Yes, but Florida’s Statute 381.986 specifies that only marijuana, including low-THC cannabis, meant for medical use can be cultivated and only licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) can grow it. MMTCs must apply for a license with the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) under the Department of Health (DOH). In Brevard County, there are 16 MMTCs.
Statute 381.986 defines marijuana as a plant of the Cannabis genus and all its parts and products. This includes low-THC cannabis which the statue defines as a plant of the Cannabis genus with flowers that have more than 10 percent of cannabidiol and 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol weight for weight when dried.
Medical marijuana in Florida can only be grown indoors. It cannot be grown alongside other plants and must be kept separate. Florida’s Statute XXXV Chapter 581, covering the plant industry, requires medical marijuana growers to monitor the cannabis seeds and plants to detect any pests that may become threats to the state’s agriculture. Growers must destroy infestations by fumigating or treating infested cannabis seeds and plants. They are only allowed to use pesticides approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) for application on plants that are for human consumption.
Yes, but Florida’s Statute 381.986 specifies that only marijuana meant for medical use can be processed and only licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) can process it.
Medical marijuana, including low-THC cannabis, can only be processed indoors in Florida. Cannabis plants and products must be isolated from any other plants or products. The manufacturing process must comply with the rules of the DOH on the use of potentially toxic gasses or solvents.
From each batch of processed medical marijuana, the MMTC must keep two samples for at least nine months. Within that period, a marijuana testing laboratory must conduct an audit on the MMTC covering its samples, testing records, and all its standard operating procedures. The audit must verify whether the medical marijuana products are free of contaminants and safe for human consumption, labeled accurately with regard to cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol concentration, and compliant with the DOH potency requirements.
Audit results must be submitted by the marijuana testing laboratory to the DOH. In addition, the DOH may verify the audit findings with the help of the DACS. Samples from the MMTC will be used for verification.
Statute 381.986 stipulates how MMTCs must package medical marijuana products they manufacture. First, they must comply with the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970. Every product must have a label that is firmly affixed. This must indicate the product name, the harvest and batch number of the marijuana used, and the product’s cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol concentration. The label must also include the warning that it is illegal to transfer possession of medical marijuana to another person. There must not be any words on the label that would relate it to products meant for children.
In addition to a label, a medical marijuana product must have an insert inside its packaging that states the following:
To legally manufacture edible medical marijuana products, an MMTC must apply for a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) edibles food permit from the FDACS as required by the Florida Food Safety Act. To be eligible, it must meet all the requirements for food establishments, have a nationally accredited body inspect its facilities, and get a certification for Food Safety Good Manufacturing Practices.
The edible medical marijuana products manufactured by MMTCs must contain only 10 milligrams or less of tetrahydrocannabinol per single serving. Potency variation must not exceed 15 percent. A product that contains several servings cannot have more than 200 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol in total. Edible medical marijuana must not be made to resemble candy or any edible product that attracts children.
The packaging of edible medical marijuana products must list all their ingredients, storage instructions, and the expiration date.
The packaging of medical marijuana products that are either edible or for smoking must consist of plain, white, opaque containers. They must not include any images except for the DOH-approved MMTC logo. There must be a warning on the package to keep the product away from children.
The packaging of medical marijuana products for smoking must include an additional warning that they have carcinogens that may have a negative effect on health.
Yes, but Florida’s Statute 381.986 specifies that only marijuana meant for medical use can be sold at retail, and only licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) can sell it.
MMTCs can sell medical marijuana, including edibles and medical marijuana for smoking, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. MMTCs can only sell medical marijuana, including low-THC cannabis, to qualified patients or caregivers who hold an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) identification card.
The MMTC must verify the buyer’s MMUR card and the type and amount of medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis prescribed for the patient in the MMUR. Based on the prescription, the MMTC can only legally dispense a supply of medical marijuana for a maximum of 70 days for every patient for each 70-day period. If the medical marijuana is in a form for smoking, the maximum that an MMTC can sell for each patient is a 35-day supply for each 35-day period, but not more than 2.5 ounces.
For every medical marijuana item it sells, the MMTC is required to add the following information to the label:
The MMTC is also required to log the following in the MMUR for each sale of medical marijuana:
MMTCs are accountable for their dispensaries’ tight security. They must keep the medical marijuana locked in a vault or a room. The dispensary must be protected by a security system that has 24-hour video surveillance and alarms.
Yes, but Florida’s Statute 381.986 specifies that only marijuana meant for medical use can be delivered and only to qualified patients or caregivers with MMUR cards. Also, only licensed MMTCs can legally deliver medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis.
MMTCs are allowed to deliver medical marijuana products around the clock. Every delivery requires two MMTC employees.
A medical marijuana transportation manifest must be generated from the MMTC’s seed-to-sale tracking system for every delivery. The MMTC must keep a copy of each manifest for at least three years.
The following information must be in the medical marijuana transportation manifest:
Delivery must be received in person by the patient or the patient’s caregiver. As an acknowledgment of receipt, the recipient must sign a copy of the medical marijuana transportation manifest.
Residents of Florida, including seasonal residents, must apply for an MMUR identification card with the OMMU. Before doing so, they must consult one of the state’s qualified physicians who will examine them to determine if they have any of the following conditions that require medical marijuana treatment:
Once a patient has been diagnosed to be qualified for a medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis prescription, it must be determined if the patient will need help in purchasing it. Minors are not allowed to purchase medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis and would, therefore, need the help of a caregiver to do so. Some adults may also need help in making a purchase.
The doctor will enter the name of the patient and caregiver in the MMUR along with their respective email addresses. The doctor will then give an MMUR patient identification number to the patient.
The patient and caregiver must wait for emails from the OMMU providing them with a user name and a temporary password. They can then log into the MMUR and change their passwords.
The patient and caregiver can complete the application process for an ID in the MMUR. Alternatively, they can print out the application form and send it with the listed requirements to:
Office of Medical Marijuana Use
PO Box 31313
Tampa, FL 33631-3313
Whether applying online or by mail, there is a processing fee of $75. Payments for mailed applications must be included in the form of a check or money order to the Florida Department of Health. The patient’s ID number must be listed in the memo line. Payment in cash is not allowed.
Sales of medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis have increased. According to the weekly update posted by OMMU, from July 6 to 13, 2018, licensed MMTCs sold 29,470,708 mgs of medical marijuana and 1,569,109 mgs of low-THC cannabis. The OMMU reported that from July 29 to August 4, 2022, licensed MMTCs sold 243,358,822 mgs of medical marijuana and 2,756,804 mgs of low-THC cannabis.
Sales from medical marijuana and any required devices are exempted from sales tax under Florida’s Statute 381.986 Section 212.08. Because of this, the legalization of medical marijuana did not add to the tax revenues of Florida and its counties.
Florida’s Statute 381.986 legalized medical marijuana in 2017. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office report on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer shows that drug abuse arrests decreased from 1,929 in 2017 to 1,075 in 2020. DUI arrests also decreased from 588 in 2017 to 424 in 2020.