Patients ask this all the time! They may have been putting off the idea of using medical marijuana for quite a while until a friend mentioned how great it works, or they have just gotten frustrated at the constant cycle of pain management and pharmacy visits. They may be less than satisfied with more traditional pharmaceuticals and treatment options. Maybe they are already using marijuana but want to be legal now that the Florida system has matured to the point that so many options and products are available to patients. Regardless of a patients’ reasons for obtaining a Florida Medical Marijuana Card—when they do want one, they want it ASAP!
So How Fast Can I Get Approved For MMJ?
This depends on the way you look at the question. Suppose the patient is new to the Florida Marijuana Program. In that case, they will need to 1) Obtain a recommendation and orders from a Certifying Florida Marijuana Doctor and 2) Get approved by the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use or OMMU. If the patient’s goal is to ultimately purchase medical marijuana products from a local MMTC or dispensary…..Both components are required. For new patients who can see a doctor and immediately complete the state application, the quickest time anyone can guarantee approval is 10-business days. The state may get to it quicker; however, if someone assures you that they can have your approval expedited to a shorter timeframe—find someone else as you are being misled. Keep in mind that having a certifying provider “issue a certification” can occur as soon as they perform a physical exam and full assessment of medical history. However, a patient must still apply and be approved for a Medical Marijuana Use Identification Card.
*As of February 1st , 2022 the OMMU has removed the 5-day hold on electronic payments. This means that if patients have a Florida Driver’s License or ID Card that is unrestricted and the OMMU was able to verify the residency in the DMV, you will now get IMMEDIATE APPROVAL and receive a temporary card email. Patients still must ensure that their certifying physician added the orders under their OMMU patient profile in which case they will be able to purchase right away with the temporary card.
What Is The Quickest Way To Approval?
So, the absolute quickest way to get approved for your Florida Cannabis Card is to complete the state application so the process can begin. By partnering with a practice or doctor who concentrates on marijuana medicine, you will almost always gain access to a tested and streamlined process. These providers focus on certifying patients, educating them on medical cannabis and usage methods, and assisting them with applying for their “Florida Patient ID” or, as some refer to it, “greencard.” It is essential to understand that physician orders and a recommendation are useless at a dispensary without an active state approval or ID Card. The physical card is not required for purchase; however, the patient profile must be active with the OMMU.
I Was Told The Doctor Has Approved Me—Now What Do I Do?
I can’t tell you how often we get calls from patients who have no idea they needed to do anything at all after they saw their marijuana doctor. Unfortunately, some offices want to see as many patients as possible, and the “benefit gained” from using medical cannabis is only an afterthought. Don’t get us wrong- many great doctors out there do provide TONS of information to their patients and maybe they just get confused or don’t pay attention. Regardless of the reason, when patients reach out to providers who do not want to deal with the issues or questions, they almost always instruct the patient to “Call the OMMU helpline.” Although the helpline can have some great customer service representatives…..this is an “out” for them as they do not want to deal with the hassle. An office that cares primarily about their patients should call on their behalf as this will simplify everything and avoids further misunderstandings. The wait can sometimes be extreme, and listening to the hold music can make you want to pull your hair out, but when you have a patient trying to benefit from the state program, this is a cost of doing business and running into a barrier should not be dropped to the patient to deal with.
Any patient who is not technology savvy or not comfortable completing the state application should ask their certifying doctor to help them complete it. It only takes a few minutes for someone who works with the registry daily to complete the application, and even more so they can quickly determine what will cause issues and cause rejection. If a patient has to re-submit documentation because it was not correctly sent initially or was not accepted as an allowable proof of residency—this can add five business-days to the approval timeframe. It may not seem like a lot, but when you want to medicate and treat symptoms with MMJ legally, it can feel as it is.
So now that you know you would like to be a Legal Medical Marijuana Patient in Florida, some things you can do to become one as soon as possible include.
- Choosing a medical marijuana practice that specializes solely in this field and spends their day helping patients navigate the program and process to approval
- Complete the initial OMMU application and submit the correct proof of residency requirements and application fee ASAP.
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor’s office to assist with the application or call the OMMU on your behalf if you run into any rejections or issues.