Florida first legalized medical cannabis in 2014 when the Legislature passed the Compassionate Use Act allowing patients suffering from cancer and epilepsy to access low-THC cannabis. This program grew in 2016 under the Right to Try Act which permitted full strength cannabis to patients with a terminal illness.
On November 8, 2016 Florida voters passed Amendment 2 with a 71.3% majority (in every single county!), allowing for an expanded medical cannabis program, effective January 3, 2017. While operational, the program existed in a legal grey area until June when Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 8A into law, removing the dreaded "90 day wait" and establishing operational guidelines to meet the requirements of Amendment 2.
Amendment 2 and the subsequent Senate Bill 8A expanded the list of eligible medical conditions, including "an all other debilitating...' category giving doctor's discretion on certifying patients with conditions that aren't explicitly listed.
QUALIFYING CONDITIONS PER AMENDMENT 2
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed
- Terminal illness
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
WHAT ARE MEDICAL CONDITIONS OF THE SAME KIND OR CLASS?
This category allows doctors to certify patients who have symptoms or medical conditions that are both debilitating and similar in nature to the medical conditions that are explicitly named in the law.
What does it mean for a condition to be 'debilitating'?
For a physical or mental health condition to be debilitating it must interfere with or limit the patient's life activities. So what does this look like?
Does the patient miss work or other comittments due to symptoms? Does the condition interfere with their ability to sustain relationships, get around/drive/walk, perform manual tasks, concentrate, think, or communicate? Does the patient require medications or other treatments for their symptoms? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it's likely the condition qualifies as debilitating.
What debilitating conditions qualify as being 'of the same kind or class as or comparable to' the named qualifying conditions?
In our practice we certify patients for medical cannabis treatment with a wide variety of health concerns. While it's impossible for us to provide you with a comprehensive list of conditions that may qualify, we can specify some of the most common qualifying classes and symptoms. If the condition you would like to treat with medical cannabis shares any of the below, it may likely qualify.
Debilitating conditions of the following classes:
- Neurological & neurodegnerative
Chronic (long lasting and/or recurring) & debilitating symptoms:
- Chronic pain
- Depression, irritability, and/or mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle spasms & stiffness
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other GI upset
- Poor appetite
Sample 'other' conditions:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Insomnia/sleep disorders
- Lyme disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Ulcerative colitis
I THINK MY CONDITION QUALIFIES, WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?
Get in contact with us!
The first step in becoming a legal medical cannabis patient is seeing a qualified physician for a certification exam. We are currently accepting patients in both Land O' Lakes and Spring Hill (Pasco & Hernando counties). For patients who are physically unable to travel to our office we offer home visits to the surrounding area.
In our office we do require that you provide us with medical records verifying your condition(s). Having these available at the time of your appointment will assist with your certification, but we understand this isn't always possible. If you have any questions about obtaining/or providing your medical records please let us know.
You can also consult the Office of Medical Marijuana Use qualified physician list to find a doctor in your area.
HOW DO I REACH YOU?
The best way to reach us is by email (email@example.com) or by submitting the pre-qualifying survey online here. You can also reach us by phone at 352-616-9892 during normal business hours. If we don't answer it's because we are assisting other patients - please leave us a message with the best times to reach you and we'll definitely return your call.
If you're ready to schedule an appointment you can skip right to our online booking page! We'll ask you to list your condition(s) when scheduling, so if we have any concerns that you won't qualify we will be in contact before your appointment. But even so no worries - if at your appointment we find that you don't qualify there is no charge for the visit!