Here is a breakdown of some of the most asked questions about Florida Medical Marijuana Laws.
What is the OMMU?
The OMMU stands for Office of Medical Marijuana Use. This is a branch of the Florida Department of Health that runs our state’s medical marijuana (cannabis) use registry. The OMMU is where our doctors send notification of patient eligibility and where patients go to apply for, or renew, their identification card. The OMMU also provides tools for patients to keep track of their use. Click here to check out the OMMU.
What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Florida?
In 2017, Florida made legal the use of medical marijuana (cannabis) to treat certain conditions. A patient must be recommended by a certified physician as suffering from one of the OMMU‘s qualifying medical conditions:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to the others listed.
A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification. Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.
Meaning of “Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed”
Under this specification, our qualifie physicians are allowed to certify patients who have symptoms and/or medical conditions that are both debilitating and similar in nature to the medical conditions named in the law.
For a condition to be debilitating, it must interfere with, or limit, the patient’s life. We certify patients for medical marijuana treatments that have a wide variety of debilitating health issues.
Can seasonal residents, or visiting patients, qualify for medical marijuana in Florida?
Yes. Per the Florida Law SB 8-A, a “seasonal resident” is defined as “any person who temporarily resides in this state for a period of at least 31 consecutive days in each calendar year, maintains a temporary residence in this state, returns to the state or jurisdiction of his or her residence at least one time, during each calendar year, and is registered to vote or pays, income tax in another state or jurisdiction.
Can Caregivers get an ID card?
Yes. Qualified patients can designate a caregiver to assist them, someone who has the legal right to assist with the medical use of marijuana (cannabis) and can legally purchase and possess it for use by that patient. Medical marijuana caregivers in Florida need to be authorized and get their own separate state Caregiver ID card in a certification process that’s similar to the way patients are approved. Click here for more information.
Are Telehealth appointments legal?
Not at this time. During the height of COVID, Florida allowed Telehealth (remote) re-certification appointments for existing qualified patients. And the state even extended the use of Telehealth for a short period. But that temporary authorization has expired. Remote Telehealth appointments are not allowed.
Where can I purchase medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana can only be purchased at a licensed dispensary. We’re working on a complete directory of Treasure Coast dispensaries. Click here to view our current list.
Can I go to a dispensary without a MMJ ID card?No. Only certified, licensed medical marijuana patients may shop at Florida’s licensed dispensaries.
Are Medical Marijuana records private?
Yes. All of your information within the OMMU is protected under HIPPA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). No one, or no other entity, will be able to access your medical records. The exception is your caregiver, if you have one. A certified caregiver would be your representative and has legal permission to access.
Can police view my medical marijuana use registry records?According to Florida Statute 381.987, the OMMU 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. Basically, this means that law enforcement will be able to access the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to confirm that you are a registered patient when you claim to be so. For example, a police officer sees your medical marijuana products, and you claim that it is legal and you are a certified patient.
Can I drive with medical marijuana in the vehicle?
As long as the products are contained in their original packaging. You can drive to the dispensary, purchase products and drive home. Just leave the products in their packaging. You cannot use products in your vehicle. We can’t stress this enough – in-vehicle use of medical marijuana products is prohibited. It is illegal to be under the influence of marijuana while driving.
Can I qualify for a concealed weapons permit with I use medical marijuana?
We are not legal experts, so this information is only intended for general information purposes…definitely seek out legal help.
Florida Statute 790.06 gives the The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the legal authorization to issue concealed weapons permits.
Our previous Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried, had stated that under her leadership, the Department of Agriculture, “will not be taking anyone’s concealed weapons permit, or refusing to issue a CWFL,” due to the person possessing a medical marijuana card. So Medical Marijuana card holders with a concealed weapons permit rested easy.
We have a new Agriculture Commissioner, Wilton Simpson, and hopefully he works for medical marijuana patients the same.
The kicker is when you go to purchase a firearm.
Can I purchase a firearm if I use medical marijuana?
We went over the fact that you may be able to get a concealed weapons permit with a medical cannabis certification. But you may not be able to purchase a firearm. **Again, please seek legal counsel if you are in this situation and need legal advice. What we’re providing here is only for informational purposes.
Having a concealed weapons permit in Florida is a state deal. Purchasing a firearm entails getting the federal level involved.
On the ATF’s background form, you may see a question like: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
How this question is answered may determine if you can purchase a firearm or not. Medical Marijuana patients are advised to speak with a lawyer regarding this legislation.
In the below WEEDTALK episode, our staff members go into more details about gun laws and medicl cannabis.
Can I use my Florida ID card in other states?
If you use medical marijuana, and plan on traveling, become familiar with the word “reciprocity,” which means if that state accepts your Florida medical marijuana ID card. So you need to know if the state you’re traveling to has 1) a medical marijuana program and 2) “reciprocity” with Florida. Some do. Some don’t. Laws change often. We’ve got a running list of all U.S. states…whether they have medical marijuana programs and accept Florida ID cards. Look it over here.
How often do I have to renew my ID card?
The dates of the ID card renewal will be different from the required dates to see the physician for medication renewal. This is per Florida law, as the maximum time that a patient is allowed to have renewals is for 7 months (210 weeks).
Every 7 months (210 days) you need to schedule a re-certification appointment with our qualified physicians for an in-person recertification exam.
Renewal applications through the OMMU are on an annual basis. Renewal applications are available beginning 45 days prior to the expiration date on your ID card. Click here for instructions on how to renew your ID card through the OMMU.
Where can I use medical cannabis?
You are prohibited from using high-THC medication in public or while on public transportation. Yes, you can carry, or possess, in public as long as you do not use it. Do not use medical marijuana while operating any vehicles (of any sort)!
What about using medical marijuana where I work?
Speak with a lawyer on this subject. In Florida, cannabis is only medically legal. Your employer is not bound to accommodate your use or even allow medical cannabis use at the workplace.