How does medical cannabis work?
Cannabinoids are the therapeutic components of cannabis. The two most commonly studied molecules are THC and CBD. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that produces our own endogenous cannabinoids similar to those found in cannabis. There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body, primarily in the central nervous system and the immune system, but also in the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and hematopoetic systems as well . Cannabinoids bind to these receptor sites with the ultimate goal of homeostasis, or balance of the human body and its systems. Studies suggest the possibility of multiple therapeutic roles for medical cannabis.
What conditions qualify me for Medical Marijuana?
The Florida Legislature has passed Amendment 2, expanding the specific conditions that can be treated with medical cannabis. The conditions approved for medical cannabis are:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
Medical conditions of the same kind or class as comparable to those listed above
What if my condition is not one listed?
Symptoms We Can Treat with Medical Cannabis
Along with the conditions listed above, Amendment 2 allows licensed MMJ physicians to recommend medical cannabis for medical conditions of the same kind or class as comparable to those listed above. What does this mean? If a patient is suffering from symptoms that are similar to those listed and is otherwise qualified, the licensed Florida MMJ doctor can recommend medical marijuana.
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Nerve pain
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and constipation
- Menstrual pain
- …and many more
Please contact our office to discuss whether your symptoms would qualify you to receive medical marijuana. We will gladly answer any questions you may have while determining if cannabis treatment is right for you.
Can Compassionate Care Clinics diagnose my condition?
At this time, Compassionate Care Clinics of Pinellas does not perform evaluations to diagnose patients with a qualifying condition under Amendment 2. A patient must have a valid qualifying pre-existing diagnosis prior to scheduling an appointment for a medical marijuana certification. We will require previous medical records from your primary care physician or specialist who has made the diagnosis.
How long will the appointment take?
You should allow 45 minutes to an hour for your initial appointment. This will vary from patient to patient as we do not put a time limit on your health. An average a patient will spend 20-30 minutes with the physician and the remaining time completing supporting documents. Follow-up appointments and re-certifications will take less time than initial visits.
Can I get a certification on the day of my initial visit?
Yes. State Bill 8A of the Florida Statute has removed the 90 day wait for patients to receive their certification. Please keep in mind that all supporting documents and medical history records must be in the chart before the physician can make a recommendation. If all State required documents are not present then we will be unable to provide a recommendation until your chart is complete.
Is insurance accepted?
Cannabis treatment is still prohibited under federal law. We are unable to accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid at this time.
What types of payment are accepted?
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and cash are all acceptable forms of payment.
How much does it cost?
Initial certifications and re-certifications (Twice annually) – $225
Follow-up visits (only if required by physician) – $100
How often do I need to see the doctor?
New Florida laws have extended the certification period to every 210 days (every 30 weeks). The physician has the right and responsibility to see the patient more frequently should the need for additional monitoring of the treatment plan be required. If additional monitoring is required by the physician then you may be required to make a follow up appointment after 90 days. Additional monitoring would typically only be required for patients who are suffering from an extremely debilitating conditions or have never used cannabis as a medical treatment, but is at the discretion of the physician.
What are acceptable forms of residency?
Florida residents must provide a valid Driver’s License or ID card issued by the state of Florida.
Do I need to be a resident to receive Medical Marijuana in Florida?
Florida law allows “seasonal residents” to obtain medical marijuana if they reside in the state for at least 31 consecutive days during the calendar year and they are registered to vote or pay income tax in another state.
How do I show residency if I am a seasonal resident?
Patients that qualify as seasonal may use two of the following to establish residency:
- A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet, or residential rental or lease agreement.
- One proof of residential address from the seasonal resident’s parent, step-parent, legal guardian or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides and a statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resides does reside with him or her.
- A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration in the medical use registry.
- A utility bill, not more than 2 months old.
- Mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than 2 months old.
- Mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, not more than 2 months old.
- Any other documentation that provides proof of residential address as determined by department rule. A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement.
Am I allowed to smoke Medical Marijuana?
No. Currently smoking marijuana is not legal in the state of Florida.
What routes of administration are currently available?
In Florida, Medical Marijuana may be:
- Vaporized through a device such as a vape pen
- Sublingual tinctures
- Topical Creams
- Oral Sprays
- Transdermal Patches
Where can I pick up my medicine?
Below you will find a list of MMTC’s (Dispensary) that are currently licensed to cultivate and provide medical cannabis to qualified patients. Please note that each MMTC will have a unique product and products will differ from one MMTC to another. We suggest you contact each to determine which products are best suited for you. All currently offer home delivery.
The Green Solution
How do I apply for my MMJ use card?
Once the physician approves the patient for the use of medical cannabis they will be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use registry and a unique patient number will be generated. The patient may then go online and fill out the application or submit the application by mail. The qualified patient will need to submit proof of residency, a passport photo (within 90 days), and $75 check or money order. Application processing may take up to 30 days.