What you need to know about medical marijuana in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- Amendment 2, Florida’s medical marijuana law takes effect Tuesday. But, that doesn’t mean you can go using it and only certain people can apply to use it.

Think you qualify? Here's what you need to know.

The next step starts with state officials in Tallahassee. Voters approved medical marijuana, but the legislature and Florida Department of Health still have to cultivate rules and how to implement them.

If you’re thinking that will take forever, it won’t. They can't drag their feet on this one like with Charlotte's Web, a 2014 law allowing a low-THC form of cannabis, because they have only six months to come up with rules, according to language in amendment 2. And, they have to implement those rules within nine months.

So, here's where your part comes into play – three important things to know:

1. You can only apply for medical marijuana if you suffer from certain conditions and diseases, including; cancer, seizures, muscle spasms, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, PTSD and any terminal illness.  
2. Only certain doctors who've gone through training can approve the drug for you. An entire list is on the Florida Department of Health's website with all of their information. Once again, your primary care physician cannot approve it if they do not have a specific license. Also, the doctor can only order it if they've treated you for at least 90 days.

3. You have to first look into all other treatments for your condition before applying for medical pot and get a second opinion from another physician.

Once that's over, a doctor will add you to the state's registry and you must directly go to a licensed dispensary to pick up your prescription.

What you need to know about Amendment 2

Don Clifford, the CEO of the Grow Healthy dispensary in lake Wales, is confident the process will go smoothly this year.

"They have to have rules in place very quickly and implementation of this very quickly,” Clifford said.  

Information on compassionate use

“Also, since the state already has a structure in place for Charlotte's Web, adding amendment 2 to that structure is a fairly straightforward process."


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