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Can You Be A Qualified Florida Marijuana Patient?

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Who are legal Florida marijuana patients?

We here at the Florida Medical Marijuana Directory are getting lots of questions about who can qualify to get a legal Florida marijuana prescription. Under current Florida marijuana laws, there are two kinds of medical patients that will qualify to be a legal Florida marijuana patient in Florida. Both kinds of legal Florida marijuana patients in Florida are discussed below.

The Terminally-Ill:

Are you or a loved one, unfortunately, terminally-ill? If so, Florida statute 499.0295 (the Florida Right to Try Act) would apply and the following requirements would apply to receive a legal prescription for even euphoric strains of medical cannabis in Florida:

“Eligible patient” means a person who:

  1. Has a terminal condition that is attested to by the patient’s physician and confirmed by a second independent evaluation by a board-certified physician in an appropriate specialty for that condition;
  1. Has considered all other treatment options for the terminal condition currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;
  1. Has given written informed consent for the use of an investigational drug, biological product, or device; and
  1. Has documentation from his or her treating physician that the patient meets the requirements of this paragraph.

 “Investigational drug, biological product, or device” means:

  1. A drug, biological product, or device that has successfully completed phase 1 of a clinical trial but has not been approved for general use by the United States Food and Drug Administration and remains under investigation in a clinical trial approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration; or
  1. Medical cannabis that is manufactured and sold by a dispensing organization.

 “Terminal condition” means a progressive disease or medical or surgical condition that causes significant functional impairment, is not considered by a treating physician to be reversible even with the administration of available treatment options currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and, without the administration of life-sustaining procedures, will result in death within 1 year after diagnosis if the condition runs its normal course.

Other Kinds of Florida Marijuana Patients?

If you are not terminally-ill, but still have cancer or a seizure disorder, then Florida Statute 381.986 would apply and a prospective patient would have to meet the following requirements to receive a legal prescription for low-THC cannabis:

“Qualified patient” means a resident of this state who has been added to the compassionate use registry by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 to receive low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis from a dispensing organization.

Physician ordering.– A physician is authorized to order low-THC cannabis to treat a qualified patient suffering from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms; order low-THC cannabis to alleviate symptoms of such disease, disorder, or condition, if no other satisfactory alternative treatment options exist for the qualified patient; order medical cannabis to treat an eligible patient as defined in s. 499.0295; or order a cannabis delivery device for the medical use of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis, only if the physician :

(a) Holds an active, unrestricted license as a physician under chapter 458 or an osteopathic physician under chapter 459;

(b) Has treated the patient for at least 3 months immediately preceding the patient’s registration in the compassionate use registry;

(c) Has successfully completed the course and examination required under paragraph (4)(a).

(d) Has determined that the risks of treating the patient with low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis are reasonable in light of the potential benefit to the patient. If a patient is younger than 18 years of age, a second physician must concur with this determination, and such determination must be documented in the patient’s medical record;

(e) Registers as the orderer of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis for the named patient on the compassionate use registry maintained by the department and updates the registry to reflect the contents of the order, including the amount of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis that will provide the patient with not more than a 45-day supply and a cannabis delivery device needed by the patient for the medical use of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis. The physician must also update the registry within 7 days after any change is made to the original order to reflect the change. The physician shall deactivate the registration of the patient and the patient’s legal representative when treatment is discontinued;

(f) Maintains a patient treatment plan that includes the dose, route of administration, planned duration, and monitoring of the patient’s symptoms and other indicators of tolerance or reaction to the low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis;

(g) Submits the patient treatment plan quarterly to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy for research on the safety and efficacy of low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis on patients;

(h) Obtains the voluntary written informed consent of the patient or the patient’s legal representative to treatment with low-THC cannabis after sufficiently explaining the current state of knowledge in the medical community of the effectiveness of treatment of the patient’s condition with low-THC cannabis, the medically acceptable alternatives, and the potential risks and side effects;

(i) Obtains written informed consent as defined in and required under s. 499.0295, if the physician is ordering medical cannabis for an eligible patient pursuant to that section; and

(j) Is not a medical director employed by a dispensing organization.

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