The marijuana industry has only become stronger in the last couple of years. It’s amazing to imagine just how big the steps the industry has been taking recently. If you think about it years ago, it felt impossible that people will eventually embrace the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Now, getting medical marijuana is as easy online.
Depending on where you are, medical marijuana can be delivered right to your doorstep easily. Each state has its own laws and regulations with regards to cannabis products as it isn’t federally legal yet. Some states allow medical marijuana only. Some allow both recreational and medical marijuana too.
How is marijuana regulated in The Sunshine State?
The Legality Of Cannabis In Florida
Cannabis laws in Florida are mixed. Medical marijuana is legal, but there are certain guidelines to be followed first. On the other hand, possession of recreational marijuana is considered a crime, and it is punishable by state laws.
As per the law, medical marijuana is permitted only to individuals who are certified by doctors. This means that without certification from a doctor, you can’t buy medical marijuana as well. There are specific diseases that you need to suffer from before you get certified for medical marijuana use.
Those conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDs, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and more. It isn’t limited to these diseases as some doctors can still prescribe you medical marijuana depending on the severity of your condition and whether or not marijuana can be a viable treatment.
Aside from these, you also have to submit various requirements first. For starters, you need to be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida, before being entered into the registry. If you pass the prerequisites, you’ll be given a medical marijuana ID card which you’ll show as proof upon purchase from registered dispensaries.
If you believe that you are suffering from a condition that’s treatable by medical marijuana, then it’s best that you consult with a doctor immediately. Never try to get medical marijuana unless you are already qualified. Remember, this is an offense that’s punishable by law.
As per the law, possession of small amounts is illegal. Possession of 20 grams or fewer is a misdemeanor punishable by at least a year of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. This takes into account recreational marijuana and medical marijuana if you aren’t qualified for the treatment.
If you are found in possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana – recreational and medical (if you don’t have the certification), your case will be treated as a felony. It will be punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Now, let’s say you have a condition or disease that you believe is treatable with medical marijuana, what are the steps you need to take to find a doctor that can certify you for the registry?
The truth is that it’s very easy to find a doctor that can prescribe marijuana to you. Any licensed doctor can actually do it for you so long as they deem your condition as being treatable with medical marijuana. However, keep in mind that not every medical professional is open to accept the plant as a form of treatment.
As such, it’s always better to find doctors that actually specialize in marijuana treatment. A Florida medical marijuana doctor specializes in helping you treat your disease or condition with the cannabis variant. They’ve devoted years to understanding how the plant works, so they’re the best people to guide you towards your medical marijuana journey.
The best way to look for these doctors is online. Simply search for medical marijuana doctors nearby, and you’ll be given a list of licensed professionals to help you out.
Once you’ve found a doctor that fits your needs, all you need to do next is to schedule an appointment with them. There are still lockdown restrictions currently and some doctors would suggest online appointments instead. Since it’s for your safety as well, it might be great to consider getting a consultation online.
For online consultations, you’ll mostly be tasked with submitting lab results to the address of the doctor first.
During the consultation, your doctor will ask you about your medical history as well as your condition. It’s always better to stay as honest as possible so that your doctor can give an accurate diagnosis on what treatment is best for you. Remember that not all diseases and conditions can be treated with medical marijuana.
A licensed doctor will only prescribe it to you if they think it’s necessary for getting you better. Don’t try to force doctors into prescribing medical marijuana to you as then, they will only think that you want to be certified for other purposes other than to get treated.
The process doesn’t stop once you get certified for medical marijuana treatment. In fact, that’s just the start of your journey towards getting better. The next step is that you have to file your requirements so that you’ll be put on the registry of certified patients for medical marijuana.
Your doctor will first give you your registration number for the registry. You’ll then have to apply to get your Registry Identification Card. Now, this is an important ID as it will be the only thing you need to show to licensed dispensaries when you’re finally getting medical marijuana.
With your ID acquired, all that’s left is to actually buy the medical marijuana you need. Even in this part of the process, you have to be very careful as well.
You can’t buy medical marijuana just about anywhere. Florida has a list of licensed dispensaries that are all regulated and allowed to sell medical marijuana. Buying marijuana from stores that are not registered is illegal and punishable by the law as well.
Since this is marijuana for medical purposes, after all, it’s only important that you buy from authorized dispensaries only. These dispensaries sell marijuana that’s deemed fit for medical consumption. This means that their CBD and THC levels are made to fit the regulatory requirements.
The good news is that there are many places in Florida through which you can buy medical marijuana. Some stores even allow online purchases and door-to-door deliveries for your convenience. When going out, make sure to bring your Registry Identification Card and your prescription with you.
Also, keep in mind that doctors can take away your right to use medical marijuana for treatment just as much as they can give it. If your doctor or the authorities deem that you are abusing your privilege, your certification will be revoked.
In some cases, you’ll be given a temporary suspension and after which, you can register again. In other cases though, your certificate will be barred completely.
There are many reasons why your certificate will be revoked. One is that you are using it for the illegal distribution of medical marijuana. Another is that you are using the privilege to buy more than what you are prescribed.
How To Consume Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana comes in many forms. The most common of which is the one you’re likely most familiar with which is through smoking. However, since not everyone is used to smoking, some people opt for other forms of medical marijuana instead.
In the last couple of years, marijuana manufacturers have come up with many ways to intake medical marijuana. The new methods to do so include vaping through vape liquids, capsules, oils, and edibles. Your doctor will prescribe marijuana to you, but it’s best that you tell them about how you prefer to take marijuana.
Just recently, the state of Florida has allowed the use of edibles for medical marijuana patients. This is great news as edibles are the easiest ways to consume marijuana. They mostly come in the form of gummies, but there are other forms of edible as well.
Again, it’s worth noting that medical marijuana doesn’t come in all the forms that recreational marijuana comes in. These are mostly made by pharmacies, so there’s a limit to what they create. However, since edibles are now allowed, it will be much easier to find a way to consume medical marijuana without smoking.
As for the dosage, you should only take what the doctor prescribes you. In most cases, you aren’t allowed to buy more than what’s written on your prescription too, so you shouldn’t use all of your medical marijuana in one go.
There’s a reason why doctors prescribe a dosage limit and that’s because they believe that it’s the right way to treat your condition.
Now, there have been no serious reports about medical marijuana causing severe reactions to patients. Still, if you believe that the plant is not working as intended, consult with your medical marijuana doctor as soon as possible because there’s a chance that your body is not fit for the consumption of the plant.
Benefits Of Medical Marijuana
One of the immediate questions that people have about marijuana is why there needs to be a distinction and differing laws regarding recreational and medical marijuana. While both are still plants of marijuana, what they differ in is the composition of cannabis compounds called cannabinoids.
There are many cannabinoids, but the most important ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Medical marijuana contains trace amounts of THC, but it does contain higher amounts of CBD. On the other hand, recreational marijuana has higher amounts of THC.
THC is basically the marijuana compound that’s responsible for causing the “high” that people experience. This is why recreational marijuana variants have higher THC. The higher the THC content, the more potent the marijuana is when it comes to giving the high.
On the other hand, you have CBD. CBD is also called a medical wonder by many experts. It’s the cannabis compound that’s responsible for the benefits that people get from consuming medical marijuana. Hence, medical marijuana has higher CBD. As for the THC content, it’s usually not more than 0.3% which is not enough to cause a high.
As we’ve said, medical marijuana can be used to treat certain diseases. There have been studies that have proven that medical marijuana is indeed capable of being used for medical intervention. This is the primary reason why more people use medical cannabis.
Beyond its capacity to treat certain conditions, marijuana is also known to have other important benefits as well.
One is that medical marijuana can be used for pain management. CBD is discovered to have the capacity to relieve chronic pain caused by conditions like arthritis and even injuries. In that light, it can also reduce swelling and muscle inflammation too. This is one reason why athletes consume medical marijuana as well because it helps them train more.
Aside from its ability to treat physical ailments, medical marijuana is also used to treat psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. While it doesn’t get people high, medical marijuana does have a calming effect that helps soothe the minds of the users.
In states where it’s legal, psychiatrists prefer the use of medical marijuana over other prescription drugs for patients suffering from these conditions.
These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are considering treatment via medical marijuana. Thanks to better public reception and better support from government heads, it’s now easier to procure marijuana. There will come a time when marijuana will be federally legal in the US but for now, it’s best to abide by the regulatory standards first.
The good news is that more funds are being poured into completely understanding how CBD and medical marijuana works. As more studies prove the benefits of marijuana, we can expect better sentiment from the public and governing bodies.
As with any form of treatment, you should be very responsible while under a medical marijuana treatment plan. It’s something that you shouldn’t abuse just because you’re breaking the law in doing so, but also because you’ll be wasting a great opportunity to be treated naturally.