The passage of Amendment 2, Florida’s new medical marijuana law that took effect January 3, 2017, expands the number and type of conditions for which patients may qualify for treatment with medical cannabis. This means that the number of patients seeking certification in Florida is poised to explode.
According to estimates by marijuana industry analysts New Frontier Data and Arcview Market Research, Florida’s medical marijuana industry could yield $1.5 billion in sales by 2020, making it the second-largest medical marijuana market in the country behind California.
With more and more patients pursuing medical cannabis as a treatment for cancer, epilepsy, pain, Parkinson’s, and a host of other chronic, debilitating conditions, Florida will require more doctors to qualify patients and issue certification.
Now is the time to join the growing network of state-approved medical marijuana doctors. Both licensed medical doctors and osteopathic physicians may become approved under Chapter 458 or Chapter 459 of Florida statutes.
Step 1: Complete Course & Exam
To become certified to recommend cannabis treatment to patients, doctors must first complete an 8‐hour course offered by either the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and then pass an examination. This course and examination is required each time you renew your medical license. Learn more about the Florida physician medical cannabis course
Step 2: Register with the Office of Compassionate Use
Once you have successfully completed the course and examination, you must register with the Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use. Go to the Compassionate Use Registry web site and create an account. You will need your medical license number and your social security number.
Step 3: Evaluate Patient and Enter Into Registry
After you evaluate your patient and determine that he or she qualifies for treatment using medical marijuana, you must first obtain their written informed consent. Physicians may order medical cannabis only after treating a patient for 90 days.
After 90 days, you can provide a recommendation for medical marijuana. Then you have to enter the patient into the Compassionate Use Registry, along with dosage recommendation information: start date, expiration date, route of administration, milligrams per dose, doses per day, and number of days (up to 45). Orders may only be filled by a licensed dispensing organization and cannot exceed a 45-day supply.
Step 4: Submit Treatment Plan to UF
In compliance with Florida Statute 381.986, recommending physicians must submit the initial treatment plan and quarterly follow-ups for each patient to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, or any time the plan changes.
The treatment plan must include the dose, route of administration, planned duration, and monitoring of the patient’s symptoms and other indicators of tolerance or reaction to the order for low-THC or medical cannabis.
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