Flying with Medical Marijuana in Florida: What You Need to Know
Traveling with medical marijuana can be tricky, especially when it comes to air travel. Florida residents who rely on medical cannabis should familiarize themselves with the regulations to ensure they follow the law.
Here's what you need to know when flying with medical cannabis:
State vs. Federal Law: While medical marijuana is legal in Florida, it remains classified as a Schedule I drug at the federal level. This means that federal law prohibits its transportation across state lines, even between states that allow medical marijuana.
TSA Guidelines: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not actively search for marijuana, but if it's discovered during security screening, they are obligated to notify local law enforcement. This includes medical marijuana, regardless of the quantity.
Exception for Low-THC Products: According to the TSA, marijuana and cannabis-infused products are illegal under federal law, except for those that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC or are approved by the FDA. It's important to note that these exceptions are limited.
Airport Response: If a TSA agent finds medical marijuana during screening, it is not considered a crime. Local law enforcement may be called to inspect the cannabis and ensure it falls within the legal limits of 2.5 ounces in Florida. If compliant, passengers are generally allowed to proceed with their cannabis.
Flying to Florida from Another State: Before flying back to Florida with medical marijuana purchased in another state, ensure that the state recognizes your Florida medical marijuana card. Some states have reciprocity, while others have specific requirements or limitations.
In-State Flights: Traveling between cities in Florida does not involve crossing state borders. However, federal law still governs air travel, making it illegal to bring marijuana on a plane, even within a legalized state. The exceptions mentioned earlier still apply.
Local Law Enforcement: While federal law prohibits flying with medical marijuana, local law enforcement in Florida is unlikely to take action against passengers who possess it in accordance with state statutes. However, delays may occur due to TSA's requirement of notifying authorities.
Flying with medical marijuana, even if legally prescribed, remains illegal under federal law. The TSA operates based on federal regulations, regardless of state boundaries or reciprocity. The decision of whether to allow boarding with medical marijuana ultimately rests with law enforcement. It's crucial to carry your medical marijuana card and be prepared for potential delays.
Easy-to-Understand Guide to Florida's Medical Marijuana Certification Process
Medical marijuana has been legalized in Florida, and obtaining a medical cannabis card is simple. Both permanent and seasonal Florida residents can participate in the medical marijuana program, making it unique compared to other states with legalized medical cannabis.
Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Florida
To qualify for medical marijuana in Florida, patients need a pre-diagnosed and qualifying medical condition. They must provide a formal diagnosis from a properly licensed doctor. Adults 18 and older can apply, and patients with terminal health conditions may also qualify with their legal guardian and caregiver's consent. Medical records are necessary for review to confirm the qualifying health condition(s).
Preparing for Your Doctor Visit
Patients can contact OMNIDoctors.com and find a list of top medical marijuana doctor locations in Florida. These physicians offer medical marijuana certification services. Patients can schedule online and meet with a doctor.
Submitting Your Medical Card Application
Once a successful evaluation is complete, the doctor will add the patient's information to the Florida Marijuana Use Registry. Patients will receive an email notification, which they can use to order from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Florida while they wait for their card. The card processing time is about ten business days.
Florida residents with chronic diseases that affect their quality of life may try medical cannabis for symptom relief. Prescription medications can have side effects that complicate patients' conditions or lifestyles. Patients with chronic nonmalignant pain from qualifying conditions may also qualify for a medical marijuana card in Florida.
Medical marijuana cards in Florida expire after one year but can be renewed.
What to Do if You Lose Your Florida Medical Marijuana Card?
Patients can complete the ‘Change, Replacement, or Surrender’ Request form from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) within the Florida Health network. This form is also used for updating address information or designating a new caregiver. Mail the form to the OMMU in Florida, along with a $15 check for administrative processing.