On June 16, 2014, Florida became the 22nd state to legalize access to medical marijuana when Governor Rick Scott signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. Patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic seizures, or muscle spasms could use low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis products prescribed by a licensed doctor. Doctors and patients had to register on the Compassionate Use Registry, an online database maintained by the Florida Department of Health. The governor also signed Senate Bill 1700, to protect the privacy of doctors prescribing low-THC marijuana and their patients.
The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 was placed on the ballot in November, 2014, but failed to win the required 60% majority of votes. The publicity surrounding this defeat helped to change the public attitude towards medical marijuana.
In March, 2016, State Bill 307 expanded access to full-strength medical marijuana to terminally ill patients who were determined by two doctors to have less than a year to live.
In November of 2016, 71% of Florida voters approved the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Amendment 2.
A special legislative session in June, 2017, passed Senate Bill 8A (SB 8A), the Medical Use of Marijuana Act to implement rules for making medical marijuana available to Floridians. The Florida Department of Health established the Office of Medical Marijuana Use to implement these rules, and changed the name of the Compassionate Use Registry to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.
Florida Amendment 2 gives patients the right to use medical marijuana if they have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
This condition requires psychiatric diagnosis.
Pain that is caused by or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that condition.
Florida Amendment 2 allows physicians to provide a medical marijuana certification to a patient once diagnosed with “conditions of the same kind or class” as well as a terminal condition or chronic nonmalignant pain. When debilitating, these conditions may include:
You will not be charged for the in-person evaluation if you do not
get approved for your MedCanna Health Centers card.
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