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Medical marijuana patients in Florida have more reason to celebrate this spring, as the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services has finally finished putting together its list of rules for growers to obtain a license to sell edible products. The news comes on the heels of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement earlier this year that smokeable cannabis would now be accessible to medical marijuana patients as well.

Progress has been swift and steady for people seeking medical cannabis treatments in the Sunshine State this year as legislators continue to open up more and more options for patients (and for new patients looking to learn more, the consultation process at Marijuana Doctor has never been easier).

According to reports from various news outlets in the state, the edibles regulations would have come sooner, but officials still had concerns over food poisoning and allergen contagion.

“That’s our concern because a lot of times the people taking the medical marijuana have compromised immune systems, so we want to especially be diligent and make sure they’re safe,” said Holly Bell, director of the cannabis program for the agriculture department.

Florida’s progress on the medical marijuana front has been beneficial for patients across the board. Moreover, it has, for the most part, put state legislators in line with voters who overwhelmingly support the use of medical cannabis in the state. Still, as some have argued, elected officials have a long way to go when it comes to making medical marijuana accessible to everyone in Florida.

A Slow-and-Steady Approach to Medical Marijuana

Unlike smokeable forms of medical marijuana, which were illegal under Florida’s law when it was first passed, cannabis edibles have always been legal. Still, the medical cannabis establishment was unable to make or sell such products until lawmakers finalized the rules, which they finally did recently.

It’s a slow-and-steady approach to cannabis reform, but one that can’t come fast enough. According to a few news outlets, the new rules set up by officials in Florida require that medical marijuana edibles follow a strict set of guidelines. Medical cannabis edibles:

  • Must be made from marijuana oil
  • Must come from a center that has a permit to operate as a food establishment
  • Must be guided by the Health Department, who will set the rules for acceptable types of edibles, along with acceptable ingredients, product color, shape, and packaging.

Once these rules are put into effect, treatment centers will be able to dispense edibles as a valid form of treatment to medical marijuana patients.

The Benefits of Medical Marijuana Edibles

Cannabis edibles offer patients a whole host of benefits as compared to other forms of the compound that may be smoked or vaped. First and foremost, it gives patients an easier path to ingestion, especially for anyone not comfortable with inhaling smoke or vape liquid. Cannabis edibles can come in a variety of foods to give users a pleasant tasting treat that helps to “wash the medicine down.”

More importantly, edible products may last longer in one’s system than other forms of cannabis. Although they may take a bit longer to take effect because they need to pass through the liver, cannabis edibles can give users a more sustained form of dosing, one that stays in the body’s system much longer.

No matter what type of medical cannabis product you may prefer, at Marijuana Doctor, we’re here to help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Our board-certified physicians will evaluate you to determine if you may benefit from medical marijuana.

And after you’ve received your recommendation, we’ll help you with the registration process with the Florida Department of Health as well. Best of all, our process is risk-free with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. If you don’t qualify, you don’t pay.

You can check to see if you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card in Florida, or you can schedule an appointment online with us now.

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Contact Us

If you believe that you may qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online.

Currently, health insurance plans in Florida do not cover any kind of medical marijuana treatments whatsoever (although here at Marijuana Doctor we do offer a payment plan to assist our patients with the consultation fees). There is a possibility that things may soon be changing for some residents here in the Sunshine State.

According to a report in the Tallahassee Democrat, lawmakers in Florida are moving forward with efforts to allow for the coverage of medical marijuana treatments by health insurance companies.

“Our constitution recognizes that marijuana is medicine, and if it is in our constitution then companies that provide health insurance to Florida patients should be covering it,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told the Democrat in a recent interview.

Right now about 212,000 people are on the state’s medical marijuana registry, which is enough to populate a small city. However, because of federal regulations — including rules and laws put forth by the IRS and the FDA — private carriers refuse to provide coverage.

As the Tallahassee Democrat put it, while the state of Florida may recognize cannabis as a medicine, in their role as an employer they do not.

Medical Marijuana Coverage Spreads Across the Globe

According to the Democrat, Sun Life Financial of Canada offers medical cannabis coverage to nearly 20 percent of Candian patients. Germany, too, covers patients to the tune of nearly $83 million per year. And in New York, the law was just clarified to allow for medical cannabis coverage for doctor’s visits, though not for purchasing the medicine itself.

Other companies are making waves in the market as well. Last year, Novus Acquisition and Development, Corp., through its wholly-owned subsidiary WCIG Insurance Services, Inc, rolled-out the Novus Cannabis MedPlan for patients in the Canadian marketplace. It’s an individual-based coverage plan that gives medical marijuana users control.

“Over the past three years, we found out that two entities control the marketplace, cultivators on the supply side, and consumers on the demand side,” Novus CEO Frank Labrozzi told PotNetwork News in an interview last year. “The consumer is highly underestimated in this equation. So, what we have done is given consumers freedom from restrictions while not burdening the employers with additional expenses.”

Forming a Working Group in Florida

A few lawmakers in Florida have been pushing for medical cannabis reforms since the law went into effect. According to the Democrat, State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg agrees with Nikki Fried on the need for health coverage.

“The state should allow it to be covered by insurance,” Brandes told the Democrat.

In fact, some argue that the first company to do so would benefit greatly from a flood of new clients. As Ron Watson, a lobbyist and President of Watson Strategies told the Democrat, “The amount of money the companies would save on pharma (prescription drugs) would far outstrip whatever they spend on providing medical cannabis.”

For now, the best thing patients can do is call and write to their legislators.

In the meantime, patients seeking medical marijuana need a recommendation from their physician. At Marijuana Doctor, we’re here to help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Our board-certified physicians will evaluate you to determine if you may benefit from medical marijuana.

And after you’ve received your recommendation, we’ll help you with the registration process with the Florida Department of Health as well. Best of all, our process is risk-free with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. If you don’t qualify, you don’t pay.

You can check to see if you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card in Florida, or you can schedule an appointment online with us now.

_____________________________________________________

Contact Us

If you believe that you may qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online.

Although patients can now smoke medical cannabis in Florida, they shouldn’t expect the floodgates to open with vast amounts of potent products, at least if some Republicans in the state legislature have their say. According to a recent report in the Orlando Sentinal, representatives are looking to monitor just how high patients can go, with proposals to limit THC levels being bandied about the halls of the State Capital.

In an interview with The News Service of Florida, Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) told reporters that he would like to see THC levels cap out at 10 percent. Although no official bill has been put to paper as of yet, it’s something Republicans in the State House are keeping top-of-mind.

“But it’s something we still think is important,” Rodrigues said, according to the Orlando Sentinal. “We think there should be caps on THC.”

The Benefits of THC

These days, more and more states are beginning to recognize the benefits of THC, along with its non-psychoactive cousin, CBD. It’s the reason why Florida overwhelmingly decided to approve a medical cannabis statute in 2014.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol as it is known, has helped people with a number of medical ailments, including everything from glaucoma to anxiety. It’s known to help insomnia, nausea, low appetite, pain, and muscle spasticity as well, and that’s just to name a few things.

On the other hand, THC is also the compound in cannabis responsible for the psychoactive high, or the pleasant feeling associated with marijuana. And it’s the reason that cannabis was deemed illegal for so many decades, as politicians and other well-meaning but uninformed people mistook the drug for something dangerous.

As Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) told the Orlando Sentinal, the Senate supports caps on THC levels, but “would have to understand more before making a determination.” IT’s a sign that some of the fear of cannabis is still there, but at least politicians are willing to learn.

What Others Are Saying

Those who stand in opposition to the idea call it another ploy by the Republican-dominated Legislature to stomp out the will of the people, according to the Orlando Sentinal. Patient advocates are still battle weary after the fight over smokeable cannabis — which ended just recently when Gov. Ron DeSantis forced legislators to change the law — though they are ready to continue to stand up for what they believe is right.

“It’s absolutely insane that after finally relenting on their jihad against sick people smoking marijuana that the House would deem it appropriate to wage another unconstitutional war against the will of the 71 percent of Floridians who approved medical marijuana. These proposed caps are arbitrary, unnecessary and will hurt Florida patients if enacted,” Ben Pollara, the campaign manager of the political committee behind the amendment, told the Orlando Sentinal.

Whatever happens, patients seeking medical marijuana still need a recommendation from their physician. At Marijuana Doctor, we’re here to help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Our board-certified physicians will evaluate you to determine if you may benefit from medical marijuana.

And after you’ve received your recommendation, we’ll help you with the registration process with the Florida Department of Health as well. Best of all, our process is risk-free with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. If you don’t qualify, you don’t pay.

You can check to see if you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card in Florida, or you can schedule an appointment online with us now.

_____________________________________________________

Contact Us

If you believe that you may qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online.

The US government is finally funding cannabis research! For decades, federally-funded medical marijuana research has been significantly lacking– to say the least. The fact that medical marijuana is still federally illegal, makes studying it extremely challenging. Up until now, research has primarily been focused on drug addiction studies. Clinical studies are a fundamental stepping stone to getting a substance verified as a pharmaceutical, which is why this news is so encouraging.

New Research

In December of 2018, the federal government, specifically the NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) shared it’s intent to study the potential pain relieving effects of “minor cannabinoids” and terpenes.

The NCCIH is one of twenty-seven institutes that make up the NIH (National Institute of Health). This agency utilizes rigorous, in-depth scientific investigation to examine the effects and safety of different health interventions.

What “Minor Cannabinoids” and Terpenes are being Studied?

We’ve all heard (and probably know quite a bit) about the cannabinoids THC and CBD. There are many others, however, that we know close to nothing about. Some of the “minor cannabinoids” of interest are: CBG (cannabigerol,) CBN (cannabinol,) and CBC (cannabichromene.)

There are several terpenes that are going to be studied as well. These include limonene, myrcene, linalool, terpinene, and more.

As you may also know, all of the different cannabinoids work together to provide different pain relieving results.

Why Pain Relief?

Marijuana has proven itself effective in treating a whole slew of ailments, so why is the NCCIH focusing on pain relief? Chronic pain affects approximately one-third of people in the United States. Treating this pain costs Americans well over $600 billion each year. Furthermore, companies suffer an estimated $300 billion dollars annually in lost productivity.

We know that THC and CBD have effective, pain-treating qualities. We also know that other cannabinoids, and even terpenes, synergistically work together to produce healing effects (especially when it comes to pain relief.)

The cost of current pain treatment and the effectiveness that marijuana seems to have, are two driving factors for why the NCCIH wants to study cannabinoids and terpenes more. Research is a necessary stepping stone to certifying marijuana as a viable treatment option.

This research into alternative pain relief could also help reduce the opioid epidemic. Researchers have determined that cannabinoids and terpenes enhance the pain-relieving effects of opioids, which means opioid users can take lower doses.

The federal government has made developing an alternative pain management strategy a priority. The NIH is especially interested in the pain-relieving, non-intoxicating properties of marijuana. Marijuana has been viewed in a negative light for far too long. The fact that the federal government is finally funding cannabis research is extremely encouraging.

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Contact Us

If you are interested in becoming a medical marijuana card holder, call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online, today.