Medical cannabis consumption doubles in Florida within a year

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Medical cannabis consumption doubles in Florida within a year

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Since March 2018, the number of patients enrolled in Florida’s medical cannabis program has soared 50 percent. Floridians have had access to medical cannabis since it became legal in November 2016. To-date, around 400,000 patients have swapped their usual prescription for medical cannabis.

Due to increasing demand for smokable cannabis, growth in Florida’s cannabis consumption rates are expected to keep inflating. Moreover, three new dispensaries recently received approval from the state to begin selling pharmaceutical-grade weed to patients, one of which was a MedMen store in downtown Sarasota.

With the southeasternmost U.S. state currently pushing for recreational cannabis legalization, the state’s consumption rates could escalate further in the near future; three adult-use ballot initiatives are currently collecting signatures to get a legalization measure on the 2020 ballot.

How patients can get their hands on medical cannabis in Florida

The journey to becoming a medical cannabis patient in Florida begins with obtaining a card. In order to do this, hopeful patients must visit a licensed doctor who can diagnose them with one of the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Florida. An online profile must be completed by the individual seeking out cannabis-based medicines, at which point a $75 application fee is required.

Examples of some qualifying conditions featured on the eligibility requirements for medical cannabis in Florida include ALS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis, to name a few. Patients can show the doctor previous medical documentation that proves their suitability as a medical cannabis card holder in Florida, including the results of  previous medical examinations and practitioner consultations.

The waiting period is usually around three weeks. Once an individual is approved for a medical cannabis card in Florida, they can visit one of the licensed dispensaries to purchase their medicine.

Florida’s medical cannabis market presents consumers with various CBD to THC ratios

Patients are indulged with a wide spectrum of medical cannabis products sold inside Florida’s dispensaries. Some of the most popular goods include topical lotions, pills/supplements, cannabis flower and vape products. The diverse and rapidly-expanding market puts Florida in a prime position to become one of the nation’s legal weed industries.

Medical cannabis dispensaries in Florida offer numerous different strains of the plant with varying cannabinoid ratios. The primary cannabis-derived cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

Individuals hoping to enroll in Florida’s medical cannabis program can visit to search for qualified doctors in their area. The website also details dispensary locations.