How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida

Proponents of recreational cannabis legalization in Florida are in hot pursuit of a ballot win. Still, even if they can keep the measure in the 2024 election it will be years before Floridians can buy legal recreational cannabis in the state.

Meanwhile, the only way to legally purchase, possess, and consume cannabis in Florida is to get a medical marijuana card.

Below, you'll learn who qualifies for medical cannabis, and how to register for a medical marijuana card in Florida.

Florida Marijuana Laws

Florida marijuana laws have undergone significant changes in recent years, with a focus on regulating access to medical marijuana while preventing unauthorized recreational cannabis use. The state's regulations have loosened up recently, allowing patients to renew their recommendations through telehealth. However, weed laws in Florida are still more restrictive than in other states.

The state has strict limits on how much cannabis MMJ patients can buy and where they can use their medicine. You'll read more about this below.

What’s the Cheapest Way to Get a Medical Card in Florida?

The cost for a medical marijuana card tends to be higher in Florida than in other states because all patients are required to see their physician in person for their initial evaluation. Patients can expect to pay between $250 and $400 for their initial evaluation.

This is where NuggMD comes in! They are consistently one of the most affordable options for telehealth in the nation (but also offer in-person evaluations in certain states). NuggMD's cost for a medical marijuana card evaluation in Florida is just $179!

Their follow-up evaluations via telehealth are even more affordable at $159. Plus, patients who do their follow-ups with NuggMD don't have to fight traffic or miss hours of work to sit in a waiting room for a short conversation with their doctor.

How to Get a Florida Medical Marijuana Card

Florida medical marijuana card requirements can be a bit more restrictive than most other states, but it's still fairly straightforward, and NuggMD makes getting your med card even easier. You just need to see a doctor, get your certification, then register with the state.

Here's a breakdown of the process.

Step 1: Find out if you qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card

Medical marijuana is an available treatment option for a vast majority of Floridians, but there are still a few restrictions that you should know about.

Do you have to be a resident to get a medical card?

You must be a Florida state permanent or seasonal resident to qualify for an MMJ card. Unfortunately, Florida doesn't have medical marijuana reciprocity with other states, so out-of-state patients can't join the program. However, if you stay in Florida for at least 31 consecutive days in a calendar year, you're considered a seasonal resident and can apply for a Florida med card.

How old do you have to be to get a medical card?

The program has no age limit, but minors under 18 are subject to additional restrictions. They must have written informed consent from the parent or their legal guardian, and they must be diagnosed by two independent physicians.

What are the qualifying conditions for a medical card in Florida?

Florida allows cannabis treatment for many conditions including chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. If you don't have a specific condition from Florida's list of qualifying conditions, you still might qualify. Florida also allows cannabis treatment for “medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to the others listed.”

Step 2: Get a medical marijuana evaluation

In Florida, doctors are allowed to use telehealth for follow-up evaluations, but the initial visit must be at a physical doctor's office. NuggMD can connect patients with physicians in Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami, with more cities coming soon. Doctors in Florida must follow up with their patients at least twice yearly, so using telehealth for the required follow-ups saves time and hassle.

Can you get a same-day medical card in Florida?

Florida can occasionally approve an online application as fast as the same day, but it usually takes a couple of days to complete the process from start to finish. The state provides an email confirmation once they approve the application. Patients can use the email for dispensary purchases until their permanent physical card arrives in the mail.

So, the sooner you start, the sooner you'll be approved!

Step 3: Your Florida MMJ doctor submits your certification to the state

If you're approved for a medical cannabis card, your doctor will submit your certification to Florida's OMMU. Once this information is received, you'll get an email with instructions explaining how to register for a medical marijuana card in Florida. The Florida MMJ registry charges a $75 application fee.

And that's all there is to it!

How To Find A Medical Marijuana Doctor In Florida

Not all physicians are qualified to recommend medical marijuana in Florida. To recommend cannabis, a physician must:

This can make finding a qualified medical marijuana physician a bit of a challenge for patients. NuggMD solves this problem by connecting patients with fully licensed Florida medical marijuana doctors who are willing to discuss this treatment option.

Just visit NuggMD.com/florida, create your account, and select the location and appointment time of your choice for your first-time evaluation. All NuggMD physicians are registered with the state so you'll be able to complete your application via the internet instead of using snail mail.

What to Expect During the Evaluation

You'll want to make sure your physician has a list of your current medications, treatments, and records of any failed treatments you've tried in the past. Your doctor may also ask you to provide additional patient charts, medical records, therapy records, lab test results, or hospital records, so it's good to gather these items before your evaluation.

It's also a good idea to prepare a list of questions you may have about cannabis, its effects, how it may interact with your current medications, and any other questions you may have. NuggMD doctors are friendly and compassionate. They love to educate patients about cannabis and want to make sure you leave your evaluation feeling fully empowered to integrate cannabis effectively into your current healthcare routine.

Medical Marijuana Card Benefits in Florida

The main benefit of having a medical card in Florida is that it's the only way to legally purchase and possess cannabis in the state. Florida's legislature is very resistant to full legalization even though 70% of the state's population wants it legalized.

Until it's legalized, another important reason to get a medical card is that you'll have access to safe, tested medicine. Many people use cannabis for medical reasons like ALS or epilepsy without ever bothering to get a medical marijuana card. This doesn't just put them at legal risk. It exposes them to dangerous contaminants and chemicals in black-market marijuana.

A recent study by NuggMD found that more than ⅔ of black market dispensary cannabis fails lab testing. These contaminants can be even more dangerous for patients with serious medical conditions. Registered MMJ patients don't face this risk.

Steps to Complete Your Florida Medical Marijuana Card Renewal

Renewing a medical marijuana card in Florida is a straightforward process. Patients will see their doctor more than once a year, but registration renewals are only required annually. The steps are generally the same as for your initial evaluation.

During their renewal consultation, patients can discuss their experiences with medical marijuana and address any changes in their health or treatment plan. Once the doctor approves the renewal, patients can then proceed to renew their medical marijuana card online in Florida through the state's official website.

Patients should start the renewal process at least 30 days before their card is set to expire to ensure continuous coverage.

Can You Shop At Any Florida Dispensary With a Medical Card?

Florida doesn't restrict patients to a single dispensary. Patients have access to 22 dispensaries with over 500 retail outlets in the state. There are a large variety of products available as well.

What are the purchase limits with a Florida medical marijuana card?

Physician recommendations are limited to no more than 24,500mg of THC every 70 days. The 35-day supply limit for marijuana in a smokable form can't exceed 2.5 ounces. Daily THC allowances are restricted to 60 mg for edibles, 350 mg for vaporization, and 200 mg for capsules or tinctures.

Are edibles legal in Florida?

Patients can purchase up to 60mgs of edibles per day in Florida.

Do you need a medical card to buy CBD in Florida?

You don't need a medical card to buy CBD with less than 0.3% THC by weight, but most of these products aren't regulated or tested to the same extent as the cannabis products you'll purchase at a dispensary.

Most patients, especially those with very serious conditions, should use dispensary cannabis so they can avoid contaminants like Aspergillus or residual solvents.

Can you enter a Florida dispensary at 18?

Any registered patient 18 or over can enter a dispensary in Florida. Patients under 18 can't enter a dispensary and will need a parent or guardian caregiver to obtain their cannabis for them.

Can you go to more than one dispensary in a day in Florida?

You can purchase your cannabis at any dispensary you choose. You can even go to more than one dispensary on the same day so long as you don't exceed your purchase limit. Some patients choose to do this to take advantage of sale prices and discounts.

Can I use my medical card in another state?

This depends on which state you're traveling to. Some states allow patients to use an out-of-state card to purchase cannabis, while others only allow out-of-state patients to possess cannabis. Other states require patients to get an evaluation from a doctor in their destination state and apply for a short-term card for the duration of their visit, so it may take a little planning.

Patients should check with their destination state at least six weeks before traveling if possible.

Why use NuggMD for Your Florida Medical Marijuana Card Evaluation or Renewal?

NuggMD is the trusted source for medical cannabis telemedicine in 28 states, available to over 2/3rds of Americans. They’ve won multiple consumer choice awards and have now matched over a million patients to their new medical marijuana doctors, making them the nation's largest provider of medical marijuana telemedicine. Their streamlined video service enables real-time, face-to-face communications with a state-licensed practitioner, and they’re offering evaluations in Florida for just $179. Just head on over to NuggMD to get started today.

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