The Best Guide to a Medical Marijuana Card Renewal in Florida
More than 300,000 people have already qualified for a medical marijuana card in Florida.
This amount continues to increase as registered users discover it’s helping them with mood disorders, seizures, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and more.
Getting a medical marijuana card and renewing each year isn’t an overly difficult process, but you need to follow all of the instructions from the state. Otherwise, they may reject your application.
For this article, we’re going to discuss how and when to start your medical marijuana card renewal. Keep reading below if your expiration date is coming soon.
We’ll discuss how to renew your card, how to get your first card, the differences between medical vs. recreational marijuana, and tips on staying safe when taking it.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Card Renewal Process
The Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) oversees registrations and renewals in Florida.
Upon receiving your card for the first time, you’ll notice there is an expiration date near the bottom. This is one year after you were originally approved.
The OMMU recommends that you submit the renewal application 45 days or less before your card expires. Florida allows residents to renew a medical marijuana card online for convenience.
All you have to do is log-in to your account with the credentials you created in the beginning. Access the “Your Card” section of your personal account and complete the online application. There is a $75 processing fee.
Applicants must also provide residency documentation. It could be as simple as scanning a driver’s license or providing utility bills.
If online applications aren’t your thing, the OMMU also accepts them through traditional mail. Simply print the application (patient or caregiver) and mail it to the OMMU with $75, proof of residency, and a passport-type photo.
Online applications are typically processed faster but on average people will wait up to 10 days to hear back.
Have you tried renewing your card but found the process too confusing? The OMMU created three instructional guides to lead you through the process step-by-step.
How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card
Above we described how to renew your medical marijuana card. But, what if you’re new to the process and don’t know what to do?
Currently, the law in Florida only allows people to purchase medical marijuana. To obtain medical marijuana, you need to get a registry card.
Here are the official requirements to start buying medical marijuana:
- Be a permanent or seasonal Florida resident
- Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a qualified physician
- Be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry
- Obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card
Your first step will be conducting a Qualified Physician Search. Once a doctor has been selected, you will have to visit them for an examination. Under Florida law, they must diagnose you with a condition that can be treated with medical marijuana.
They may not recommend you for marijuana depending on your symptoms and lab results.
It’s also important for you to know that the average medical marijuana examination costs between $200 and $300. And it’s not covered by insurance so make sure to shop around for an office in your budget.
Once cleared by the doctor, you then go through the OMMU application process to be added to the registry and receive your ID card. The card lasts one year and needs to be renewed.
Difference Between Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana
If you completed all of the state requirements and received your medical marijuana card, the next step is purchasing the product. Although both are marijuana, there is a difference between what you’d buy for medical vs. recreational purposes.
The doctor you see for an examination doesn’t have marijuana to hand you. Instead, you need to find a local dispensary. Based on your diagnosis, the doctor may recommend a specific product like edibles or oil, cannabis strains helpful for your condition, or a marijuana dosage.
There are three main marijuana strains: Indica, Sativa, and hybrid. In basic terms, indica has calming effects, Sativa has energizing effects, and hybrid is a unique combination of the two.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound that was formerly illegal but now regulated. Some people will purchase CBD as a supplement because it can be stripped of THC.
Medical marijuana that you purchase in the dispensary will likely be a strain that helps with your medical condition, rather than something you take for fun.
Different types of marijuana help with depression, neurological conditions, pain management, or even your appetite. Follow the recommendations of your doctor or speak to a budtender at the dispensary.
Tips on Taking Marijuana Safely
You want to make sure to be careful if it’s your first time taking marijuana. You aren’t in danger when taking it, instead, you want to avoid any negative side effects like dizziness or increased heart rate.
It’s not uncommon for some patients to have an intolerance to THC, which is something your marijuana doctor will test for when you visit them.
Plan when taking marijuana for the first time. You don’t know how your body will react so set aside time to take it safely at home. Invite over a sober friend to monitor you while you take it, at least until you’re more experienced.
Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery. In fact, you probably shouldn’t leave the house.
Start with a low dose in the beginning and gradually increase if needed. It’s easy to build up a tolerance to marijuana, so take frequent breaks and switch up your strains. This also ensures you don’t develop a dependency that could become problematic down the road.
Don’t Let Your MMID Card Expire!
After reading this article you should have no problem with your Florida medical marijuana card renewal. It shouldn’t take you long to complete and there’s only a $75 processing fee per year.
Schedule your appointment with us now to get your medical marijuana card in Tampa Bay. Our website is full of information on medical marijuana, hemp products, and CBD. We also offer holistic health services like reiki or light therapy.