Cannabis report indicates rise in number of Floridians using plant for medical use

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Cannabis report indicates rise in number of Floridians using plant for medical use

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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A new report has shed some light on Florida’s medical cannabis consumption rates.

The data – issued by the Physician Certification Pattern Review panel – revealed how medical cannabis use is on the rise in the “Sunshine State” and its progression is steady.

The approximate number of Floridian medical cannabis patients who had obtained certification/approval from their doctors within the first nine months of 2018 was in the range of 136,000.

It is a figure that will surely increase this year, what with scientists unlocking myriad secrets about the plant’s medicinal uses.

What are Floridians using medical cannabis to treat?

Based on the details of the report on Florida’s medical cannabis consumption from January 1, 2018, through September 30, 2018, there were 174,254 physician certifications from 1,070 physicians for 136,274 patients.

Listed below are the names of specific medical cannabis patient qualifying conditions in Florida, as well as the number of physician certifications administered for each qualifying condition:

  1. Cancer 17,133
  2. Epilepsy 4,305
  3. Glaucoma 3,398
  4. Positive Status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) 1,683
  5. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) 290
  6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 41,143
  7. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) 226
  8. Crohn’s Disease 3,384
  9. Parkinson’s Disease 2,891
  10. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 3,575
  11. Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated in paragraphs (a)-(j) 47,527
  12. A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification 440
  13. Chronic Non-Malignant Pain 48,259

Medical cannabis in Florida was legalized in 2016

Florida is one of 33 U.S. states that have legalized medical cannabis in some form. Recreational use is permitted in 10 States and Washington D.C. Back in 2016, a constitutional amendment to legalize medical cannabis in Florida was approved by voters.

The legislation was enacted the following year by lawmakers, but not before a number of legal challenges were overcome. Lawmakers attribute the tedious rollout of Florida’s medical cannabis program to a lack of research and data.

One of the men responsible for constructing the law for medical cannabis in Florida was Republican State Senator Rob Bradley. He blames the absence in research on the federal government, stating that they are delaying the process because the plant is still categorized as a schedule one drug.

“That’s a ridiculous classification by the Federal government,” he said. “ And that needs to be addressed, so that we can have more research and data collected on the positive and negative effects of marijuana for people who are ill,” adding that, “Fortunately, we have a law in place that provides for more licenses to be issued as more patients come online. We just need the executive branch to issue those licenses.”