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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Office of Compassionate Use

Are low-THC and medical cannabis products currently available in Florida?
No. Dispensing organizations have not begun dispensing. As a result, low-THC and medical cannabis products are not currently available for purchase in Florida. The department anticipates that product will be available to patients by September 2016.
Who is eligible to receive an order for low-THC cannabis products?
Patients suffering from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms may be eligible for non-euphoric, low-THC cannabis.
Who is eligible to receive an order for medical cannabis products?
To be eligible to receive medical cannabis, a patient must have:
  • A terminal condition that is attested to by their physician and confirmed by a second, independent evaluation by a board-certified physician with a specialty for that condition.
  • Considered all other treatment options for the terminal condition currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Given written, informed consent for the use of an investigational drug, biological product or device.
  • Obtained documentation from his or her treating physician that he or she meets these requirements.
  • A terminal condition means a progressive disease or medical or surgical condition that:
    • Causes significant functional impairment.
    • Is not considered by the treating physician to be reversible, even with the administration of available treatment options approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
    • Without the administration of life-sustaining procedures, will result in death within one year after diagnosis if the condition runs its normal course.
What are the requirements to become a qualifying patient?
Florida law has several requirements for patients to be eligible to receive low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis.
  • A patient must have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition.
  • A patient must be a Florida resident.
  • If under the age of 18, a patient must have a second physician agree to the use of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis in order to obtain an order from a qualified physician.
  • A patient must have tried other treatments without success.
  • An ordering physician must determine the risks of using low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis are reasonable in light of the benefit to the patient.
  • A patient must be registered with the Compassionate Use Registry by their ordering physician.
Can patients obtain low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis if they do not have one of the qualifying conditions?
No. Physicians may only order low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis for patients diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions outlined in FAQ 1.
Can qualifying patients grow their own low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis?
No. Florida law allows for regulated dispensing organizations to cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis. Florida law does not permit individuals or patients to grow or sell cannabis.
How much low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis can a qualifying physician order for a patient?
Qualifying physicians can order no more than a 45-day supply and a cannabis delivery device needed by the patient for the medical use of low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis.
What is a cannabis delivery device?
A cannabis delivery device is an object intended for use or designed for use in preparing, storing, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis into the body.
Are there any restrictions as to where a qualified patient may use or administer low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis?
Yes. Qualified patients are not allowed to use or administer low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis:
  1. On any form of public transportation.
  2. In any public place.
  3. In a state correctional institution.
  4. In the qualified patient’s place of employment if restricted by their employer.
  5. On the grounds of preschool, primary school or secondary school.
Are there requirements for a Florida physician to qualify to order low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis or a cannabis delivery device?
A physician may only order low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis if he or she holds an active, unrestricted license as a physician under Chapter 458, Florida Statutes or an osteopathic physician under Chapter 459, Florida Statues.

Additionally, a qualifying physician must have successfully completed an 8-hour continuing education course and examination. Renewal of the 8-hour course and subsequent examination is required each time the physician renews his or her medical license. A link to the course and examination is available on the For Physician's tab located on the Office of Compassionate Use website.

What are the requirements for a Medical Director of a Dispensing Organization?
A medical director must hold an active, unrestricted license as a physician under Chapter 458, Florida Statues or as an osteopathic physician under Chapter 459, Florida Statues. They must also complete a 2-hour continuing education course and examination. A link to the course and examination is available on the For Physician's tab located on the Office of Compassionate Use website.
How do patients find qualified physicians who can order low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis or cannabis delivery devices?
A list of physicians authorized to order low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis or cannabis delivery devices for patients is located on the Patient’s tab on the Office of Compassionate Use website.
Will low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis be inspected and tested?
Yes. Low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis must be processed within an enclosed structure away from other plants and products. Dispensing organizations are required to test the processed low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis before they are dispensed. The results must be verified and signed by two employees of the dispensary. The dispensing organization must reserve two processed samples from each batch and retain them for at least nine months.

Cannabis test results must indicate that low-THC cannabis meets the definition of low-THC cannabis and that all medical and low-THC cannabis is safe for human consumption and free from contaminants.

The dispensing organization must also contract with an independent testing laboratory to perform audits on the dispensing organization’s standard operating procedures, testing records and samples.

Who can sell low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis?
Florida has six authorized dispensing organizations: Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, Grandiflora (San Felasco Nurseries), Hackney Nursery, Surterra Therapeutics (Alpha Foliage, Inc.), Modern Health Concepts (Costa Nursery Farms), Knox Nursery
How does purchasing low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis work?
A qualified patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician for at least three months immediately preceding a recommendation for low-THC or medical cannabis.
Who can purchase cannabis from a dispensing organization?
Dispensing organizations may only provide low-THC cannabis, medical cannabis or a cannabis delivery device to a qualified patient or a qualified patient’s legal representative.
Who can be a qualified patient’s legal representative?
A legal representative is a qualified patient's parent, legal guardian acting pursuant to a court's authorization as required under section 744.3215(4), Florida Statues health care surrogate acting pursuant to the qualified patient's written consent or a court's authorization as required under section 765.113, Florida Statues or an individual who is authorized under a power of attorney to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the qualified patient.
What are the packaging requirements for low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis?
Packaging of low-THC and medical cannabis should be in compliance with the United States Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (15 U.S.C. ss. 1471 et seq.) They should be packaged in a receptacle that has a firmly affixed and legible label with the following information:Packaging of low-THC and medical cannabis should be in compliance with the United States Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (15 U.S.C. ss. 1471 et seq.) They should be packaged in a receptacle that has a firmly affixed and legible label with the following information:
  • A statement that the low-THC or medical cannabis has been properly tested
  • The name of the dispensing organization from which the product originates
  • The batch number and harvest number from which the product originates
What is the difference between low-THC cannabis and medical?
Low-THC cannabis means a plant of the genus Cannabis, the dried flowers of which contain 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol and more than 10 percent of cannabidiol weight for weight; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant or its seeds or resin that is dispensed only from a dispensing organization.

Medical cannabis means all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, sale, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin that is dispensed only from a dispensing organization for medical use by an eligible patient as defined in s. 499.0295.