Florida’s New OMMU Regulations: What You Need to Know About Smoking MMJ

How Florida's OMMU new regulations on smokables is affecting current MMJ patients

Floridians may have heard about the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) new requirements for smokable marijuana. Florida’s new Governor Ron DeSantis legalized smokable cannabis in March 2019 to fulfill a campaign promise to find a solution for medical marijuana (MMJ) patients to smoke marijuana.

Now, patients and physicians can decide whether the best treatment is smokable cannabis, but there are still several hoops to go through.

A Bit of History

In 2016, a large majority of Florida’s voters approved full-strength medical marijuana to expand the previous use of low-THC medical cannabis legalized by Floridians in 2014. However the state legislature swiftly moved to ban smoking of medical cannabis, while allowing all other forms. 2016 voters believed their vote meant that smoking medical cannabis was included in the measure they voted for, and a battle ensued. DeSantis agreed that he would amend the law if elected governor.

Licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs) must obtain Florida Department of Health (FDOH) approval for all smokable products.

Still A Few Issues

While qualified physicians can now prescribe and recommend smokable cannabis to their medical patients, some patients have had issues when trying to purchase cannabis flower. Here’s what you need to know about the new law.

Physicians can recommend smokable cannabis to any MMJ patient already certified and over age 18. Smokable cannabis must be listed in the patient’s certification. Only terminally ill pediatric patients under age 18 can get a smokable cannabis recommendation from two pediatric physicians who concur on the treatment. Caregivers can assist with smokable MMJ in care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living, hospice) as long as it does not violate facility policies.

There are several hoops that both physicians and patients must go through. The doctor must provide detailed proof that the patient has unsuccessfully tried other administration routes. The patient must also sign a physician-provided consent form acknowledging the risk of smoking.

A physician can recommend smokable MMJ and can provide six further recommendations in a 210-day period. After that, the patient must have an in-person visit again with the physician.

There are limits imposed by the new law. MMJ patients can only be in possession of four ounces at any given time and are limited to purchasing only 2.5 ounces in a 35-day timeframe. Smokable MMJ must have plain, white packaging with several warnings about negative health effects, and patients cannot smoke in public. Cannabis cannot be smoked on any school campus or correctional facility and cannot be smoked in any form of transportation.

Some aspects of the law are less restrictive. For example, patients can purchase their own cannabis delivery devices and are no longer required to purchase those from a licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC).

If you are new to MMJ or have had your certification for some time, but are confused by the new law pertaining to smokables, visit the OMMU official website: https://knowthefactsmmj.com/ to learn more, or better yet, come visit Medwell Health and we will answer all your questions.