Costs of a medical marijuana card in Florida can be tricky to navigate. Ever since the Florida state government passed Amendment 2 in January 2017, patients with qualifying medical conditions were granted the freedom to purchase and use medical marijuana in the sunshine state.
In order to purchase medical cannabis, patients must be able to prove that they have a debilitating medical condition that negatively impacts their quality of life. This includes cancer, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, and any ailment of “the same severity/symptoms.”
Obtaining a medical marijuana card in Florida
If you don’t already have a primary care physician, there are many Florida medical marijuana doctors to choose from. Fortunately, the state is trying to make it as easy as possible for Florida residents to get the card if they need it. Florida created a Medical Marijuana Use Registry, where you can confirm whether or not your doctor is qualified to register your name into the registry.
It’s important to note that Florida has a unique policy from other states that legalized medical marijuana. A policy unique to the state is that you must have been a patient with the doctor for at least three months before you are able to be registered into the Florida Marijuana Use Registry. This is also known as the Compassionate Care Registry.
Exactly how much does it cost to get your medical marijuana card in Florida?
The registration fee itself is $75.00 as of June, 2020. This is a flat fee with no fine print, taxes, or any hidden costs.
This is paid when you submit your application for the license online. Both credit or debit card payments are accepted. The state also allows patients to mail a check to the Department of Health. However, when possible, the recommended method is to pay online. Mailing in a check will likely add more processing time to your application.
Another fee to consider is your renewal fee. The renewal costs just as much as the registration fee, so another $75.00.
Your medical marijuana card in Florida is only good for 1 year, so for every year that you have your ailment, you’ll need to remember to renew. Experts recommend beginning the renewal process up to 45 days ahead of the expiration date. This ensures that there will be no lapse in coverage since your card will be renewed with a few days to spare.
There are smaller fees that are easy to overlook as well, but it’s important to keep these in mind as you begin the process. For example, because the card has to be recommended by a qualifying physician, it’s important to factor in the cost of your doctor visit as well. The fee to consult with your doctor will differ from doctor to doctor.
Things to note
Furthermore, if you’re specifically visiting your doctor to ask about a medical marijuana card, be aware that many insurance plans won’t cover this type of visit. This means you’ll have to pay out of pocket. For this reason, if you have a long-term relationship with a primary care physician, we encourage you to ask this during your next wellness visit if possible. Of course, this isn’t always possible since debilitating medical conditions can begin with sudden onset or worsen over time.
Finally, it’s important to consider the cost of a passport photo. Your medical license will include a photo of you, and this makes the license “non-transferable”. You’ll need to provide a passport-style photo of yourself to the Department of Health when applying for your Florida medical marijuana card.
This cannot be a selfie or an image taken at home, and must be a professional photo. Fortunately, many post offices, drug stores, and office supply stores offer passport photos as a service. Depending on where you go, the cost typically ranges between $10 and $25.
You’ve been approved! Now what?
Once you receive your card, you’re immediately eligible to purchase cannabis at any of Florida’s licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC). There are over 80 in the state, so chances are that there is a dispensary close to you. Even if you don’t live close to a location, most dispensaries will ship your medication to you for free!
Even though medical marijuana is legal in Florida, and even if you have your medical card, you do not have the legal right to grow cannabis plants as you would in other states. This is typically only granted in states that allow recreational use.
Also, remember that your mmj card is only valid in Florida. This means that if you purchased medicine in Florida, you cannot travel out of the state or the country with medical cannabis. Even if you’re going to another legal state, cannabis that you purchased in Florida must stay in Florida.