the marijuana in a way that suits you. Smoking was just recently approved as a method of ingesting marijuana.
The Medical Marijuana Use Registry Update
Sometime in June 2019, the Medical Marijuana Use Registry was updated to allow smoking as a method to administer marijuana. Smoking is not considered as a way to administer medical marijuana.
Patients under the age of 18 years cannot get certified to take marijuana for medical reasons in a wide range of cases. However, if a patient has a terminal illness and has sought a second opinion and recommendation from a Florida certified pediatrician, the patient can be certified for a medical marijuana card.
One important thing you need to know is that the right to smoke medical marijuana is not automatic. You can only be certified to smoke if you have tried other methods of administration and the prescribing physician has established, in writing, that the benefits of smoking outweigh the risk. However, patients with terminal illnesses are exempt from this requirement.
The medical marijuana program has developed slowly in Florida because it didn’t allow medical marijuana for smoking. This made a lot of people look for cannabis on the black market, even though they are true medical patients.
With the new laws for smoking medical marijuana in Florida, this program will grow, given that true medical marijuana patients will be certified to take the smokable product. Marijuana should only certify medical marijuana for smoking to patients who have tried other routes of administration and the smoking benefits outweigh the risk. People under the age of 18 years should not be certified for medical marijuana for smoking unless they have a terminal condition and have received a second opinion and recommendation from a pediatrician. Also, smoking cannot be done in public. The best way to go about securing your medical marijuana card and required marijuana doctor certification is to contact FloridasMedicalMarijuana.com.