Top 10 Patient Questions – From A Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor
Top 10 Patient Questions – From A Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor
We get asked these 10 questions at least weekly by both patients and perspective patients. If you are interested in getting your medical marijuana card or already have one, you may be wondering about some of them as well. Read on to learn about some of the most common questions and answers people have regarding the medical marijuana program in Florida.
Can I have a medical marijuana license and a concealed carry permit (CWFL) simultaneously?
Yes, you most certainly can, and in Florida, this is one of the most common questions patients have! You will still be both eligible to apply and receive a card, and you will not be in danger of losing your CWFL. In fact, the Agriculture Commissioner who oversees the department that issues CWP, Nikki Fried, has both. It is important to note that marijuana is still a controlled substance at the federal level. When purchasing a new firearm, depending on how you answer question 11E on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm’s (ATF) application, you may run into issues.
Question 11E asks applicants:
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
In summary, medical marijuana patients are most certainly able to have a concealed weapons permit. The only issue that may present itself in having both is during the background check process when purchasing a new firearm. The answer you give for the ATF Question 11E will determine whether you can buy a new gun, and answering this question with a “Yes” will likely prevent you from obtaining a new firearm.
Will I be able to use medical marijuana on probation?
So medical marijuana is still not legal at the federal level, and that’s why licensed cannabis physicians issue a “recommendation” rather than a prescription. Due to this, medical marijuana use is not protected under the American With Disability Act (ADA).
With that being said, out of the countless patients we have seen on probation, we have yet to run into a single situation where a probation officer was opposed to medical marijuana usage as long as the rules were followed, and both the certification & state ID card kept active.
In fact, The Department of Corrections told the Miami Herald in 2017:
“If an offender under supervision provides a valid medical marijuana card issued by the Department of Health, he/she will not be drug tested for marijuana use as long as the medical marijuana card remains active.”
I heard RSO can be used to help treat cancer is that true?
Telling any patient that something would treat or cure cancer would be unethical and untrue without peer-reviewed scientific data that is currently lacking. We have had numerous patients tell us miraculous stories of remissions and how their oncologists had no explanations for how their body responded—however, associating this directly to high does RSO usage or medical marijuana is not possible without further data. There is research that shows THC was found to exhibit a therapeutic effect against cancer as well as CBD, which has also been found to inhibit the functionality of cancer cells.
Hopefully, as more states are open to medical cannabis usage and legislation opens access to treatment, we will begin to get more data from scientific studies displaying the efficacy of cannabinoids in marijuana.
How much medical marijuana can I have in Florida?
In Florida, the only real restriction on the quantity of medical marijuana is the whole flower. This is currently limited to 2.5 ounces per 35-day order period with a 4-ounce possession limit.
In Florida Statute 381.986, the ability to request an exemption or increase to the limits outlined in (14)(a) is discussed, but currently, no avenue has been made for physicians to complete the request.
For all other methods of medical marijuana such as inhalation, oral, edibles, sublingual, etc., the system allows input of a daily maximum of 999,999 mg a day—more than any patient will use.
Orders are entered in for up to three 70-day supply limits of marijuana or six 35-day supply limits of marijuana in a form for smoking (whole flower).
Who will know about my Medical Marijuana usage?
Regardless of whether medical marijuana is legal at the federal level, all of a patient’s personal health information or PHI is protected under HIPAA. The only people who will have access to the OMMU Registry are medical marijuana doctors, MMTC or dispensary staff, and law enforcement who have a warrant or are investigating a violation of law regarding marijuana in which the subject of the investigation claims an exception established under s. 381.986, F.S.
Although we recommend discussing cannabis use with your doctor, you can rest assure unless you tell them or your employer the decision is yours to make.
I am a CBD user; can I continue using it with medical marijuana?
Absolutely! Cannabidiol or CBD is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and offers numerous beneficial properties. Although medical marijuana also contains CBD and numerous other cannabinoids, it is only found in small quantities compared to that found in hemp. CBD has numerous benefits, some of which include antiinflammation, anticonvulsant, and neuro-protectant properties. Combining CBD with THC can create an entourage effect that will benefit patients and lower the psychoactivity THC may have on them.
It is important to know that all CBD is not created equal, and because of its recent popularity, patients need to be very careful where they source the product to ensure it is safe and effective. Always make sure any CBD product is batch tested for purity and that the company stands behind the product. We recommend Real Releaf CBD, Charlotte’s Web & products purchased from licensed dispensaries (MMTC’s).
Can I drive with my medical marijuana?
Yes, you can drive with medical marijuana as long as the products are in the original packaging from the dispensary and have been dispensed to you or an authorized patient you are the registered caregiver of. It is essential always to be responsible and understand if medical marijuana is taken, it can impair your ability to drive and open you up for a DUI, according to Florida Statute 316.193
Patients are not allowed to use or administer medical marijuana products in their vehicle, and it is illegal to be under the influence of marijuana while driving.
I am under 18 years old…Can I still get my medical marijuana certification?
Absolutely, however, the process is a bit different, and some additional restrictions have been put in place by the state. First, the patient’s parent or legal guardian will need to be listed as a caretaker on the patient’s OMMU profile and complete their state application as a caretaker. Second, it needs to be the opinion of two physicians that cannabis will be beneficial for them. Although some practices like Compassionate Healthcare of Florida have a second certifying physician on staff to include this at no additional charge, make sure you check with your cannabis doctor, so you do not get caught off guard with additional costs. Third, unless you are terminal, confirmed by a board-certified pediatrician, the state does not allow you to use whole flower or marijuana in the form of smoking. You are free to use vapes, edibles, sublingual’s, topicals and even concentrates, just not smokable flower.
How long will it take until I can purchase medical marijuana?
To purchase medical cannabis in Florida, patients need to have an active profile (ID Card) that was approved by the OMMU and active orders from a certifying medical marijuana physician. Orders from the physician can be input into a patient’s profile immediately; however, the Office of Medical Marijuana Use takes between 5-10 business days to approve the application. The shorter timeframe of 5-days is only if the patient has a driver’s license or ID card from Florida, and the system can automatically populate the proof of residency requirement.
This does not apply to minors, regardless of if they have a Florida ID or not, or to those with a protected driver’s license that does not communicate with the state department of motor vehicles (DMV). For an ETA on approval or status update, it is best to call the OMMU helpline at (800)-808-9580 or reach out to your medical marijuana doctor’s office.
Once the state approves your application, you will be notified by email. This can be used as a temporary card to purchase until the physical one arrives a few weeks later.
I haven’t been to a doctor in many years and do not have any records…..can I still get certified?
Absolutely you can, but individual office and physician requirements vary, so make sure to check in advance. For example, Compassionate Healthcare of Florida’s Marijuana Doctors strongly prefer that you have your medical records, notes or prior prescriptions with you at your visit so the doctor can review them, but this is not a requirement.
Although it did not make the top 10, we thought we would include two more as these questions get asked almost as often as the prior 10!
Will I lose my government assistance or VA benefits by using medical marijuana?
This is a question asked very often and for good reason. Fortuanatly the answer is that you will NOT LOSE you benefits for being a medical marijuana patient. Although the VA and VA doctors are not permitted to prescribe medical cannabis, more are becoming proponents for its use.
Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
Veterans are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers.
VA health care providers will record marijuana use in the Veteran’s VA medical record in order to have the information available in treatment planning. As with all clinical information, this is part of the confidential medical record and protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
Which dispensary should I use to purchase my cannabis at?
The answer is really up to you and just your overall preference. Currently, there are over 350 dispensary locations in the state made up of 15 active MMTCs. We don’t have any bias or reason to recommend one over the other; however, some are much more customer focused and better overall for beginners. We also highly recommend reviewing the new patient specials and flash deals that are always going on, as this is a great way to save a TON OF MONEY.