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MEDICAL
MARIJUANA

AN INTRODUCTION

NEW PATIENT GUIDE

MEDICAL
MARIJUANA

Using cannabis to manage medical symptoms is not a new science; our ancestors took it for centuries. Historians and scientists theorize that marijuana was used thousands of years B.C. for rheumatic pain, constipation, female reproductive tract disorders, and malaria. When combined with wine, cannabis was even utilized during surgical procedures to help anesthetize patients.

The mechanism that leads to this effect involves the activation of cannabinoid receptors found in the central nervous system, which showed an analgesic effect in a 2018 study.

Since the passage of Amendment 2, medical cannabis has been much more accessible to patients in Florida. SB 182 signed into law in March 2019 allows physicians to recommend smoking as a route of administration, greatly expanding the flexibility of medical marijuana usage. At Compassionate Healthcare of Florida, our board-certified physicians believe in taking advantage of the benefits medical cannabis can offer patients.

Medical marijuana is a fantastic treatment for multiple chronic conditions that cannot always be treated with conventional pharmacological drugs. With the expansion of Florida’s medical marijuana program and the increased access to a variety of high-quality cannabis compounds, patients have the option to try treatments that were not always made available to them prior.

HOW MEDICAL
MARIJUANA WORKS

In a very basic sense, when someone uses medical marijuana, the phytocannabinoids in the plant impact the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Activation of these receptors is what causes the different effects MMJ has on the body. Cannabinoid receptors can be activated by synthetic lab-based cannabinoids, such as Marinol, Cesamet and Sativix. The benefit of using natural medical marijuana is that you receive benefits for over 100 different phytocannabinoids found in the plant—some of the best studied being THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG.

STEP-ONE
COMPLETING

YOUR OMMU APPLICATION

The Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry is the system the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) utilizes for the state program. The online portal’s information is only accessible by patients, marijuana doctors, dispensaries, law enforcement, and the OMMU staff. The registry does not have a 2-way relationship with any other database and only connects to the Florida DMV to pull over patient photos. Insurance companies, employers, and other agencies do not have access to the secure database.

The registry allows patients to access and complete first-time and renewal applications, pay the application fee, obtain a replacement ID card, review the orders input by their marijuana doctor, and track the quantities and dates of dispensed cannabis products. Our short video on completing the initial patient application gives a simple overview of the process. You can find this video here.

COMPLETING THE INITIAL
OMMU APPLICATION

INITIAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Patient ID Cards issued by the OMMU are good for 12-months and need to be renewed annually. The OMMU will email patients 45-days before the card expiration date so they can reapply online.

The Initial Application includes the following steps

  • Log-In with the temporary passcode emailed by the OMMU.

  • Click Your Card on the top of the page.

  • Click Begin Initial Application or View to open a previous application.

  • Click Supply A Photo and Check State ID Photo for residents. If you are a sesonal resident or if the state does not populate your photo, you can click Supply My Own.

  • Supply Proof of Residency – This is your Florida driver’s license or Florida ID card for residents. Residents can also click Check State Residency Status to automate and avoid having to upload a copy of their Florida ID *For a list of part-time or seasonal residence documents, please see the Required Proof of Residence Document from the OMMU.

  • Type your first name and last name at the bottom, then click Submit My Card Application.

  • A box will pop up prompting you to submit your payment to complete. Click the box that says Click Here To Pay Online to enter your payment information.

APPLICATION TIMELINE

Once your application is submitted and processing, total approval time for the OMMU is 10-business days. This is made up of five days to process the payment and five days to approve the application.

The OMMU will send your official approval confirmation letter to you via email. This will serve as your temporary card until the physical card’s arrival approximately one week later.

The patient ID card issued by the OMMU is valid for 12-months

UNDERSTANDING YOUR
MMJ RECOMMENDATION

In Florida, the physician orders you receive from us are known as “recommendations”, rather than prescriptions. Although they are not referred to as a prescription, they are in essence, orders for specific methods of use (ways to consume cannabis) and the quantities you may purchase. Although you have been given orders for a specific amount, this is the maximum you can buy, and very few patients will ever fill this amount per order period.

We are happy to provide individual guidance based on your MMJ usage experience, condition, and symptoms to be treated. However, every patient’s physiology is different and no exact formula exists. MMJ usage requires some trial and error and experimentation on the patient’s behalf to fine-tune the protocol that gives them the maximum relief with the fewest side effects. The best advice for all patients is to start low and slowly increase until the desired results are realized.

In Florida, marijuana doctors can recommend orders for up to 210 days between physician visits. This is made up of three 70-day orders for all medical marijuana methods of use except whole flower, which consists of six 35-day orders. Our practice inputs for all methods of use unless patients desire otherwise or have a condition that contraindicates using a specific route.

All methods and quantity remaining is viewable in real-time on your OMMUprofile. Orders will “refresh” or start over after each 70-day order period. For whole flower, patients are allowed 2.5 oz per 35-day period. When viewing the orders online, keep in mind it is measured in milligrams. If our doctor inputs an allowance for 1,000mg/day of oral cannabis, you will see 70,000mg available, per 70-day order period. As you purchase in this method of use from the MMTCs, the quantity remaining will go down until it resets in the next order period.

Oral

Edibles

Topical

Sublingual

Inhalation

Route: Oral

Total Amount Ordered: 70000 miligrams

Mg Per Day: 1000

Note: We are only providing you with a maximum dose per day. Start low and slowly increase your dose to avoid adverse reactions. This is a recommendation, not a prescription. There is no scientific data.

Dispensed On At Via Amount Dispensed Status

There are no dispensations recorded for this route.

With Smokable Flower, it is unlikely but possible that patients will use the 2.5 oz per 35-day limit, at which time they would need to wait until the next 35-day order begins to repurchase “whole cannabis flower”.

PURCHASING
FLORIDA CANNABIS

In Florida, patients purchase medical marijuana from Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers or MMTCs, which is another word for Dispensaries. These businesses have been approved by The Florida Department of Health: Office of Medical Marijuana Use to produce and sell medical marijuana to qualified patients. The state of Florida has designed a system that is vertically integrated meaning that the MMTCs handle everything from “seed-to-table”, including: growing, producing, manufacturing, packaging, and ultimately, the selling of all MMJ products. Patients will likely see around 14 different MMTCs in Florida with 100’s of locations throughout the state. While most deliver statewide, not all are currently equipped to do this.

A list of MMTC’s, contact information and discounts are updated regularly on Compassionate Healthcare of Florida’s Florida MMTC Offers & Discounts page. For patients in South-west Florida, we also have a list of local dispensaries available.

Florida MMTC’s

Updated 2020 | Flmmjhealth.com

WITHOUT GETTING OVERLY TECHNICAL
OR BORING, LETS LEARN A LITTLE MORE
ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA

WHAT IS A PHYTOCANNABINOID?

Simply put, phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. They imitate endocannabinoids in our bodies and each one has unique properties and medical uses. Of the many phytocannabinoids that are produced by cannabis, some of the most significant are: THC, CBD, THCV, CBG, CBC, CBDA, THCA, CBDV, and CBN.

WHAT CAN CANNABINOIDS
BE USED TO TREAT?

The therapeutic potential of medical marijuana continues to develop as physicians and scientists learn more about the amazing impact specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids can have on the human body.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
INDICA AND SATIVA BASED STRAINS?

Some studies have shown the difference is minimal between the two strain types. However, most patients do see a significant distinction between them.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THC & CBD?

In the most simplistic terms, THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid and will produce a “high feeling”, while CBD will not. They both have unique properties beneficial to medical cannabis patients, and most patients benefit from a combination of the two. The entourage effect obtained by combining these two compounds can also reduce euphoric feelings of the THC.

Combined THC/CBD (Entourage Effect)

WHAT RATIO OF THC TO CBD SHOULD I USE?

By adjusting the ratio of THC and CBD, patients can experience cannabis in different ways. For beginning patients who want the benefits without the euphoria caused by high THC levels, they can start with a 1:1 balanced ratio and slowly make adjustments from there.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TERPENES
IN MMJ AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Pinene, limonene, myrcene, caryophyllene, and others, will wow your taste buds with an assortment of flavors. Each of these terpenes is found in varying concentrations depending on the strain, and each holds a mixture of flavors that leave medical marijuana patients speechless. Besides making MMJ enjoyable and offering a unique aroma, terpenes offer patients numerous physical and mental health benefits.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FLORIDA
CONSUMPTION OPTIONS OF MMJ?

The MMJ consumption options available in Florida are vaping, oils, concentrates, edibles & pills, topicals & transdermals, tinctures, and of course, whole flower use. Some MMTC’s also offer suppositories, inhalers, and sublingual products.

HOW MUCH MEDICAL
MARIJUANA SHOULD I TAKE?

Medical Marijuana products are all labeled with a THC percentage on their packaged labels. For patients who are using a tincture of THC and CBD, it will most often come in a small bottle with a built-in “dropper”. The bottles contain about 500 single drops, depending on the size, and patients may start with 5- or 10-drops per dose. Products such as vaporizer cartridges can be quite potent for new medical patients. Patients should begin with a single inhalation and wait fifteen or twenty minutes before increasing the dosage. Products such as concentrates, which include Rosin, Shatter, Wax, and Crumble are very high potency and should be used sparingly for any new user. Keif, is the natural trichomes of the marijuana plant and is a better option for beginners. For those looking to consume full spectrum RSO, you will want to start with a small dose (about half the size of a grain of rice) and work your way up as tolerated.

Always start low and work your way up so that you do not consume too much and have unpleasant side effects. Each person’s physiology will respond differently to medical cannabis use, so it will take some trial and error for patients to find the optimal regimen that will work best.

Please note everybody responds differently and can have a different edibles experience. Always start low and slow— while following package guidelines.

Only Certified Doctors Can “Input A Recommendation” For Medical Marijuana

Only physicians who become qualified by taking specific CME’s are authorized to recommend medical marijuana to patients who suffer from conditions they determine to be debilitating and chronic

A Marijuana Doctor can place orders up to 210 Days made up of three 70-day supply limits

100’s of other conditions can be compared or enumerated to Florida’s qualifying conditions

Medical Marijuana doctors are given the ability to determine connections with qualifying conditions giving them a much greater exibility to recommend medical cannabis

Florida’s Qualifying Conditions For Medical Marijuana Are

  • ALS

  • Cancer

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Chronic non-malignant pain

  • Epilepsy

  • Glaucoma

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • PTSD

  • Seizures

  • Terminal Illness

  • Other comparable debilitating conditions

325 Dispensing Locations

5-day processing time for complete patient applications

According to the OMMU the processing time for patient application is

5 business days and 5 additional days for ID Card printing

Compassionate Healthcare of Florida Logo

5600 Trail Blvd Suite 10 Naples, FL 34108

Phone 239.431.6739

Fax 239.350.0252  |  www.flmmjhealth.com

@flmmjhealth

Medical Marijuana Certifications