5 Florida Medical Marijuana Laws

The Florida Medical Marijuana Program began in 2014 when the Compassionate Use Act was signed into law. Low-THC medical marijuana helps some people with cancer and illnesses that cause seizures or serious, long-lasting muscle spasms, like epilepsy. But this bill did have a lot of rules.

Voters in Florida passed Amendment 2 in November 2016. It says that the Department of Health is in charge of controlling the growing and selling of marijuana. This amendment made it possible for people with certain serious medical conditions to use full-strength medical marijuana.

Here are five important rules about medical marijuana in Florida that we will talk about in this post. This is where Florida’s medical marijuana law can be found.

Florida Marijuana Laws At A Glance

  • Adult-use marijuana is not currently legal in Florida.
  • The OMMU is responsible for overseeing and regulating the medical marijuana treatment center licensees (“MMTCs”).
  • Florida’s medical marijuana program is regulated by The Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (the “OMMU”).
  • Florida requires MMTC licensees to utilize seed-to-sale tracking software.

Law #1: Medical Conditions That Qualify

Law number 381.986(2) MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT ELIMINATE.—To be able to get marijuana or a device for smoking marijuana, a person must have at least one of the following conditions: Cancer (a). (b) Headaches. c) Eye problems. (d) Status as positive for the human immunodeficiency virus. (e) Syndrome of acquired immune weakness. (f) Disorders related to PTSD. (g) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in pets. h) Crohn’s virus. This is Parkinson’s disease. (j) MS. (k) Medical problems that are the same as or similar to those listed in (a)–(j). (l) A terminal illness that was identified by a doctor other than the qualified doctor who issued the certification. m) Long-lasting pain that isn’t caused by cancer.

Explained:

  1. Suppose the doctor thinks the patient has one of the above-qualified medical conditions. In that case, the doctor will give the patient a physician certification that can be used to apply for a patient card with the OMMU. To buy medical marijuana from an MMTC store, you need a patient card.
  2. Patients who need medical marijuana must see a qualified doctor before they can adequately get and use medical marijuana.

Law #2: Fines, Suspensions, and Revocations for MMTC

F.A.C. 64-4.210 is the law.  (1) This rule is based on Section 381.986 of the Florida Statutes, and it outlines the punishments that approved MMTCs will have to follow. The goals of punishment are to punish MMTCs for breaking the rules, to keep them from breaking the rules again, to give them chances to fix their mistakes when necessary, and to stop other applicants or licensees from breaking the rules.

Should the department discover that an MMTC broke the rules set out in Section 381.986(10)(f), F.S., it can stop or revoke the MMTC’s license or refuse to renew it. If an MMTC breaks this rule, the department can take away or cancel their license for a while, depending on how bad the violation was.

When deciding how serious the violation is, the following things must be taken into account: (a) How often or how many times it happened; (b) The chance of rehabilitation; (c) Any previous violations; (d) The effect on the department; (e) The possible or actual harm to a qualified patient or a member of the public; (f) The willfulness and deliberateness of the violation; (g) The severity of the noncompliance; (h) The length of the noncompliance; (i) Any good faith efforts made to stop a violation; and (j) Any co

(3) The department can fine up to $10,000 per violation, in addition to or instead of suspension, termination, or any other penalty under this chapter. The fine schedule in subsection (9), which is meant to be used as a guide, shows how much the fines are. Within the limit shown in the schedule, the department will use the factors listed in subsection

(2) The maximum fines in the schedule are the highest fines that the department can give for each offense. If there are multiple events that lead to more than one violation of the same rule, the department can fine for each violation up to the maximum amount. When there are violations that happen over and over again, each day that they happen is a separate violation.

5 Florida Medical Marijuana

(4) An MMTC has to keep track of all the marijuana it has and have someone watch over it while its license is being suspended. The MMTC has to keep its building in line with all the rules in Section 381.986, F.S., and department policy while it is suspended. After a ban, the department may let the MMTC get back to work as long as the company follows any corrective action instructions from the department. When an MMTC gets written permission from the department to start up again, it can do so.

(5) During a license suspension, the department can ask an MMTC to put a sign in the front window or on the front door of all of its dispensing locations explaining why the license is being suspended and for how long. The sign has to be at least 8.5 inches tall and 11 inches wide, and the font size has to be at least 14 points. The department will make the letter and send it to the MMTC. The department could tell the MMTC that the notice needs to be placed clearly on the home page of the MMTC’s website. This notice must stay in place until the suspension time is over.

(6) The MMTC is still required to meet all the standards for renewing its license on time even after being suspended under this part. The MMTC’s date for renewing a license does not change when a license is suspended. MMTCs whose licenses have been taken away cannot apply for licenses under Section 381.986, F.S., or this chapter for at least five years after their licenses were taken away. However, if an MMTC breaks a law or rule and that violation leads to a patient’s death, the MMTC will never be able to apply for a license again.

(8) No part of the application fee, supplemental licensing fee, or renewal fee will be returned if an MMTC’s license is suspended or canceled. (9) The following plan will be used as a guide by the department for fines for breaking the rules. You can find the full legal requirement by looking at the mentioned legal provision.

Given More Information:

When Florida’s medical marijuana law is broken, the OMMU can suspend or cancel an MMTC license or refuse to renew one. This is what will determine the type of punishment (fines, suspension, or revocation): how wrong the violation is:

  • For at least five years, no MMTC whose license was taken away can apply for a new one. If the violation leads to a patient’s death, the MMTC will never be able to use it again.
  • Any past offenses
  • A worthy patient or a public member could or did get hurt.
  • Willfulness and intent to break the law
  • How bad the failure was
  • Time of not following the rules
  • Any honest effort made to stop a violation
  • Any steps the MMTC took to fix the present violation or previous violations
  • For each infringement, the OMMU can charge a fine of up to $10,000. If you break the rules repeatedly, you could get a daily penalty.
  • During a licensing delay, an MMTC must keep track of and protect all medical marijuana it has on hand. It must also maintain its building in compliance. Operations can go on as long as the OMMU gives written notice.
  • Even if an MMTC is suspended, it must follow all the rules for renewing its license.
  • You can’t get your fees back.
  • The number or frequency of events
  • The chance of healing
  • Changes to the OMMU
  • If an MMTC’s license is suspended, the OMMU can tell medical marijuana dispensing facilities that they need to put a sign in the front window or on the front door. The notice needs to be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and have a writing size of 14 points. It should also be on the home page of the website.

Read More: 5 Colorado Cannabis Laws You Need to Know

Law #3: Things You Need to Do to Apply for MMTC

F.S. 381.986 is the law. (b) A person who wants to become a medical marijuana treatment center must show: 1. That they have been registered to do business in the state for 5 years in a row before they file their application.

2. Having a legal registration certificate from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as required by s. 581.131.

3. The technical and technological know-how to grow and make weed, including low-THC cannabis.

4. Having the ability to get the space, funding, and staff needed to run a medical marijuana treatment center.

5. The ability to keep track of all raw materials, finished goods, and leftovers to stop substances from being stolen or misused or from being illegally accessed or owned.

6. A system that is conveniently placed to give marijuana to registered, qualified patients across the state or in an area chosen by the department. Seven. The financial resources to keep running for the two-year approval period, which includes giving the department approved financial statements. a. If the candidate is approved, they must post a $5 million performance bond from a surety insurance company that is licensed and rated in one of the three highest categories by a nationally known rating service.

A medical marijuana treatment center, on the other hand, that helps at least 1,000 approved patients only needs to keep a $2 million performance bond. b. They can give cash to the department or an irrevocable letter of credit due to the department instead of the performance bond mentioned in sub-subparagraph a. If this sub-subparagraph is met with cash, the department must put the cash in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund within the Department of Health.

7. This is subject to the same terms as the bond, which say that the applicant must give up ownership of the funds. Should the money put in under this sub-subparagraph earn interest, the government must use that interest to pay the bills related to this section.

8. Under subsection (9), all owners, leaders, board members, and managers have passed a background check.

9. Hiring a medical head to keep an eye on what the medical marijuana treatment center does. As per s. 288.703, a diversity plan should encourage and make sure that minority people and minority business enterprises, as well as senior business enterprises, are involved in ownership, management, and hiring.

When someone wants to renew their license, they need to show that the diversity plan is working by sending the following with their case: A list of the medical marijuana treatment center’s employees who are veterans or from a minority group; B lists of efforts to hire veterans or people from a minority group; and C lists of contracts for services with veteran or minority business groups.

Explained:

The following must be shown on initial applications:

  1. The person applying has been registered to do business in the state for five years before applying.
  2. Getting a medical director hired.
  3. A plan for variety.
  4. Money to keep activities going.
  5. Having a legal registration certificate on hand.
  6. The knowledge to grow weed with low THC.
  7. The infrastructure needed to hand out drugs.
  8. Do a police check.

Law #4: How to Do Inspections and Authorizations

F.S. 381.986(8)(e)(9) says: A medical marijuana treatment center must show the department within 12 months of getting its license that all of its processing facilities have passed a Food Safety Good Manufacturing Practices inspection by a nationally recognized certifying body. This inspection could be for the Global Food Safety Initiative or something similar. If a medical marijuana treatment center fails this inspection, it has to stop processing at that site right away until it can show the department that it has met this requirement.

F.S. 381.986(10)

(a)  The department shall conduct at least a biennial inspection of each medical marijuana treatment center to evaluate the medical marijuana treatment center’s records, personnel, equipment, processes, security measures, sanitation practices, and quality assurance practices.

(b) The department shall inspect a medical marijuana treatment center upon receiving a complaint or notice that the medical marijuana treatment center has dispensed marijuana containing mold, bacteria, or other contaminant that may cause or have caused an adverse effect to human health or the environment.

(c) The department shall conduct announced or unannounced inspections of medical marijuana treatment centers to determine compliance with this section or rules adopted pursuant to this section.

Explained:

A Florida medical marijuana treatment center has to follow certain rules within a year of getting its license.

Law #5: Packaging And Labeling

Law: F.S. 381.986(8)(e)11.f. and 12; Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64-4 rules, and the MMTC Emergency Rules for packaging and labeling in 64ER-20-32.

Explained: Needs for Packaging

  • The container could have directions, health information, warnings, and safety tips written on it. An MMTC can’t include claims that the usable product can fix any illness that hasn’t been proven.
  • The plug must not be accessible to children.
  • When it comes to edibles and goods that can be used more than once, the container must be resealable to stay childproof after each use or serving.
  • All the information on the label(s) must be put on the receptacle clearly and noticeably.
  • Pictures of the goods or any other graphics or images must not be on the receptacle. It must only have one picture of the MMTC’s logo and the universal symbol.
  • Jars for derivative goods that aren’t food must be clear or a single solid color, and they can’t be neon.
  • Some containers must have lids that are the same plain color or white.
  • Food containers and packing must be plain, clear, and white.
  • Tobacco goods that can be used must be kept in plain, opaque, white containers.
  • At the MMTC’s department-approved processing facility, all goods that can be used must be put in a container.
  • Before an MMTC gives out the usable product, they must put receptacles inside a box with a patient package insert.
  • Before putting usable goods in any container and packing, an MMTC has to get permission from the department to use that container, label, and packaging.

Explained: Needs for Labeling 

  • This means that an MMTC can put as many signs on the container as they need to get the message across that something is required or allowed.
  • If you need to label small containers, the labels can be accordion, expandable, extendable, or stacked as long as they don’t get in the way of the necessary information.
  • Print the cultivar name in black or white writing that is no bigger than 12 points and uses a sans-serif font.
  • Each product that can be used may come with the following information on both the patient paper and the package:
    Graphics accepted by the MMTC’s management.
  • As long as the information sent is legal and can be found on the receptacle label, package, or patient package insert, a Quick Response (QR) code or a similar bar code or smart code can give the patient access to the usable product’s certificate of analysis and information about the usable product that is being given out. Anyone who needs it should be able to get paper copies of the information at an MMTC if asked by a patient or caretaker.
  • An SKU, barcode, or other similar number that can be used to identify a product.facts about health, warnings, or how to do something.
  • Every product that can be used must have the following information on its label:
  • This means that the marijuana or low-THC cannabis meets the standards of 381.986(8)(e)10d.
  • What the marijuana comes from at MMTC was named.
  • In an MMTC, claims that the usable product can cure any medical disease must not be made without proof.
  • A sign that everyone understands.
  • Which patient’s name is this?
  • If there is one, the name of the product and the dose form, along with the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol the product contains.
  • Language usually found on goods marketed by or to children may not be allowed in the product name.
  • The amount that is suggested.
  • A notice that giving medical marijuana to someone else is against the law in this country
  • The international symbol must take up at least 10% of the package’s surface area.
  • Each receptacle must have a label(s) that are tightly attached and can be read. These labels can only have government-mandated or allowed information on them.
  • For every product that can be used, the package must have a patient package insert with all the necessary details for the patient or caretaker.
  • The date the marijuana was given out, along with the batch number and harvest number from which it came.
  • There is the name of the doctor who signed the certification.

Additional Packaging And Labeling Specifications For Edible Products

  • Every edible must be sealed in its own plain, opaque, white wrapper that only has the marijuana universal symbol printed on it in a way that takes up at least 10% of the main surface area of the box.
  • Any food or drink given out as a single amount must be individually wrapped and put in the container.
  • Multiserving candies, lozenges, and gelatins can be wrapped up as single servings or all at once as a multiserving edible and put in the container.
  • Each single-serving piece of baked good that makes more than one serving must be individually wrapped and put in the container.
  • Each single-serving size of a multi-serving drink powder must be wrapped and put in its container.
  • Along with the above requirements, each edible must have a sticker that is visible and securely attached that says the following:
  • A list of all the ingredients in the food, ranked by how important they are. This list uses the typical or normal names for food ingredients and names the main allergens in line with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.
  • How to store things.
  • A date when it expires.
  • A clear and easy-to-read advice to stay away from pets and children.
  • A warning that the food has not been made or inspected in line with federal food safety rules.

Extra Rules for Packaging and Labeling Products that Can Be Used in A Form for Smoking:

  • In addition to the above requirements, the receptacle must have a sign that is visible and securely attached that says the following:
  • There is a clear and noticeable statement to keep the item out of reach of children.
  • The size of the universal symbol must be at least 10% of the whole package’s surface area.
  • It needs to be clean, clear, and white.
  • A statement that says marijuana smoke may be harmful to your health because it contains chemicals that cause cancer.

Labeling For Derivative Products That Are Not Edibles:

  • The universal sign has to be printed on the package, and it has to take up at least 10% of the whole surface area of the box.
  • The text on a box has to be one solid color and not neon.
  • The receptacle must be one single solid color and may have one additional accent color.
  • This does not include the department-approved logo, universal symbol, and text.
  • Neither the primary color nor the accent color must be bright.
  • Every ingredient must be listed on the package, in order of importance, unless listed on the container label or patient package insert.
  • This does not include the department-approved logo, universal symbol, and text.

Florida Cannabis Laws FAQS

Q. How Much Marijuana Can I Buy in Florida?

An MMTC can only give one qualified patient or caregiver a 70-day supply of marijuana in any one 70-day period. They can also only offer one qualified patient or caregiver a 35-day supply of marijuana in a smoked form in any one 35-day period. If the OMMU doesn’t allow an exception, no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a smoked form can be kept for 35 days.

Q. How Do They Tax Weed in Florida?

In Florida, no sales tax on medical marijuana is bought in stores. Rule 12A-1.097, F.A.C., says that it is a medical item that is not taxed.

Q. Is Adult Use of Marijuana Legal in Florida?

Florida does not allow adults to use marijuana right now.

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