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Florida Marijuana Cards

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Update– With the recent amendments to Florida Statute section 381.986, Florida marijuana laws have changed to provide that the Florida Department of Health will issue marijuana identification cards to patients (and/or their caregivers who qualify under the law).

More specifically, the legal change states that:

f) The department may establish a system for issuing and renewing registration cards for patients and their legal representatives, establish the circumstances under which the cards may be revoked by or must be returned to the department, and establish fees to implement such system. The department must require, at a minimum, the registration cards to:

  1. Provide the name, address, and date of birth of the patient or legal representative.
  1. Have a full-face, passport-type, color photograph of the patient or legal representative taken within the 90 days immediately preceding registration.
  1. Identify whether the cardholder is a patient or legal representative.
  1. List a unique numeric identifier for the patient or legal representative that is matched to the identifier used for such person in the department’s compassionate use registry.
  1. Provide the expiration date, which shall be 1 year after the date of the physician’s initial order of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis.
  1. For the legal representative, provide the name and unique numeric identifier of the patient that the legal representative is assisting.
  1. Be resistant to counterfeiting or tampering.

As always, we at the Florida Medical Marijuana Directory will keep you posted and let you know when the Florida Department of Health issues official procedures outlining how to legally obtain the new Florida marijuana registration cards. 

No Florida Marijuana Card Needed

We often get asked whether a Florida medical marijuana patient needs to get a “Florida medical marijuana card” or “Florida marijuana card” in order to purchase the low-THC marijuana that the 5 Florida dispensaries will begin selling as early as September, 2016. We also get asked who is eligible to receive the low-THC medical marijuana allowed under Florida marijuana law and whether patients will be able to smoke the low-THC medical marijuana. Here are some quick and easy answers to those questions (to the best of our knowledge). The short answer is that no Florida medical card is needed or will be issued under current Florida marijuana laws. This could change, however, as Florida marijuana laws change.

Which Patients Are Eligible For A Florida Medical Marijuana Prescription

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allows doctors to order low-THC cannabis derivative products for patients with (1) cancer, (2) epilepsy, or (3) a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms. The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 states that in order to be qualified to obtain low‐THC cannabis:

  • The patient must be a permanent Florida resident.
  • If a patient is under the age of 18, a second physician must agree with the determination of need for the patient.
  • The patient must suffer from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms; or symptoms of the same.
  • Other treatments must have been tried without success.
  • The ordering physician must determine the risks of using low‐THC cannabis are reasonable in light of the benefit to the patient.
  • The ordering physician must register the patient in the Compassionate Use Registry.
  • The ordering physician must maintain a patient treatment plan which outlines the dose, route of administration, planned duration, monitoring of the patient’s illness, and tolerance of the low‐ THC cannabis, and submit the plan to the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, on a quarterly basis for research purposes.

How Will Low-THC Marijuana Purchased By Qualified Patients?

If no Florida medical marijuana card is needed, how will qualifying patients be able to purchase medical marijuana in Florida?

“A qualified patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician. If that physician determines that low-THC cannabis is appropriate for that patient, the physician will enter an order into the statewide low-THC registry. That patient will then go to a dispensary operated by one of the state’s five Dispensing Organizations. Dispensary staff will verify the patient’s identity and then fill the corresponding order in the registry. Once it has been filled, the order is cleared by the registry, and the patient will need to receive another physician order to receive additional low-THC cannabis derivative products.”

Which Florida Physicians Can Prescribe Low-THC Medical Marijuana In Florida?

According to the Office of Compassionate Use of the Florida Department of Health:

“The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 provides that low‐THC cannabis can only be ordered by physicians licensed under Chapter 458 or Chapter 459 of Florida Statutes. Chapter 458 regulates medical practice or allopathic physicians, and Chapter 459 regulates osteopathic physicians. The law further states that before ordering low‐THC cannabis for use by a patient, the ordering physician must successfully complete an 8‐hour course offered by either the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. The course encompasses the clinical indications for the appropriate use of low‐THC cannabis, the appropriate delivery mechanisms, the contraindications for such use, as well as the relevant state and federal laws governing the ordering, dispensing, and possessing of this substance. The physician must successfully pass an examination upon completion of the course.”

Where Can A Qualified Patient Purchase Low-THC Marijuana?

Under current Florida marijuana laws, only the 5 licensed Florida dispensaries listed here can sell approved low-THC marijuana to qualified patients. This means that a qualified patient can only legally buy Florida medical marijuana from those licensed dispensaries.

Can The Low-THC Medical Marijuana Legally Obtained Under Florida Law Be Smoked?

No. Under Florida medical marijuana laws, low-THC medical marijuana legally prescribed to a qualifying patient cannot be smoked but must be taken another way such as topically or via tinctures.


For more complete information, please check out the Office of Compassionate Use information published for patients here.

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