Q. What Medical conditions are considered Medical marijuana conditions?
*Human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV)
*Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
*Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
*Or other debilitating conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the Medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.
Q. What Medical documentation should I fax?
ANSWER Our physicians require that each patient have current Medical records dated within the past 12 months that document the existence of one of the conditions for which Medical marijuana is authorized under Florida state law. You must either obtain your Medical records yourself (which may involve a fee) and mail or fax them in to us, or you may authorize that your medical records be faxed or mailed to our office. Dr. Palanca requires the records to be current within the past 12 months and relate to your qualifying condition.
Q. How can I obtain my Medical records?
ANSWER Our staff can obtain your Medical records with a Medical Release Form or you can call your physician or the hospital where you received treatment and tell them you need copies of your Medical records. They will tell you the process of obtaining your Medical records and usually have you sign an authorization form to release the records.
Q. Where can I fax my Medical records to be considered for a Medical marijuana appointment?
ANSWER You may fax your records to one of the following:
FAX to 727-724-8777
EMAIL to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is your responsibility to make sure your Medical records have arrived to our office in full and ready for review if you wish to be considered for a Medical marijuana appointment.
Q. Do I need to be referred to Dr. Palanca by another physician?
ANSWER No. Dr. Palanca can evaluate anyone who feels that they can benefit from Medical marijuana. But, their are many doctors offices and hospitals that are educated on Medical marijuana that will refer patients to Dr. Palanca.
Q. How long will the certification last?
ANSWER Marijuana Certifications are valid for one year after your Medical marijuana registration is approved. We recommend that you to make an appointment before the expiration date so that you can be re-evaluated and obtain a renewal of your physician certification.
Q. How do I register as a Medical marijuana patient with the state?
ANSWER Each qualifying patient would have to submit a signed written certification issued by the physician that stated that in the physician’s professional opinion the patient would likely receive therapeutic or symptom-relieving benefits from the Medical use of Marijuana to treat or alleviate a debilitating Medical condition. The certification would have to specify the debilitating Medical condition and be made in the course of a physician-patient relationship after the physician had completed a full assessment of the patient’s Medical history. If the qualifying patient were under 18 years of age, the patient’s custodial parent or legal guardian would have to submit written Certifications from two physicians, and the custodial parent or legal guardian would have to consent in writing to control the patient’s Medical use of the Marijuana.
Q. Will my insurance company cover the certification process, consultation or Medical marijuana application?
ANSWER No. Insurance companies do not cover the cost of certification process, consultation or application for Medical marijuana at the current time.
FAQ’s for the Low-THC Cannabis Program
Q. What is the Florida Low-THC Cannabis Program
ANSWER The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allows doctors to order low-THC Cannabis derivative products for patients with a qualifying Medical condition. (1) cancer, (2) epilepsy, or (3) a physical Medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
Q. What is Low-THC Cannabis?
ANSWER CBD is a key ingredient in Cannabis. CBD is one of many compounds found in Cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied. CBD and THC levels tend to vary among different plants.
By using selective breeding techniques, cannabis breeders have managed to create varieties with high levels of CBD and next to zero levels of THC. These strains are rare but have become more popular in recent years. CBD is non-psychoactive Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the chemical a significant advantage as a medicine, since health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects. CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways as THC.
These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC. A 2011 review published in Current Drug Safety concludes that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions.” The authors add that several studies suggest that CBD is “well tolerated and safe” even at high doses.
CBD seems to offer natural protection against the Marijuana high. Numerous studies suggest that CBD acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia. CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, which may explain why some strains of Cannabis are known to increase alertness. Both CBD and THC have been found to present no risk of lethal overdose. However, to reduce potential side effects, medical users may be better off using Cannabis with higher levels of CBD. CBD has been shown to have a wide range of Medical benefits
Q. Which patients are eligible to receive low-THC cannabis derivative products?
ANSWER The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allows doctors to order low-THC cannabis derivative products for patients with (1) cancer, (2) epilepsy, or (3) a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms. The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 states that in order to be qualified to obtain low‐THC cannabis:
- The patient must be a permanent Florida resident.
If a patient is under the age of 18, a second physician must agree with the determination of need for the patient.
- The patient must suffer from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms; or symptoms of the same.
- Other treatments must have been tried without success.
- The ordering physician must determine the risks of using low‐THC cannabis are reasonable in light of the benefit to the patient.
- The ordering physician must register the patient in the Compassionate Use Registry.
- The ordering physician must maintain a patient treatment plan which outlines the dose, route of administration, planned duration, monitoring of the patient’s illness, and tolerance of the low‐ THC cannabis, and submit the plan to the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, on a quarterly basis for research purposes
Q. Can any doctor in Florida prescribe low‐THC cannabis?
ANSWER: The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 provides that low‐THC cannabis can only be ordered by physicians licensed under Chapter 458 or Chapter 459 of Florida Statutes. Chapter 458 regulates medical practice or allopathic physicians, and Chapter 459 regulates osteopathic physicians. The law further states that before ordering low‐THC cannabis for use by a patient, the ordering physician must successfully complete an 8‐hour course offered by either the Florida Medical Association or the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. The course encompasses the clinical indications for the appropriate use of low‐THC cannabis, the appropriate delivery mechanisms, the contraindications for such use, as well as the relevant state and federal laws governing the ordering, dispensing, and possessing of this substance. The physician must successfully pass an examination upon completion of the course.
Q. Who can sell low-THC cannabis derivative product to patients?
Florida has 5 authorized dispensing organizations: Costa Nursery Farms, Alpha Foliage, Knox Nursery, Hackney Nursery, and Chestnut Hill Tree Farm. These Dispensing Organizations, and only these organizations, may operate dispensaries, which sell low-THC cannabis derivative products to qualified patients.
Q. What is a low-THC cannabis derivative product?
ANSWER: Florida’s regulations have two important caveats to the use of cannabis. First, cannabis sold in the state of Florida must contain a very low amount (0.8 percent) of THC, the psychoactive ingredient most commonly associated with the high of cannabis. Second, it is not legal to smoke low-THC cannabis, and patients will not be able to purchase cannabis in its flower form. As a result, dispensing organizations will produce alternative routes of administration from low-THC oil such as tinctures or topical applications.
Q. How does purchasing low-THC cannabis work?
ANSWER A qualified patient must first seek treatment from a qualified physician. If that physician determines that low-THC cannabis is appropriate for that patient, the physician will enter an order into the statewide low-THC registry. That patient will then go to a dispensary operated by one of the state’s five Dispensing Organizations. Dispensary staff will verify the patient’s identity and then fill the corresponding order in the registry. Once it has been filled, the order is cleared by the registry, and the patient will need to receive another physician order to receive additional low-THC cannabis derivative products.
Q. When can patients begin purchasing low-THC cannabis?
ANSWER: The process and timeline for cultivation, processing and dispensing to patients is set forth in rule and statute. The department announced the five approved dispensing organizations on Nov. 23 and all five posted their required $5 million performance bonds by the Dec. 9 deadline. The next step is for approved dispensing organizations to request cultivation authorization, which must be done within 75 days of being notified of their selection, which is Feb. 7. Cultivation must begin within 210 days of receiving cultivation authorization. The department remains committed to getting this product to children with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer as safely and quickly as possible.
Q. Can patients diagnosed with a condition that isn’t included in the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 still be ordered low-THC derivative products?
ANSWER: No. Doctors may only order low-THC derivative products for patients diagnosed with (1) cancer, (2) epilepsy, or (3) a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
Q. What about those people who are here only part of the year?
The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 states a patient must be a permanent Florida resident.
Q. What are the requirements to grow and dispense low‐THC cannabis in Florida?
- The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allows the Florida Department of Health to approve up to five dispensing organizations in Florida.
- These dispensing organizations will be located in specified geographic regions throughout the state: one each in northwest Florida, northeast Florida, central Florida, southeast Florida, and southwest Florida.
- The Florida Department of Health will develop an application form and determine the fees necessary, both initially and at biennial renewal, to cover the costs of administering The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014.
- Dispensing organizations must meet stringent requirements:
- Must have been in operation as a registered nursery in this state for at least 30 continuous years.
- Must have the ability to provide appropriate infrastructure and personnel, and maintain accountability for all raw materials, finished product and byproducts, in order to prevent unlawful access to these substances.
- Must have a valid certificate of registration from the Florida Department of Agriculture that allows cultivation of more than 400,000 plants.
- Must meet specific financial requirements.
- All owners and managers must be fingerprinted and pass a level 2 background check.
- Must employ a medical director licensed under Chapter 458 or 459, Florida Statutes, to supervise dispensing activities.