FL Marijuana Dispensary Guide
Florida Regulated Cannabis Program Overview
Type of program: Medical only
Before the current Florida medical marijuana program was instated, State Bill 307 was introduced in March 2016, allowing terminally ill patients with less than a year to live, access to full-strength medical marijuana. Then Senate Bill 8A, the Medical Use of Marijuana Act was passed in June 2017 to implement guidelines for medical marijuana available to Floridians.
The Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use was established by the Florida Department of Health for the purpose of implementing these rules, and the Compassionate Use Registry was renamed the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
Under Amendment 2, a Florida medical marijuana card will be given to a patient if a Florida-certified medical marijuana doctor believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.
Marijuana dispensaries in Florida
Only state-licensed dispensaries are allowed to cultivate, process, and sell medical marijuana products in Florida.
Florida’s medical marijuana dispensaries have been deemed essential businesses in Florida. That is they are considered crucial to health and wellbeing of the states more than a quarter-million qualified patients.
Some of the larger Florida dispensary operators include:
Medical marijuana products available in Florida
One of the most salient changes to Florida’s medical marijuana laws is the repeal of a ban on smokeable forms of cannabis — particularly dried flower. The revised legislation also legalized the sale of smoking gear such as bongs and rolling papers by Florida’s medical marijuana patients.
At present, Florida medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to sell the following products:
Florida medical marijuana dispensaries also offer paraphernalia such as rolling papers, pipes, and vaporizers.
Purchase and possession limits
Once a medical marijuana card is obtained by a licensed physician, the patient is allowed up to a 70-day supply of marijuana products or 2.5 ounces of dried flower per 35 days. This is based on quantified doses and amounts designated by the Department of Health as dispensed by a medical marijuana treatment center.
Patients are permitted to possess no more than four ounces of herbal cannabis.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Florida
To qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, a patient must be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida.
Patients must be examined by a state-certified medical marijuana doctor to determine eligibility.
If the patient is approved they must be entered into the state Compassionate Use Registry in order to receive a card.
There is a registration fee of $75.
Marijuana doctors in Florida
A physician may only approve a patient for a Florida medical marijuana card if he or she holds an active, unrestricted license as a physician under Chapter 458, Florida Statutes, or an osteopathic physician under Chapter 459, Florida Statutes.
Additionally, a qualified physician must have successfully completed a 2-hour CME course and examination titled Florida Physician Medical Marijuana Course. Completion of the 2-hour course and exam is required each time the physician renews his or her medical license. A link to the course can be found here.
The law requires that qualified physicians may only issue a certification if they conduct a physical examination while physically present in the same room as the patient and a full assessment of the medical history. A certification may not be issued through telemedicine.
Specifically listed qualifying conditions for a Florida medical marijuana card include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Other debilitating condition of like, kind, Or class
Amendment 2 allows Florida medical marijuana doctors to certify patients for a Medical Marijuana Card after diagnosing them with “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class.”
Additional qualifying medical conditions may include:
- Back pain
- Hepatitis C
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Lyme disease
- Muscle spasms
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Sickle cell anemia
- Other conditions that result in traumatic stress
Renew a Florida medical marijuana card | Telemedicine
A Florida medical marijuana card is valid for 30 weeks. Patients must be reexamined by their medical marijuana doctor in order to renew their card. Another examination is required every 210 days.
Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees has given the green light to the state’s medical marijuana patients to make telemedicine appointments for follow-up consultations rather than having to see their doctor in person. Telemedicine can currently be used for medical card renewals only.
Residents of all ages are eligible for medical marijuana use in Florida.
Minors must meet specific qualifications and must have approval from two qualified physicians. A parent or guardian must act as the child’s caregiver.
Section 381.986(9)(a), Florida Statutes states that patients who meet the following criteria may choose to designate a caregiver to purchase and administer their medication under these circumstances:
- When the patient is a minor.
- When the patient is an adult who presents with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities and is unable to engage fully in activities of self-care or self-determination for health needs.
- When the patient is terminally ill and is admitted to a hospice program.
Section 381.986(1)(d) of the Florida Statutes states that only the following people can serve as a qualified patient’s “legal representative”:
- A parent
- A legal guardian acting pursuant to a court’s authorization as required under Section 744.3215(4), Florida Statutes
- A healthcare surrogate acting pursuant to the qualified patient’s written consent or a court’s authorization as required under Section 765.113, Florida Statutes
- An individual who is authorized under a power of attorney to make health care decisions on behalf of the qualified patient.
Pursuant to s. 381.987, F.S. the department allows access to confidential and exempt information in the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to law enforcement agencies that are investigating a violation of law regarding marijuana in which the subject of the investigation claims an exception established under s. 381.986, F.S.
Florida Marijuana Laws
Marijuana-related DUI laws in Florida
Transporting cannabis in Florida
When carrying medical marijuana products in public, patients must have a valid medical marijuana card and the product must be in the original packaging with proof of purchase from the dispensary.
Florida medical marijuana and guns
Public consumption laws in Florida
All smoking of hemp and marijuana is prohibited in or around any and all public buildings. It is also illegal to smoke it within a 1,500-foot radius of schools, daycares, and parks where Drug-Free Zone laws apply.
Infractions can result in fines and potential jail time.
Social consumption: prohibited
At this time, social consumption clubs are not permitted in Florida.
Home cultivation: prohibited
Florida residents are not permitted to grow marijuana at home for medical or personal use. This may change in the future.
Pending Changes to Florida marijuana laws
Some Florida lawmakers are also working toward legalizing recreational marijuana in Florida.
According to a statewide poll, some 64 percent of Florida voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
Florida medical marijuana licensing
The Florida Department of Health is the governing agency for medical marijuana in Florida. All medical marijuana treatment centers must be licensed by the DOH. In July of 2019, a Florida court ruled the state’s vertical integration requirement “unconstitutional.” Vertical integration refers to the practice of marijuana retails being required to grow and process their own cannabis products.
The Florida Department of Health, which administers the medical-marijuana system, with the support of Gov. DeSantis, has appealed to the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling and protect the vertical integration requirement.
Learn more about vertical vs. horizontal integration.
Below are links for parties interested in applying for a Florida medical marijuana license.
Florida hemp and CBD laws
Hemp is a non-intoxicating cultivar of cannabis that produces under 0.3 percent THC.
In 2019, the Florida Legislature approved a bill that permitted the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop a hemp program for the state.
All Florida residents, not just medical marijuana patients, can buy CBD oil online and in Florida CBD shops as long as it’s produced from hemp.