How to get med­i­cal mar­i­juana

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Sweeney Staff writer

Only cer­tain ail­ments qual­ify. Doc­tors, vis­its and the amount of medicine are highly reg­u­lated.

Look­ing for med­i­cal mar­i­juana in South Florida? Here’s what you need to know:

South Florida’s fourth med­i­cal mar­i­juana dis­pen­sary opened Tues­day in Lake Worth. The three oth­ers are in Mi­ami-Dade County.

Pa­tients must have a qual­i­fy­ing ail­ment to re­ceive mar­i­juana. Those in­clude cancer, epilepsy, glau­coma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s dis­ease, Parkinson’s dis­ease, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, or “other de­bil­i­tat­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions of the same kind or class,” per the amend­ment’s lan­guage.

To find a lo­cal doc­tor, go to Flori­da­health.gov or call the Florida Depart­ment of Health’s Of­fice of Med­i­cal Mar­i­juana Use at 850-245-4657.

Once ap­proved, the pa­tient is en­tered into the state’s med­i­cal mar­i­juana reg­istry and then must ap­ply for a med­i­cal mar­i­juana card. That can take months.

Pa­tients can re­ceive a 70-day sup­ply at a time. After that, they must get a new rec­om­men­da­tion, which can be phoned in. After 30 weeks, pa­tients must once again see their doc­tor in per­son.

In­sur­ance can­not cover any part of the process.

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