Patients, doctors get green light for medical marijuana – Sun Sentinel
Patients who qualify for medical marijuana under a voter-approved constitutional amendment can start purchasing cannabis treatments in as little as 90 days, according to the state’s top pot cop.
Whether patients would be able to start buying medical marijuana before the Department of Health approves rules to carry out the amendment — a process that could take at least six months — has been a source of confusion for many doctors, patients and businesses.
Florida law already allows full-strength medical marijuana, but only for terminally ill patients, as well as low-THC, or non-euphoric, marijuana for patients with epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms or cancer. Under the law, doctors must treat patients for at least 90 days before being able to enter orders for any type of cannabis treatment into a statewide database.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, during the Nov. 8 election. Some doctors started a push to establish three-month relationships with patients — charging as much as $400 for a preliminary visit — even before the amendment became law on Jan. 3. Others questioned if doctors could do so because the current law restricts physicians to ordering full-strength marijuana only for terminally ill patients.
But on Wednesday, state Office of Compassionate Use Director Christian Bax told reporters that it is up to doctors to decide if they want to order marijuana for patients with medical conditions eligible for treatment under Amendment 2, months before new rules are expected to go into effect.
“Should any patient establish a relationship with a physician for 90 days, the 90 days is a restriction on the timeline for which a physician can create an order. So a physician can create an order once that 90 days has happened. At that point, or any time in the future, the