Jenny Bloom

January 14, 2019

The first business day of 2017, marks the start of medical marijuana in Florida. In 2016, the state became the first southern state to legalize marijuana, standing out among its conservative northern neighbors. Although marijuana is now legal in Florida, patients must wait while the state works out many specifics.

Becoming a Medical Patient

Although Florida previously allowed low-THC strains for a small number of conditions, their Right to Try Act did not cover many debilitating conditions. It also did not allow a wide enough variety of strains to treat many of the conditions patients suffer from. With legalization, the state covered more conditions, including glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

The Florida medical marijuana program requires medical supervision by an approved physician. This is no easy task since the process for approving Florida doctors takes three months and includes an examination. At the moment, only 340 registered physicians treat just under 1500 patients. Many doctors are already, understandably, booked.

Purchasing Marijuana

As if getting approved to use marijuana wasn’t hard enough, finding that marijuana won’t be any easier. Florida has licensed seven organizations to distribute marijuana to patients. Of those seven, five have received authorizations. At least one of those organizations will provide home delivery to patients.

The state will license three additional organizations after at least 250,000 patients register. To encourage diversity in the industry, the state designated one of those licenses for an African-American owned organization.

Although protected by the state law, many Florida cities are not welcoming dispensaries. As many as 55 cities have banned or restricted dispensaries, with a few more considering it. Tallahassee (near the Georgia state line), as well as the Gulf coast cities of Tampa and Clearwater, are currently the largest cities with dispensaries. These municipalities are very far from many of Florida’s most major cities as well as a significant amount of its population.

Just the Beginning

The legalization of marijuana in Florida was just the first step toward full access for those who need it. Voters won the attention of the state government, now it’s up to legislators to decide how it will be done. While patients get their medical cards, the country is watching to see how the South manages legal marijuana.

Read more on Florida legalization and growing marijuana in Florida

Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]


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  1. By Cyunvme

    ,05 Jan 2017
    Its a Sham! Rick Scott is making sure only people who paid him handsomely and gave him ownership can get involved. Only 10 people can make money off this does that sound like capitalism?
    1. By JNo

      ,11 Jul 2017
      Nah but it sure does sound American!
    2. By Brent Messina

      ,02 Nov 2017
      Rockefeller went to court on the Monopoly, and lost. He had to diversify Standard Oil, and this is quite a SHAM!!!!!!!!
    3. By Brent Messina

      ,02 Nov 2017
      All political parties are power, and money hungry. Was Lenin/Stalin any better than the Czar's family with Rasputin by there side?
  2. By Growing Marijuana In Florida – 11/8 UPDATE – Read Now!

    ,09 Jan 2017
    […] January 2017 Florida Navigates Tricky Marijuana Waters […]
  3. By John P

    ,05 Jan 2018
    This whole thing is a complete BS scam! $299 to some company to get your Dr appointment... Then $75 to the state of Floriduhhhhh for the medical card, another $75 to the dispensary to be able to buy from them! […]Read More
  4. By Marvin Chamberlin

    ,03 May 2018
    You want to stop people from overdosing on pain pills but you won't legalize marijuana that helps better then pain pills and nobody odie's

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