Frequently Asked Questions
Florida law defines medical marijuana as all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin, including low-THC cannabis, which are dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center for medical use by a qualified patient.
In Florida, medical marijuana is distinct from low-THC cannabis in that it can contain significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical compound that causes the “high” commonly associated with cannabis. Unlike low-THC cannabis, the consumption of medical marijuana can lead to potent psychoactive effects in patients.
A Florida resident who wants to become a medical marijuana patient must:
1. Visit us for a certification exam.
2. Register and obtain a medical marijuana use registry identification card.
3. Purchase medication at a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
The current processing time for Compassionate Use Registry Identification Cards is 30 days from the time the Department receives your application. If you are submitting an application by mail, please allow an additional 3-5 days for delivery of your application. Submitting an incomplete application will increase the amount of time required to process your account.
To maintain an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card, a patient and/or legal representative must annually submit a renewal application, along with the application fee and any required accompanying documents to the department forty-five (45) days prior to the card expiration date.
Insurance does not cover costs, because medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
A patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician. Once the ordering physician inputs the patient’s information and the order information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, the patient or the patient’s legal representative need to apply for a Compassionate Use Registry Identification Card. Once approved, a patient will then be able to go to a licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and purchase.
Patients and legal representatives must provide their Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card to medical marijuana treatment centers in order to obtain medical marijuana, or a marijuana delivery device. Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification cards may also be used to assist in verifying that a patient or legal representative are in the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
In Florida, low-THC cannabis is distinct from medical marijuana in that it contains very low amounts of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because of its low-THC content, it does not have the euphoric properties that full-potency marijuana has.
In order to qualify as low-THC, the flowers, seeds, resin, and any other product derived from the cannabis plant must contain 0.8 percent or less of THC and more than 10 percent of cannabidiol (CBD) weight for weight.
Low-THC cannabis” means a plant of the genus Cannabis, the dried flowers of which contain 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol and more than 10 percent of cannabidiol weight for weight; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant or its seeds or resin that is dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center.
“Marijuana” means all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin, including low-THC cannabis, which are dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center for medical use by a qualified patient.
Not necessarily. When we write orders for patients, we take into account a patient’s needs and preferences. Patients with certain conditions, including the severe nausea or lack of appetite experienced by some cancer patients, may have orders that suggest a drug combination that gives a euphoric high, but other strains don’t.
No. Florida law only allows the licensed dispensing organizations to grow, process and dispense marijuana. The department will refer any business or individual suspected of violating state law to local law enforcement for investigation. It is important to remember marijuana is illegal under federal law.