Medical marijuana cards are increasingly popular among Florida locals looking to get relief from certain health conditions. In fact, since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2014, more than 380,000 people have gotten Florida medical marijuana cards.
Florida’s first medical marijuana legislation, the Compassionate Care Act, was very narrow in scope. The program was expanded slightly in 2016, and that same year Florida voters passed a referendum calling for further expansion. The legislation passed in response to the referendum greatly increased the number of people eligible for medical cannabis.
If you live in Florida and you’ve been struggling with painful, unmanaged symptoms, you may be wondering: “Can I get a medical marijuana card too?” If you have one of nine specified conditions or if you fall into certain other categories, the answer may be “yes.”
Find out if you’re qualified for a Florida medical cannabis card and learn how to apply for one.
How to Qualify for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card
The first step in qualifying for medical cannabis is knowing which medical conditions are included in Florida’s legal guidelines. You must have one of the following nine conditions (or a related condition) in order to be eligible.
Cannabis can be helpful in relieving the nausea and vomiting that often goes with chemotherapy. Some cancer patients who have used medical marijuana have seen increases in appetite, and have even found that they need less pain medicine.
Research on the treatment of epilepsy with medical cannabis is still ongoing, but evidence shows that using cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana, may help manage epilepsy symptoms.
Glaucoma is caused by high pressure in the eyeball called intraocular pressure (IOP). Medical cannabis has been shown to reduce IOP and improve glaucoma outcomes.
Medical cannabis is widely used to relieve some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS. It can also help reduce the severity of side effects caused by the antiretroviral therapy used to treat the condition.
5. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel condition that results in pain, weight loss, and other symptoms. Medical cannabis may reduce inflammation and help manage symptoms like nausea, anxiety, and fatigue.
6. Parkinson’s Disease
This progressive disorder of the nervous symptom affects movement, but can also have non-motor effects, like anxiety and sleeplessness. Medical cannabis has been used to help manage both motor and non-motor symptoms in people with Parkinson’s Disease.
7. Multiple Sclerosis
Many patients have found cannabis helpful in relieving the muscle tightness and resulting pain that come from multiple sclerosis.
8. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Commonly called ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a nervous system disorder that results in a loss of muscle function. It is a progressive disorder, but medical cannabis may relieve a number of its symptoms.
9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Medical cannabis may help manage sleep disturbances, depression, and other symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other Qualifying Conditions
Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, you may still be eligible to get medical cannabis. If you have a condition that is very similar to one on the list, a terminal condition, or chronic nonmalignant pain, you may still be qualified for a card.
How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Florida
If you think your medical condition qualifies you for Florida cannabis use, the next step is to see a doctor.
To assess you for medical cannabis eligibility, a doctor must have completed state-mandated training and be certified to enter patients into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. Only a small percentage of Florida doctors are certified, but they are available in all specialties and in all areas of the state.
Before you go to your appointment, learn what type of medical records you should supply.
To apply for a card, you must be able to prove that you’re a Florida resident. You may also be eligible if you’re a seasonal resident, but the documentation requirements are slightly different from those for year-round residents.
Those who live in Florida year round need only show their Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card. Seasonal residents who do not have these forms of identification must show two of the following:
- A mortgage, mortgage payment book, monthly mortgage statement, or deed for a residence; for renters, the rental or lease agreement for a residence
- A utility hookup or work order with a date that falls within 60 days before the entry into the Registry
- A utility bill that is not more than two months old
- Mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal governmental agency not more than two months old
- Mail not more than two months old from a financial institution, such as a statement for an account
- In the case of a seasonal resident who lives with someone else (a parent, step-parent, legal guardian, or other individual), a statement from that person verifying that the seasonal resident does reside with them
When you have met the residency requirement and have been certified as eligible by a doctor, that doctor will enter your information into the Florida Medical Marijuana Registry.
Cost of Getting Your Card
The application fee for a Florida medical marijuana card is $75, but there are some additional costs to consider as well. Insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost of medical marijuana consultations, so you can expect to pay $200 to $300 for the doctor’s appointment out of pocket.
In addition, you will need to see your physician at least once every 30 weeks (about 7 months) to be recertified, and you’ll have to pay for those visits as well. Some doctors may even require that you come in more often. Be sure to ask your doctor about the cost of visits before you come in for your appointment.
When to Expect Your Card
As soon as you are entered into the Registry, you should receive an email with a link to apply for your card. Applicants are encouraged to apply online.
Once the application is complete and the fee has cleared, it takes five days to process your application. After five days, you should receive an email that will allow you to place an order at a medical cannabis dispensary, also called a medical marijuana treatment center.
It takes another five or so days for your card to be printed and mailed. After that time, you can use your card to buy from an online dispensary or a physical location.
To keep your card active, you must renew it each year. The renewal form should be available online 45 days before the expiration date printed on your card. It costs $75 to renew your card.
Get the Best Florida Cannabis with VidaCann
Once you have qualified for your medical marijuana card, you’ll want the finest medical-grade cannabis available. That’s why you’ll want to visit VidaCann. With a Florida-based online dispensary and 14 physical locations, VidaCann makes it easy for you to get the medical cannabis you need.
VidaCann offers a wide range of products, plus knowledgeable staff to answer all of your questions. You’ll feel confident in your treatment program when you place your trust in VidaCann.