Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the difference between low-THC cannabis and medical?

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 only from a dispensing organization. Low-THC cannabis contains very low amounts of the psychoactive compound THC, and typically does not result in the “high” often associated with medical cannabis.

Medical 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, sale, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin that is dispensed only from a dispensing organization for medical use by an eligible patient. Medical marijuana contains significant levels of the cannabinoid THC, and can result in the euphoric "high" sensation.

 What is a marijuana delivery device?

A marijuana delivery device is an object used, intended for use, or designed for use in preparing, storing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body, and which is dispensed from a medical marijuana treatment center for medical use by a qualified patient.

 Are low-THC and medical marijuana products currently available in Florida?

Yes. Patients may find medical marijuana treatment centers in their area by clicking here. All medical marijuana treatment centers in Florida are authorized to deliver statewide. If you do not have a medical marijuana treatment center in your area, you may contact one of the businesses listed on the Department’s website to arrange for a delivery of low-THC cannabis, medical marijuana, or a marijuana delivery device.

 Who is eligible to receive an order for low-THC cannabis products?

Patients suffering from the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • 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 those above
  • 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

 

 Who is eligible to receive an order for medical marijuana products?

Patients suffering from the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • 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 those above
  • 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

 

 What are the requirements to become a qualifying patient?
  • Be diagnosed with a qualifying condition
  • Be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry by a qualified physician
  • Obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card
  • Be a Florida resident or a seasonal resident

 

 How do patients find qualified physicians who can order low-THC cannabis, medical marijuana or cannabis delivery devices?

A list of physicians authorized to order low-THC cannabis, medical marijuana or marijuana delivery devices for patients is located on the Patient’s tab on the Office of Medical Marijuana Use website. That information can be found here.

 Are there requirements for a Florida physician to qualify to order low-THC cannabis, medical marijuana or a cannabis delivery device?

Yes. A physician may only order low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana 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 qualifying physician must have successfully completed a 2-hour continuing education course and examination. Renewal of the 2-hour course and subsequent examination is required each time the physician renews his or her medical license. A link to the course and examination is available on the Physician's tab located on the Office of Medical Marijuana Use website. This information can be found here.

 What are the requirements for a Medical Director of a Dispensing Organization?

A medical director must hold an active, unrestricted license as a physician under Chapter 458, Florida Statutes or as an osteopathic physician under Chapter 459, Florida Statutes. They must also complete a 2-hour continuing education course and examination. A link to the course and examination is available on the For Physician's tab located on the Office of Medical Marijuana Use website.

 Who can sell low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana?

Click here to access the list of approved medical marijuana treatment centers.

 How can a patient purchase low-thc or medical marijuana?

A qualified patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician. A qualified physician must input the patient into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. Once the physician inputs the patient’s information, the patient must apply and be approved for a medical marijuana use identification card. Once approved, patients must go to or seek delivery from an approved MMTC.

 Who can purchase medical marijuana from an approved medical marijuana treatment center?

Medical marijuana treatment centers may only provide low-THC cannabis, medical marijuana or a marijuana delivery device to a qualified patient or a qualified patient's legal representative.

 Who can be a qualified patient's caregiver?

Florida law defines a caregiver as a resident of Florida who has agreed to assist with a qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana, has a caregiver identification card, and meets all requirements under Florida law.

A caregiver must:

  • Be 21 years of age;
  • Agree in writing to assist with a qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana
  • Be registered in the medical marijuana use registry as a caregiver for no more than one qualified patient, unless exempted from this requirement by Section 381.986(6), F.S.; and
  • Meet all other requirements of Section 381.986(6), F.S.

A caregiver may not:

  • Be a qualified physician;
  • Be employed by or have an economic interest in a medical marijuana treatment center or a marijuana testing laboratory; or
  • Receive compensation, other than actual expenses incurred, for any services provided to the qualified patient.
 Can patients obtain low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana if they do not have one of the qualifying conditions?

No. Physicians may only order low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana for patients diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions or conditions of like kind and class.

 Does the law allow qualifying patients to grow their own low-thc cannabis or medical marijuana?

No.

 How much low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana can a qualifying physician order for a patient?

Qualifying physicians can order no more than a 70-day supply and a marijuana delivery device needed by the patient for the medical use of low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana.

 Will low-THC cannabis and medical marijuana be inspected and tested?

Yes. Low-THC cannabis and medical marijuana must be processed within an enclosed structure away from other plants and products. Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers are required to test the processed low-THC cannabis and medical marijuana before they are dispensed. The results must be verified and signed by two employees of the MMTC. The MMTC must reserve two processed samples from each batch and retain them for at least nine months.

Cannabis test results must indicate that low-THC cannabis meets the definition of low-THC cannabis and that all medical and low-THC cannabis is safe for human consumption and free from contaminants.

The MMTC must also contract with an independent testing laboratory to perform audits on the MMTC’s standard operating procedures, testing records and samples.

 What are the packaging requirements for low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana?

Packaging of the marijuana in compliance with the United States Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1471 et seq. They should be packaged in a receptacle that has a firmly affixed and legible label stating the following information:

  • The marijuana or low-THC cannabis meets the requirements of the law.
  • The name of the medical marijuana treatment center from which the marijuana originates.
  • The batch number and harvest number from which the marijuana originates and the date dispensed.
  • The name of the physician who issued the physician certification.
  • The name of the patient.
  • The product name, if applicable, and dosage form, including concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. The product name may not contain wording commonly associated with products marketed by or to children.
  • The recommended dose.
  • A warning that it is illegal to transfer medical marijuana to another person.
  • A marijuana universal symbol developed by the department.

 

 Where do I go to take the course so I am eligible to become a qualified physician?

The required 2-hour course and examination is offered by the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Osteopathic Medicine Association and can be found here. The updated course became available on September 28, 2017.

 I am a qualified physician. I completed the 8-hour course that was required before the new law passed in June. Do I still have to take the new 2-hour course?

Yes. The required 2-hour course and examination is now offered by the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Osteopathic Medicine Association. The course became available on September 28, 2017. If you previously took the 8-hour course, you have 90 days from the time the 2-hour course became available to complete the new educational requirements. All physicians must complete the updated course by December 26, 2017.

 How do I provide the required documentation if I issue a physician certification for a medical condition of the same kind or class?

You are required to provide the documentation within 14 days after issuing the certification. The documentation must provide the information required by statute. Right now, a qualified physician must mail the documentation to the Board of Medicine or the Board of Osteopathic Medicine. Those addresses are available on the boards’ websites. There is no specific format required for the documentation but, to assist physicians in complying with the law, the boards have created a form for providing the documentation. The form will be adopted by emergency rule and soon be available on the boards’ websites.

 I am an Area of Critical Need physician. If I take the training can I become a qualified physician and recommend medical marijuana to patients?

Chapters 458 and 459, Florida Statutes, provide for licenses that are limited to a particular geographic or practice location in the state of Florida. For example one restriction is to an area of critical need the purpose of which is to increase the physician workforce to assist patients living in economically challenged and health professional shortage areas with getting care and treatment. With the exception of a physician licensed under section 458.3115 or 458.3124, Florida Statutes, there are no “restricted” licenses.

Section 381.986(1)(m), Florida Statutes, defines a qualified physician for purposes of ordering medical marijuana as an allopathic or osteopathic physician with an active, unrestricted license who is in compliance with the educational requirements of that chapter. It appears that the legislative intent was to allow only a physician with a clear, active license to order medical marijuana and to prevent a physician with an obligation, condition, or restriction imposed on the license either voluntarily, or through a disciplinary or other review process from qualifying.

If that is the case, the use of the term “unrestricted” in chapter 381 was not intended to exclude physicians with otherwise clear active licenses as contemplated by chapters 458 and 459, Florida Statutes, from being able to order medical marijuana for his or her patients. Licenses issued to physicians under any of the “limited” or “restricted” categories found in chapters 458 and 459, Florida Statutes, such as those set out below, are limited in geography or practice location, not patients or services.

Medical Physician
Medical Doctor Public Psychiatry Certificate
Medical Doctor Public Health Certificate
Medical Doctor Limited to Mayo Clinic
Medical Doctor Limited to Cleveland Clinic
Medical Doctor Limited License
Medical Doctor Temporary Area of Critical Need
Medical Faculty Certificate
Medical Doctor Visiting Faculty Certificate
Medical Doctor Resident Registration/House Physician

Osteopathic Physician
Osteopathic Physician
Osteopathic Resident Registration
Osteopath Limited License
Osteopath Faculty Certificate
Osteopathic Temporary Area of Critical Need

 Do qualified physicians have to conduct an in-person physical examination or can they issue a certification for medical marijuana by telemedicine?

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.

 Is the standardized consent form available and where can I find one?

The standardized consent form adopted by the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine is available on their websites. Qualified physicians are required to use this consent form each time they issue a certification for medical marijuana.

 How do I update my contact information that appears in the registry and on the list of qualified physicians?

You need to update you contact information with the Division of Medical Quality Assurance. You can do this online at www.FLHealthSource.gov by accessing your account login in upper right corner of the screen or you can email their office at MQAOnlineService@flhealth.gov.

 Once I have taken the required training, how long will it take for the order indicator to show on my license?

The Florida Medical Association reports course completion to the department’s continuing education tracking system within 30 days of you completing the course. Once this information is available in the tracking system, the indicator with appear on the License Verification Site within 24 hours.

 I took the qualified physician course, but I do not intend to order marijuana, how do I get my name taken off the list, and my order indicator removed?

If a physician does not want the “Authorized to Order” indicator to appear on the MQA License Verification and Practitioner Profile websites at https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/Home, they will need to contact Licensure Support Services to indicate that they have opted out of ordering. The request must be made in writing or email to:

Email: MQAOnlineService@flhealth.gov
or
Mail: Department of Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Licensing Support Services
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin# C10
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3260