Need medical marijuana? Here’s what to expect – Sun Sentinel (blog)
Hundreds of doctors in Florida are now certified to recommend medical marijuana for patients, and one of the biggest concentrations is in South Florida. Palm Beach County ranks sixth of Florida’s 67 counties for the number of qualified doctors per resident. Miami-Dade County is ninth and Broward 15th.
More than 100 doctors signed on in the three weeks between June 16, and Aug. 4, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The increase comes as the state moves forward to implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters that allows marijuana use for certain ailments. Still, patients in some parts of the state have no access and insurance doesn’t cover marijuana, so poorer patients could be priced out of the market.
Among recent changes:
– State lawmakers eliminated the 90-waiting period to get medical marijuana.
– There are now 957 doctors in Florida qualified to recommend medical marijuana, with 357 of them in South Florida.
— On a per capita basis, Monroe County has the most doctors who can recommend medical marijuana, with one for every 8,208 residents in the county, state numbers show. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties all finish in the top 15 counties.
— Of Florida’s 30 largest cities, Boca Raton has the state’s highest per capita number of doctors credentialed to make the recommendations: one for every 4,005 residents.
— Most counties in the Panhandle have no doctors who have taken and passed the required $500, two-hour medical marijuana course. A four-county area in south central Florida — including Hardee, De Soto, Glades and Hendry counties — is in the same situation.
Doctors “recommend” marijuana rather than “prescribe” it, because it is a controlled substance. For that reason, many doctors have not signed up for fear of losing their federal licenses. And since pharmacies can’t