We say new despite it being used medicinally by humans for at least 5300 years. An example is the perfectly preserved iceman named Otzi found in the Alps who carried antimicrobial mushrooms on his belt, had acupuncture points tattooed on his body in the points still recognized today as associated with low back pain, and carried Cannabis (marijuana) seeds in a pouch on his belt. His copper ax and smelting tools pushed back the copper age a thousand years. His clothing along with his medical kit and tools point to Otzi being a very sophisticated man and not the caveman we imagine.
We still work copper and use antibiotics but due to a complicated history rife with politics we have not used marijuana medicinally in the United States for almost a hundred years.
Medical Marijuana is now legal in the State of Florida and has been since January of 2017. There have many bill revisions in the first year with the last one being SB 8-A which has resulted in patient confusion but things have been steadily improving. Below is a link to the bill.
1. First see a physician who is trained and certified by the State of Florida to treat using medical marijuana.
2. A medical assessment determines the patient has one of the recognized medical diagnoses or a condition similar enough in kind or class to one of the accepted medical diagnoses, has exhausted conventional therapies, and medical marijuana has a favorable risk to benefit ratio.
3. The patient then pays the certification fees to the physician, which can range from $250 to $350, and then the physician goes on to the Medical Marijuana Registry website and fills out the certification document.
4. The Medical Marijuana Registry, NOT THE PHYSICAN, then sends an email to the patient inviting them to come to the Registry and obtain a username and password and log on to the Registry website. Patients should check their spam email to make sure they don’t miss the initial email in the days after they see the physician for certification.
5. The patient follows the instructions from the Registry and downloads their application and sends it back with a passport photo. These can both be digitally uploaded now. The Registry website is https://mmuregistry.flhealth.gov/
6. After the patient sends in the application and photo, next the registry will send an email with the patient’s Medical Marijuana number and a statement saying the card is in the mail. It has typically taken eight weeks to receive the email with the number but lately patients have been receiving in as little as two week. If you feel it is taking too long you must call the Registry (800-808-9580) with any questions.
7. Once a patient receives their Medical Marijuana number they call the doctor’s office and inform the staff they have their number so the physician can put a recommendation (prescription) for them into the Registry. The patient is NEVER handed a prescription for Medical Marijuana.
8. At the same time the staff is informed the patient has their Medical Marijuana number the patient should make an appointment for three weeks from that time so they can be evaluated for how they are doing and any adjustments can be made to the Medical Marijuana dose and a refill recommendation made before the patient runs out of their first month supply. All prescriptions are made in 30 day increments. Once stable a maximum of a four month supply can be written.
9. Once a recommendation (prescription) for Medical Marijuana has been put into the Medical Marijuana Registry by the physician, then a patient can call or go to any dispensary to receive their Medical Marijuana. Medical Marijuana dispensaries and locations can be found online.