Challenges Facing MMJ Patients in Florida

Jan 14, 2021 by

In the last few years, the medical marijuana industry has been making big strides. Following the November 2020 elections, in particular, the sector broke new ground in several ways. Five states voted to legalize adult-use, with others legalizing its medical use. Nevertheless, MMJ in Florida is facing certain challenges. Some of these challenges include:

Senior woman with laptop indoors at home, consulting doctor and video call concept.

Difficulties in Obtaining Medical Marijuana

In Florida, the demand for medical marijuana is outpacing the supply. Dispensaries across the state are not enough to cater to all patients. Additionally, patients face certain restrictions. Lobbyists and industry advocates insist that medical cannabis is difficult to get.

According to Department of Health reports, the number of registered people is growing. The rate of creation of new dispensaries, however, is lagging. Despite legalization, extensive medical commentary, and media attention, patients still find it difficult to get the drug.

Health Care Disparity

Most Americans support the use of medical marijuana, but there are unforeseen consequences of legalization. Studies show a rise in health care disparity in the medical marijuana sector. It is difficult for poor individuals to buy medical marijuana, unlike well-off individuals.

Medical marijuana is a good option for people with severe or chronic pain. This pain may stem from conditions such as neuropathy, degenerative joint disease, fibromyalgia, sickle cell anemia, and HIV. To avoid prescription opioids, patients often go for medical marijuana. The DEA still classifies medical marijuana as a Schedule 1 Substance.  Health insurance companies, therefore, do not cover it. For most poor patients, purchasing it for cash from a licensed dispensary is a heavy burden.

Complicated Certification Process

Getting approval for MMJ in Florida is quite time-consuming, complicated, and infuriating for patients who do not have the right information. The certification process seems to suggest that state agencies do not want patients to access the drug. The number of restrictions makes it difficult for many patients to find access to medical marijuana.

Long Wait for Care

Due to the high demand for medical marijuana and the relatively low number of dispensaries available, purchasing medical cannabis can be a frustrating ordeal. When you visit certain dispensaries in Florida, you may think the drug is on lockdown. Unfortunately, illicit marijuana is for sale all over the state, which is absurd.

Poor Communication

MMJ in Florida became legal in 2016; however, there are still confusing questions about how the program works. There is poor communication between primary care physicians and patients about medical cannabis use. Just because you have a Florida medical marijuana card does not mean you can simply call up a dealer down the block, and it is okay with the police. Unfortunately, many new medical marijuana patients do not know that they need to purchase their drug from a state-approved dispensary. This leads to many legal problems for uninformed patients.

Access to medical marijuana in Florida, however, is improving. You can now purchase it from a drive-thru, a concept incorporated thanks to medical marijuana patients asking for it. Patients only hope that access to this drug will continue to become easier in the future.

Sources:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/marijuana-legalization-ballot-initiatives_n_5f9b1c2cc5b6e9dcc98bbe8d

https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilyprice/2019/04/28/in-florida-you-can-purchase-cannabis-through-a-drive-thru/?sh=dc008306406a

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