Many states in the U.S. have acknowledged the medicinal use of marijuana. In Florida, for instance, the guidelines governing the legalization of medical treatments using marijuana can be found in Amendment 2 or the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. This legislation was passed in November 2016. And it outlines the qualifying conditions, requirements, and application process of medicinal cannabis, as well as the penalties for violating the guidelines.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana
Based on Senate Bill 8A (SB 8A), people with the following conditions could qualify for medical marijuana:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
AIDS / HIV
Debilitating conditions (e.g., migraines, insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain)
The bill also sets the limit on the number of stores and treatment centers offering marijuana products and services. Cannabis products may be bought in the form of capsules, flowers, concentrates (e.g., wax, shatter, oils, dabs), edibles, and topicals. Smoking medical marijuana is banned.
Marijuana Card: Frequency of Renewal
Based on SB 8A, patients are allowed to have medical marijuana supplies that could last up to 70 days. They’re also allowed two refills after seeking a new prescription. Hence, patients need to renew their marijuana card before they’ve availed their second refill and their supplies run out. Ideally, it’s best to start the renewal process as early as 45 days before the expiration date. This ensures that patients will have ample time to set appointments with prescribing doctors.
SB 8A also requires doctors to pass certain tests and qualifying standards to be able to prescribe cannabis treatments and products. Specifically, they need to take a two-hour course worth $500. This course could be obtained either from Florida Osteopathic Medical Association or Florida Medical Association. Doctors with financial interests in facilities that grow or test marijuana are also banned from giving prescriptions.
What to Do If You’re Caught with an Expired Marijuana Card?
Florida is known for its strict laws on drugs. Regarding the use of cannabis, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a crime punishable by at most 1 year of jail time and a maximum $1,000 fine. Possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is already considered a felony. It’s punishable by a maximum of 5 years jail time and not over $5,000 of fine.
If you, a loved one, or a friend got arrested due to possession of marijuana due to an expired prescription card, make sure to contact a reputable lawyer. You might also like to consider the legal services of Attorney Tom McGuire and his team at Panhandle Defense Firm. Attorney Tom’s team can effectively represent you in court and help you achieve a reasonable settlement for your case.