Home News What is the Office of Compassionate Use? Medical Marijuana in Florida

What is the Office of Compassionate Use? Medical Marijuana in Florida

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Dried Medical Marijuana
Dried Medical Marijuana

In just a few short weeks, patients in the state of Florida will be able to legally purchase cannabis and cannabis‍ products that are intended for medical use. The regulation of this federally controlled substance will be handled by the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use, established in July of 20141. This office was established nearly two years prior to the passing of Amendment 2, due to increased interest in medical marijuana policy from the public and some notable court cases involving patients using the plant or extracts of the plant for medicinal purposes.

Aside from policy creation, the Office of Compassionate Use is in charge of processing requests to become a medical marijuana patient, and for maintaining a list of medical providers that have passed the required training in order to recommend cannabis as a treatment option.

Office of Compassionate Use Web site displayed on an Apple iMac
Office of Compassionate Use Web site

How can I register for a medical identification card in Florida?

Registration with the Office of Compassionate Use is done through your healthcare provider. Once your information has been submitted to the registry by your doctor or a member of your doctor’s staff, you will be able to submit your application for an identification card to the Office of Compassionate use. Full instructions on how to complete this process can be found here.

How can I find a doctor who will prescribe cannabis in Florida?

A list of medical providers that have completed mandatory Low-THC and Medical Cannabis Continuing Education can be found by clicking on this link. These providers are able to register a patient with the Office of Compassionate Use in the state of Florida so that they may be eligible to utilize medical marijuana dispensaries.

How can I become a marijuana caregiver in Florida?

Currently, only (7) organizations are legally allowed to grow, cultivate, and dispense marijuana in any form in the state of Florida. At the time of this article’s publication, the Office of Compassionate Use is not accepting new applications for to become a licensed dispensary, grow operation, or cultivation center. In short, private citizens in Florida will not be able to grow and cultivate their own marijuana to treat themselves or others for the forseeable future.

The future of medical marijuana in Florida

The infrastructure in place for the state of Florida’s medical marijuana regulation is modeled after several other successful states, including Colorado, California, and Washington. At the time of publication, dispensaries are being set up in large hub cities like Tampa and Orlando. We are watching this process develop extremely closely because of the large population of retired and elderly americans in Florida, as well as a booming tourism industry. We will surely have more news to report on Florida and its medical marijuana program in the future!

  1. http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-compassionate-use/_documents/ocu-timeline.pdf
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