How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Legally Possess In Oklahoma?

The Sooner State’s MMJ program is one of the most liberal, well-run, and patient-friendly in the US. Oklahoma medical card holders, as well as out-of-state patients who visit OK, are privileged to be able to visit Oklahoma dispensaries and avail of the high-quality products they sell.

To fully enjoy the benefits of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, it is important that you understand the rules. Oklahoma MMJ patients need to know the answers to several crucial questions about medical marijuana law and MMJ possession limits.

Do Oklahoma medical card rules include MMJ possession limits? How much medical marijuana can you legally possess in Oklahoma? How much MMJ can you legally purchase under Oklahoma’s current marijuana laws? How many ounces of MMJ can you have in Oklahoma? What are Oklahoma growers license rules? Below, we will answer all of these important questions.

Do Oklahoma Medical Card Rules Include MMJ Possession Limits?

The Oklahoma MMJ program is overseen and implemented by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). Oklahoma MMJ law includes overall possession limits, as well as limits on how much MMJ you can have on your person, how much MMJ you can purchase, and how many MMJ plants you can cultivate at home.

medical marijuana products
Image by TechPhotoGal on Pixabay: How much medical marijuana can you legally possess in Oklahoma?

How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Legally Possess In Oklahoma?

The overall possession limits for Oklahoma MMJ cardholders in their residence are:

  • Up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence
  • Up to one ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana

How Many Ounces Of MMJ Can You Have On Your Person In Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, MMJ card holders are legally allowed to have up to three ounces of medical marijuana on their person.

How Much MMJ Can You Legally Purchase Under Oklahoma’s Current Marijuana Laws?

An Oklahoma MMJ dispensary can sell a person no more than three ounces of marijuana, one ounce of marijuana concentrate, and 72 ounces of edible medical marijuana products in any one transaction.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana At Home In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma medical marijuana law allows MMJ patients in the state to cultivate their own medical marijuana in their homes.

How Much Marijuana Can You Grow At Home In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma MMJ cardholders are legally allowed to cultivate up to six mature marijuana plants

and up to six seedling plants in their home.

Where Can You Consume Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma MMJ can only be consumed in a private residence and is not permitted to be consumed in public places.

What Are The Oklahoma Grower’s License Rules?

MMJ in Oklahoma is big business. Licensed growers of OK MMJ can sell to licensed processors, licensed dispensaries, and other licensed growers. An Oklahoma grower’s license certificate is valid for one year from the date issued and must be renewed before it expires.

To be a licensed grower, you will need to be an Oklahoma resident. MMJ growing facilities in OK must be at least 75% owned by an OK resident. You will also need to undergo a background check.

Can Out-Of-State Cardholders Buy Medical Marijuana In Oklahoma Dispensaries?

Out-of-state MMJ cardholders can apply for a Temporary Patient License from OMMA. This license enables them to buy MMJ in Oklahoma dispensaries for up to 30 days, after which time the license can be renewed.

How Do You Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Oklahoma?

Getting an Oklahoma MMJ card is a quick and easy process. First, you have a consultation with a local MMJ doctor. This is best done through an online telemedicine clinic such as MMJRecs.

Once your suitability for OK MMJ is verified, you will be sent a physician certification form online, which you can submit to OMMA.

MMJRecs - cannabis plant
Image by NickyPe on Pixabay: How much MMJ can you legally purchase under Oklahoma’s current marijuana laws?

How Often Do You Need To Renew Your Oklahoma MMJ Card?

Oklahoma medical marijuana cards are valid for one year and can be renewed by the patient reapplying to the OMMA.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For An Oklahoma MMJ Card?

Oklahoma has no official list of MMJ qualifying conditions. Licensed Oklahoma MMJ doctors can prescribe medical marijuana treatment for any condition that they believe would benefit from MMJ.

What MMJ Products Can You Buy In An Oklahoma Dispensary?

Oklahoma dispensaries sell a wide variety of MMJ products, including:

  • Marijuana flower
  • Pre-rolls
  • Edibles
  • Vapes
  • Tinctures
  • Oils, lotions, and topicals

Featured image by Drew Harbour on Unsplash

What Do The Latest Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law Changes Mean For MMJ Patients?

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Pennsylvania since April 6, 2016, with patients being able to access medical marijuana by 2018. When the laws were passed, many people were able to get the medical relief they needed for a variety of serious and chronic health conditions. It was a step in the right direction for medical marijuana use and the health of the Pennsylvania population.

Recent changes have been made to the laws surrounding medical marijuana in the state. The revisions passed in the House were advanced to help make some temporary changes more permanent. But what are the changes being made to the Pennsylvania medical marijuana act? And what do they mean for medical marijuana patients? 

What are the laws for medical marijuana in PA?

When it comes to Act 16, PA laws have allowed for a Medical Marijuana Program designed to give authorization to the Department of Health to distribute MMJ to patients with serious medical conditions. Some such conditions included in the act are cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease and more.

medical marijuana being measured on scale
Image by Add Weed on Unsplash: With the latest changes to the medical marijuana laws in PA, patients will be allowed to have up to a three-month supply.

Prior to the changes being made, people with a valid medical card were allowed to possess up to a 30-day supply of cannabis products, including cannabis flower, cream, gels, oils, pills, liquids, ointments, and tinctures. Even though cannabis flower was added to the approved list after the fact, it is still illegal to smoke in Pennsylvania and thus must be used with a vaporizer.

The laws also state that consumption of medical marijuana can only be done at homes and private residences. Laws around employment are a little unclear, as employers have the right to approve or deny the use of medical marijuana on their property. Transportation of medical marijuana can only be done within state lines and can be no more than the approved amount of a 30-day supply.

What are the PA MMJ law changes and how will they affect you?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, making changes to specific legislations such as the Medical Marijuana Act proved difficult. Not being able to meet or vote on certain bills put a stall on some laws. In terms of MMJ, proposed changes had to be implemented temporarily so that patients with medical marijuana cards could still gain access to MMJ when they needed it.

In a recent House vote, however, certain revisions were made to the bill and the representatives voted 164 to 38 to pass these revisions; this allows it to be sent to the Senate. The proposed changes will affect how much MMJ a person can have with them at any given time. Previously, only a 30-day supply was legal, but with the recent changes, medical marijuana users can access up to a three-month supply. This will make it much easier for patients to get their medication without having to visit an approved dispensary each month.

Another revision was made to allow patients to pick their medicine up outside of a dispensary, instead of having to go in. These revisions were proposed so that the process of accessing medical marijuana is easier for patients. For those who grow or process medical marijuana, revisions have also been made to allow the use of pesticides as long as it falls under the standards of the Agriculture Department of the state.

medical marijuana grower
Image by Greenforce Staffing on Unsplash: Changes to PA MMJ laws will allow growers to use pesticides.

These revisions will not only make it easier for patients to access their medication, but also to get more at one time to avoid having to return to a dispensary every month. Many medications that are prescribed for various chronic ailments do not require patients to visit the pharmacy every 30 days, and now patients using medical marijuana in PA will be afforded the same courtesy. Growers and processers will also have more freedom to use products that will protect their crops from pests, which in turn could give them a higher chance at a healthy and viable harvest.

With the forward progress of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, many people are finally accessing treatment that helps them manage and cope with their diseases. These new revisions, if passed at the senate, will allow even more freedom and access to medical marijuana for approved users.

Featured image by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Can You Get Fired For Having A Medical Card In Pennsylvania?

On April 17, 2016, Pennsylvania’s governor legalized the use of medical marijuana in the state, and from February 15th, 2018, those with a need for medical marijuana because of various health conditions were able to purchase and use cannabis legally. The medical relief provided by these new laws helped many patients who had been suffering from long-term conditions.

To get medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, patients have to register through the medical marijuana registry, be certified by a physician, pay for their medical marijuana ID card, and obtain their medication from approved dispensaries across the state. When it comes to medical marijuana laws in Pennsylvania, some might be unsure of what is OK and what isn’t, especially when it comes to their workplace. So, does having a medical marijuana card in the state of Pennsylvania make it more difficult to get and keep a job? Can you get fired for having a medical card in Pennsylvania? Let’s find out.

Getting a job with a medical card in Pennsylvania

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, over half a million people in the state have a medical marijuana card for various health conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. There are some complications when it comes to work due to the fact that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. The state of Pennsylvania does provide some protection for those looking for a job with medical marijuana cards; however, this protection is limited.

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act was launched to help those who are looking for work in the state at the same time as using medical marijuana. Since many people have debilitating health conditions, the use of marijuana as medicine can help to curb or lessen their symptoms, making them more able to perform work tasks.

people shaking hands at place of employment
Image by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash: You don’t have to volunteer the information that you have a medical card to your employer, but if they ask, it’s best to be honest.

Can my employer find out I have a medical card?

As per the laws surrounding medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, your employer does not have to be privy to the fact that you have a medical marijuana card. You do not have to disclose to your employer that you use medical marijuana off hours for a debilitating health condition, and chances are they will not ask. In the event that they do ask about your medical marijuana card status (since it is not against the law to inquire about), the best approach is to tell them the truth.

In the event that you are applying for a job that performs drug tests, you should be prepared to be upfront about your medical marijuana card status and provide your supporting documentation. Since it is against the law for an employer to refuse hiring you if you use medical marijuana, that should not hinder your chances of securing a job.

Can an employer fire you for using CBD oil?

In the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, there are some anti-discrimination protections for patients when it comes to their jobs. These protections are meant to help people when it comes to getting hired (or fired) from their respective employment. The laws say that employees cannot be fired, threatened, refused employment, or otherwise discriminated against on the grounds that they have a medical marijuana card and use medical marijuana.

This means that if you are looking for work or you’re already employed and you have a medical marijuana card, an employer cannot legally fire you or refuse to hire you for using cannabis as medicine. These laws were put into place to help employees when it comes to random drug testing.

Can I use medical marijuana while at work?

When it comes to where you use your medical marijuana, the laws can be a little bit more complicated. It is typically up to the employer whether or not you are able to use your medical marijuana while on the job, depending on how well you can perform and whether the use of MMJ affects the safety of yourself or others around you.

Pennsylvania laws do not force employers’ hands when it comes to accommodations for the use of medical marijuana by employees at their business. If you are using MMJ while at work, it is also up to the employer whether or not to discipline you for being under the influence of a substance while on the job.

Depending on how much THC is in your blood while on the job, employers can also limit your duties, according to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act. If you have more than 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in your system, you could be restricted from working with chemicals that require a state or federal permit, with high-voltage electricity, or with other public utilities.

man lighting mmj cigarette
Image by Matt Moloney on Unsplash: You cannot be fired for having a medical marijuana card, but that doesn’t mean you can use marijuana on the job.

Can you pass a drug test with a medical card?

Having a medical marijuana card does not exempt you from drug tests, nor will it help when it comes to testing positive for having marijuana in your system. If you take medical marijuana to help with a chronic health condition, you will test positive for marijuana in your system.

The best way to approach employment in the state of Pennsylvania when you have a medical marijuana card is to know your rights and any limitations that you face.

Featured image by Hunters Race on Unsplash

Can You Smoke Medical Marijuana In Public In 2021?

Since the legalization of medical marijuana began in the United States, 36 states and four territories have allowed for the use of cannabis products for medical reasons. The change in medical marijuana laws that has occurred in those states has helped many people find relief from symptoms of various health ailments – but the laws regarding the use of medical marijuana in public may not be common knowledge as of yet. So, where can you legally smoke or consume medical marijuana products in the United States? Can you smoke medical marijuana in public in 2021? Let’s answer these questions and more.

Where can you smoke medical marijuana in public in 2021?

The last surrounding legalities when it comes to medical marijuana have been changing rapidly in the last few years. This has left people unsure of what’s legal and what’s not. Factor in the difference in laws on a state-by-state basis, and the whole thing becomes even more confusing. The laws between medicinal marijuana and recreational cannabis are also different.

In the United States, there is no designated area specified for those who want to smoke medicinal or recreational marijuana. It seems that all states have come to the agreement that public smoking of medical cannabis should not be allowed. The only exceptions are in California and Colorado, where some businesses have cannabis licenses that allow them to provide people with a public place to ingest cannabis. These cannabis lounges mirror bars for alcohol use. The only other place where medical marijuana patients can ingest their medication is in the comfort of their own home.

Where can you consume tinctures or edibles in public?

The use of medical marijuana tinctures or edibles in public varies on a state-by-state basis. This means that in some states a person can eat edibles no matter where they are, and in others it is just as illegal as if they were smoking medical marijuana.

person holding medical marijuana cigarette
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: How easy is it to get a medical card in California?

Do you still need a medical card in California in 2021?

Although marijuana is legal in California for both recreational and medicinal purposes, it is still a good idea to get a medical card if you are dealing with an approved medical condition. For patients with medicinal marijuana needs, it is better to get a card so you have documentation to provide to authorities. This is because those with medical marijuana cards are allowed to grow and possess more cannabis than those who use it for recreational purposes. 

How do you get a medical card in California in 2021?

For those looking to get a medical marijuana card in California, you will have to go through the medical marijuana identification card program registration process. Although the program is optional to consume marijuana products in this state, it is suggested for those who wish to verify that they are allowed to carry and or grow medical marijuana.

To get a medical marijuana card in California, you must first put together the proper documentation to apply for the card. This documentation includes a copy of your medical recommendation, a personal identification card or other government-issued ID, and proof of residency. Proof of residency can be a rental or mortgage agreement, any bills that you pay at the residence with your address and name on them, or a California DMV motor vehicle registration.

Once you have gathered all your documents, you will need to apply in person at your County program. The application comes with a fee of up to $100. You will also need to get your photo taken at the County program office for the medical marijuana card. Once the application process is done it can take up to 30 days for your application to be verified, and then up to 35 days to receive your medical marijuana card. 

mmj plant
Image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash: Getting a medical marijuana in California is still suggested for patients even though recreational marijuana is now legal, too.

Can a minor get a medical card in California?

In California, minors under the age of 18 can apply for a medical marijuana card as either a patient or a caregiver. if the minor is applying for themselves, they need to be lawfully emancipated or have a declared self-sufficiency status under the California law. If those two conditions are not met, the County program office has to contact the legal guardians of the minor to verify information on their application.

Consuming medical marijuana in California can be easy to do if you go through the proper channels. However, you will have to consume your MMJ at an approved location, which is currently only your home or another private residence.

Featured image by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

What The New York Legal Cannabis Bill Means For MMJ Cardholders

Recent legislation has passed to make cannabis legal in another US state. The latest news on legalization in NY is that residents of the Big Apple are no longer prohibited from using recreational marijuana. Wondering what the New York legal cannabis bill means for MMJ cardholders? Read all about it below.

What is the new legal cannabis bill in New York?

On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalizes adult-use cannabis in New York state. This legislation also created a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) that will be governed by a Cannabis Control Board (made up of five members) that will help oversee and implement this new legislation.

The New York legalization 2021 bill details that a one-of-a-kind regulatory board will be implemented to oversee the licensing, cultivating, producing, distributing, selling, and taxing of cannabis in the state. The MRTA covers medical marijuana (MMJ), recreational use by adults, and cannabinoid hemp.

legal medical marijuana on white surface
Image by Ndispensable on Unsplash: A new bill has passed that will legalize recreational marijuana in New York state.

What does the new legalization bill mean for recreational users?

The bill states that, starting immediately, possession and use of up to three ounces of cannabis by anyone 21 and over is completely legal in the state of New York. The delivery of recreational marijuana is now also legal and, in the near future, some businesses can open lounges (also known as consumption sites) where cannabis can be used legally. It also means that individuals can cultivate up to six marijuana plants at home (indoors or outdoors) for their own personal use.

While these elements can take place right away, there’s still most likely going to be a long wait for other aspects of the MRTA to occur. For example, officials will now need to draft the rules that will control the market, including how to allow the growth and retail markets to work and how to set up licensing. There will also likely be regulations set up for the creation of new taxes surrounding recreational marijuana. The revenue in taxes will most likely be millions of dollars; legislators have noted that this revenue in sales could be reinvested back into minority communities. Another positive change could be the end of racially disproportionate policing that has negatively impacted Black and Hispanic communities on low-level marijuana charges in the past.

When will dispensaries open in New York?

Some dispensaries are already open for medical marijuana patients, but it could take up to a year for the state to open recreational cannabis vendors. Once all of the regulations and selling avenues have been established, experts estimate there could be as many as 1,000 retail outlets across the state of New York where individuals can buy legal cannabis. The MRTA also states that home delivery could be implemented once regulations are in place. This means that marijuana will be much easier to access for both recreational and medicinal use.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana in hand
Image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash: MMJ cardholders will have better access to the products they need as the bill is being implemented.

How will the bill affect MMJ cardholders?

If you’ve read the NY legalization news, you might be wondering how the MRTA will impact MMJ users. At this time, there are several approved medical marijuana options (including capsules, tablets, metered liquid, oil tinctures, vaping, and topical and transdermal patches). This new law will allow smoking marijuana to be legalized, as well as other forms of cannabis. Edibles will also be among the options that are now legalized. This means that MMJ cardholders could have better access to the products they need to help treat their symptoms.

However, because it’s going to take at least a year to implement all of these changes, it may still be beneficial for people to use medical marijuana versus recreational usage. If individuals have a qualifying condition (which can range from anything from glaucoma to anxiety), they can talk to their doctor about getting an MMJ card in New York. There are still benefits cardholders can get that the general public won’t have yet. Legal home cultivation and growth of marijuana plants, for example, could take up to 18 months before recreational users are allowed to take part – but it would be a much shorter wait for MMJ users. MMJ cardholders also have the advantage of having access to dispensaries that aren’t open to the general public yet.

There will likely be a ton of changes occurring regarding the usage of both medical and recreational marijuana over the next year. MMJ cardholders should research how to buy and use their MMJ products so that they’re always in good standing with the law. For recreational users, there are still regulations to follow (especially on growing cannabis for personal use). Keep up with the components of the MRTA to stay on the right side of the law, and apply for an MMJ card if you have a medical condition that qualifies.

Featured image by Colton Duke on Unsplash

7 Things Drivers Need To Know About Carrying MMJ In Your Car

Can you travel with medical marijuana in your car? The answer is yes. Carrying MMJ in your car is necessary for many MMJ patients and their carers, who need to transport their medicine from the dispensary to their home using their own car.

Many MMJ patients have no other option but to carry MMJ in their car because several MMJ states do not yet allow home delivery. For most patients, transporting their MMJ home from the dispensary in their car is the simplest and most convenient option.

But having medical marijuana in your car means that you must take specific actions and precautions in order to stay on the right side of the law. It isn’t a case of merely throwing your medical marijuana purchases on the passenger seat and cruising off into the sunset!

Being pulled over with medical marijuana in your vehicle can be a tricky situation. Even in legal MMJ and recreational cannabis states, there are specific rules you need to follow when carrying marijuana products in your car.

Are each state’s MMJ laws the same? How should you carry MMJ products in your car? Can you drive high with a medical card? What are your rights if you are pulled over by law enforcement with MMJ in your car? Can you cross state lines with MMJ in your vehicle? Below, we will answer all of these questions and more.

MMJRecs - cannabis products
Image by msqrd2 on Pixabay: Different states have different rules about carrying MMJ in your car.

1. States Have Different Specific Rules About Carrying MMJ In Your Car

Different states have their own specific MMJ rules and regulations. While it is important to know the general rules about traveling with MMJ in your car that apply in all states, it is crucial that you read up on the specifics of the MMJ rules in your home state. Laws around things like possession limits and storage practices differ quite a lot between states.

2. Always Carry Your ID And MMJ Card With You

When you are traveling with medical marijuana in your car, it is essential that you always carry identification and a valid medical marijuana card. Not having either of these crucial documents is a surefire way to attract unwanted attention from any law enforcement you cross paths with.

3. Drive Safely And Sensibly With MMJ On Board

When you are carrying medical marijuana in your car, it is important to drive sensibly and safely. Of course, you should drive safely at all times. But any type of unsafe driving plus marijuana in your vehicle is a combination that will attract the attention of law enforcement.

4. If Pulled Over By Law Enforcement, Know Your Rights

When you are pulled over by law enforcement, you have certain rights. They include:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to not consent to a search
  • The right to carry MMJ in the legal amount if it is stowed correctly
  • The right to leave the scene if you are not under arrest
  • The right to legal representation if you are detained

5. Do Not Drive While High On MMJ

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, and this includes MMJ. Whether or not you are under the influence of MMJ is decided by a sobriety test by law enforcement in most states. It is also illegal to consume marijuana on a public roadway in most states, so you should not allow any passengers in your vehicle to use MMJ while you travel either. The smell of cannabis is legal grounds for a search in most states.

MMJRecs - smoking mmj
Image by Shutterbug75 on Pixabay: It is illegal to use MMJ while driving.

6. Pack And Stow Your MMJ Correctly While Driving

Think of MMJ like you would think of alcohol when driving. It is illegal to drive with open containers of alcohol or MMJ in your car. Like alcohol, MMJ must be securely stowed in an area of the vehicle that is not accessible to the driver or passengers. MMJ should be stowed in the trunk of your car in sealed packaging.

7. It Is Federally Illegal To Cross State Lines With MMJ

It is illegal to cross state borders with MMJ. This is because MMJ is not yet legal on a federal level. If you are caught by federal law enforcement crossing state lines with MMJ, even between two legal MMJ states, your MMJ will be confiscated and you will risk prosecution. Also, do not attempt to cross international borders with MMJ in your vehicle. Even entering the border crossing zone can result in you having your MMJ confiscated.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

The best way to get your own MMJ card is to arrange a consultation with an MMJ doctor in your state through the MMJRecs online clinic. MMJRecs will put you in contact with an MMJ doctor who can verify your medical condition and prescribe you a medical marijuana card. It is a quick and easy process that is done from the comfort of your own home.

Featured image by Free-Photos on Pixabay

Which Countries Have Legalized Medical Marijuana in 2021?

Over the past decade, medical marijuana has exploded in popularity (and legality) in the United States. Millions of patients all across the nation are now seeing a massive improvement in their quality of life thanks to MMJ treatment. Medical marijuana is being used in the US to treat a wide variety of illnesses, such as chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, muscle spasms, insomnia, arthritis, PTSD, and epilepsy.

The MMJ revolution began in traditionally liberal states such as Washington and Colorado and has ultimately been embraced by a large majority of states, including traditionally more conservative states such as Oklahoma. The facts don’t lie, and there is now copious proof that a well-run medical marijuana program is great not only for the wellbeing of a state’s citizens, but also for its economy.

But while the US has embraced medical marijuana and is now reaping the benefits, not every country in the world is as forward-thinking. The medical marijuana revolution is sweeping the world, but it is moving more slowly in many regions of the globe than it is in the US. Sadly, the citizens of many of the world’s nations are still not able to enjoy the benefits of a well-run MMJ program.

However, the direction of change is only moving in one direction. And while the revolution is sometimes slow, it is undoubtedly happening. More and more countries are legalizing MMJ all the time. So let’s take a look at which countries have legalized MMJ in 2021.

MMJRecs - cannabis plant
Image by NickyPe on Pixabay: MMJ is legal in 43 countries as of 2021.

How Many Countries Is MMJ Legal In?

Forty-three countries currently have some form of legal medical marijuana. Some of these countries have full, open medical marijuana programs that make a wide variety of MMJ products available to patients. Others have restrictive programs that only allow treatment with marijuana-derived pharmaceuticals, such as Sativex and Epidiolex, and only for the treatment of a small range of illnesses.

Which Countries Have Legalized Medical Marijuana in 2021?

The countries that have legalized medical marijuana in 2021 are:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Which Are The Most Recent Legal MMJ Countries?

Some of the most recent legal MMJ countries also have the most restrictive programs. This is because they are unfolding their MMJ programs tentatively, and often in the face of political opposition. Things often move more slowly at a national level, as we can see from the fact that the United States has still not managed to lift the federal prohibition on MMJ.

Some of the newest MMJ countries are Ireland and the UK. In these countries, it is very difficult to qualify for MMJ treatment, and often all that is available are marijuana-derived pharmaceuticals, such as Sativex and Epidiolex.

Will Medical Marijuana Be Legalized In More Countries In 2021 And Beyond?

It seems certain that MMJ will be legalized in more countries in 2021 and beyond. However, it is difficult to predict which countries are set to legalize MMJ in 2021. However, France is one country to keep an eye on, because they are trialing MMJ treatments at the moment and there is strong public support for MMJ legalization in the country.

What Are The Countries With Legal Marijuana?

Some countries have fully legalized recreational marijuana. In most of these countries, marijuana is available to anybody over the age of 18 or 21. If you travel to these countries you can purchase marijuana products without having a medical marijuana card.

The countries that have fully legalized recreational marijuana are:

  • Australia (Australian Capital Territory only)
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • South Africa
  • Uruguay

What Countries Allow CBD?

CBD derived from hemp is legal in most countries, but marijuana-derived CBD is illegal in most countries in which marijuana is illegal. This is because, in these countries, the cultivation of marijuana itself is illegal.

MMJRecs - marijuana bud
Image by SeaweedJeezus on Pixabay: Several countries have fully legal marijuana.

Can You Travel Between Countries With Medical Marijuana?

You cannot leave or enter the United States with medical marijuana. This is because, despite being legal in most US states, medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

How Do You Get An MMJ Card In The US?

The best way to get a medical marijuana card in the US is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a licensed MMJ doctor through the MMJRecs online clinic. Once your medical condition has been diagnosed by the examining MMJ doctor, and they have established that MMJ treatment is suitable for you, they will email you a legal medical marijuana physician certification form. It is a quick and easy process.

Featured image by Brett Zeck on Unsplash

Can A State Recriminalize Recreational Marijuana?

The laws surrounding both recreational and medical marijuana (MMJ) are constantly changing. Just about every major election sees alterations to which states currently allow their citizens to use marijuana recreationally and/or for medicinal purposes. Because of this perpetual flux, many people are often left wondering, “Can a state recriminalize recreational marijuana?” The answer is (potentially) yes. At this time, cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, which means there’s always the possibility that currently “legalized” states can revert to criminalizing marijuana usage. Keep reading for more information about the laws surrounding recreational marijuana.

What are the current marijuana laws?

Marijuana (or cannabis) is a mixture of dried flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant. It can create psychoactive or mind-altering effects because of a chemical called THC and can be consumed in a variety of different ways (such as cigarettes, water pipes, vaporizers, and edibles). When using marijuana products, people can experience feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

There are currently 11 states in the U.S. where recreational marijuana is legal:

  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts

Currently, most states still have certain restrictions on using and growing marijuana even though it’s legal. For example, recreational users are permitted to carry one ounce of flower or eight grams of cannabis at a time. There are still some acts that can result in criminal charges (including some selling activities or unlicensed growing operations), depending on the state. As for MMJ usage, there are 33 states that have made medical marijuana usage legal. MMJ can be used in the treatment of a large variety of conditions – everything from post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders to glaucoma and nausea.

MMJRecs - marijuana legalization

Image by Greta Scholderle Moller on Unsplash: There’s always a possibility that states could recriminalize recreational marijuana.

Can my state make recreational marijuana illegal again?

Because of the changing laws, you might be wondering if the state you live in could potentially revert to making recreational marijuana illegal again. There is always the chance that laws could be passed to make marijuana illegal if lawmakers think it’s in the public’s best interest or if voters decide to vote out these laws. In 2018, the governor of Colorado (one of the first states to make recreational cannabis legal in the US) said the state would always be open to considering reversing the law if it was deemed necessary.

So if you’re pondering, “Can recreational marijuana be made illegal again in my state?” there’s always the chance this could happen. However, because of the general public’s support of passing these laws in the first place, it would be somewhat unlikely for a state to completely reverse its policy regarding recreational marijuana use.

Should I get an MMJ card instead of using recreationally?

If you have the question “Will recreational marijuana always be legal in my state?”, it makes sense that you’re concerned you might not always have access to legal cannabis in the future. If that fear is there, you might want to consider getting an MMJ card. If you have physical or emotional symptoms that could be alleviated with the use of MMJ products, you could be eligible for an MMJ card (if it’s legal in your state).

There are lots of benefits to having an MMJ card versus just using marijuana recreationally, including:

  • The option of possessing larger amounts of product
  • Getting to skip sales tax on MMJ products in some states
  • Having fewer restrictions for growing your own MMJ

These benefits are great if you’re going to be traveling or if you can’t get to a licensed dispensary very easily. It’s also helpful if you need to try multiple strains or different forms in order to most effectively treat your medical condition. There’s also an added advantage of having more rights with an MMJ letter. If you’re always carrying your MMJ card with you when you’re in possession of MMJ products, it’s likely that you won’t face any serious issues with law enforcement, since you can show your card as proof of your rights.

MMJ Recs - weighing MMJ

Image by Add Weed on Unsplash: There are many benefits to owning an MMJ card when it comes to buying cannabis.

How do you apply for an MMJ card?

Having to constantly worry “Will I always have access to recreational marijuana in my state?” can lead to a lot of stress. To avoid any possible future changes in the law, if you’re eligible, apply for an MMJ card so that you’ll still have continuous access to marijuana products. Look for specific regulations surrounding MMJ usage in your state and then head to MMJRecs to get evaluated virtually by a medical professional. If your medical condition allows you to qualify, you can receive an official medical marijuana recommendation, ID card, and grower’s permit for one reasonable flat rate from MMJRecs. It’s unlikely that medical marijuana laws will be rolled back, so having access to these products means you’re more likely to be protected going forward.

There’s always a chance that your individual state could go back and recriminalize recreational marijuana. If this happens, don’t worry – you still have options! Consider applying for an MMJ card so you’ll continue to have access to cannabis products that can help treat a variety of physical or emotional issues. Just make sure to keep paying attention to the laws in your state so that your recreational or MMJ use will always fall within the legal realm.

Featured image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash

What’s The Legal Amount Of Medical Marijuana Buds I Can Possess?

“How many MMJ buds can I legally possess?” is a question every medical marijuana patient needs to know the answer to. Possession of medical marijuana buds is legal in an ever-growing number of states. Colorado blazed a trail with early legalization of MMJ, and by 2018 even more traditionally conservative states such as Oklahoma have legalized medicinal marijuana and implemented liberal MMJ programs. But the law on possession of MMJ buds is not uniform across all legal MMJ states.

Laws On Possession Of MMJ Buds Vary From State To State

The legal amount of marijuana buds for possession can be a tricky subject, as information is always very state-specific. The rules about the amount of MMJ buds you can possess at a time are different in each state and range from only 1 ounce in Alaska to 24 ounces in Oregon and Washington. A majority of states allow 2 ounces, but it is always important to check with the authorities in your home state to find out exactly how many MMJ buds you can legally possess at a time.

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Image by futurefilmworks on Pixabay: Law on possession of MMJ buds varies state by state.

What Is The Law On Possession Of Medical Marijuana Buds?

The law on possession of MMJ buds can be complex. The various laws cover issues such as how many buds a person can possess; how many plants a person can cultivate at home; where dispensaries can be located and what specific products they can sell; what medical conditions qualify a person for legal cannabis buds possession; and when and how an MMJ card needs to be renewed.

Each state’s MMJ program has different rules and regulations on these topics. When you become a medical marijuana card holder, it is essential that you educate yourself on the specific MMJ laws in your home state, as they are sure to have their own nuances and bespoke elements. A clear understanding of the law on possession of medical marijuana buds will make using your state’s MMJ program easy and hassle-free.

How Is The Law On Possession Of MMJ Buds Different To Laws For Recreational Marijuana?

Some states, such as California, have legalized medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. If you live in one of these states, it is still beneficial to have a medical marijuana card if you have a qualifying health condition. This is because laws on possession amounts, the number of plants you can legally cultivate at home, and even the types of products available can be different for MMJ card holders.

Traveling With Your Medical Marijuana Buds

Traveling with your medical marijuana buds is complicated. There are many legal grey areas that can trip people up. Marijuana is still illegal at a federal level, and MMJ is still illegal in almost half the states in the country.

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Image by JESHOOTS on Pixabay: Traveling with your MMJ can be a legal minefield.

Are There Any Rules On Crossing State Lines With MMJ Buds?

Crossing state lines with your medical marijuana buds means you are breaking federal law, even if you are traveling between two legal MMJ states. Confusingly, some airports in legal MMJ states do not confiscate marijuana, while others do. If you are traveling and you would like to take your medical marijuana with you, it is very important that you contact the relevant authorities in all of the locations you will be passing through. Failing to check before you travel could result in you losing your medical marijuana or, even worse, having to pay a fine or even being prosecuted.

Remember To Stay Within The Legal Amount Of Marijuana Buds For Possession

All states have a limit to the amount of medical marijuana you can possess at any given time. Even states with legal recreational marijuana have limits on how much marijuana a person can possess, how much they can cultivate, what age a person has to be in order to use marijuana, where it is legal to use marijuana, and what forms of marijuana can be used.

Not staying on the right side of these medical marijuana laws can result in, at best, having your marijuana consisted, and at worst, prosecution. Always do your homework and keep abreast of the details of the medical marijuana laws in your home state.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

Getting a medical marijuana card is a simple process in most states. Although some have tighter rules regarding who qualifies to get an MMJ card, the process of getting a medical marijuana card is the same in all states. The easiest way to go about it is to have an online consultation with a local licensed medical professional who can recommend you for an MMJ card.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For An MMJ Card?

The qualifying conditions for an MMJ card vary state by state. In the majority of states there is a list of qualifying conditions that commonly includes: cachexia; cancer; glaucoma; hepatitis C; chronic pain; nausea; epilepsy; seizures; multiple sclerosis; Crohn’s disease; and Alzheimer’s disease. In the most liberal MMJ states, such as Oklahoma, a doctor can recommend MMJ for any medical condition that they believe will benefit from MMJ use.

MMJ can massively improve your quality of life. But it is essential that you stay on the right side of your state’s MMJ laws, and this involves knowing exactly how many MMJ buds it is legal to possess. So always consult with your local authorities, because the legal amount of MMJ buds, as well as many other MMJ laws, is unique in each state.

Featured image by gjbmiller on Pixabay

What Is The Legal Status Of Medical Marijuana In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma has joined a number of states throughout the United States that have legalized medical marijuana (MMJ). Because of its legality, MMJ products have been able to help a growing number of people who can find health benefits from using marijuana. Check out the info below to help you learn all you can about Oklahoma and MMJ laws.

Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma?

Although recreational marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma, in August 2018, the state made medical marijuana legal. Since then, there has been a surge in people applying for MMJ cards, with over 151,000 people (about 3.5% of the state’s population) signing up for MMJ licenses. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the board that authorizes MMJ cards, has seen its offices overwhelmed with MMJ applications – sometimes receiving as many as 3,500 a week! In fact, OK MMJ laws have led to the state having more MMJ users per capita than any other state in the U.S. In general, Oklahoma residents are happy about the changes in the law. Because MMJ products can be useful for a variety of conditions (including everything from cancer and glaucoma to HIV/AIDS and Parkinson’s), many people are taking full advantage of medical marijuana being legalized to help alleviate or eradicate painful or bothersome symptoms they experience.

MMJ Recs - MMJ product
If you’ve been wondering “Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma?”, the answer is a resounding yes!

Will MMJ laws in Oklahoma change?

There have been some minor tweaks to the MMJ laws in Oklahoma in recent months. In August 2019, Oklahoma veterans with a permanent disability only have to pay $20 for their MMJ card (rather than the standard $100 fee). Additionally, law enforcement now has electronic access to the information that’s on an individual’s MMJ card (such as their picture and unique 24-digit ID number). The state will also be rolling out changes to the programs that work with laboratory testing, electronic tracking systems, and short-term licenses in order to better regulate and oversee MMJ usage. Because lawmakers are working to amend the laws rather than completely dismantle them, it seems likely that the legislation making MMJ legal is likely to stay in place. There are still basic laws about growing, cultivating, and using MMJ products, including that you are permitted to possess:

  • Up to 8 ounces of marijuana in your residence
  • Up to 3 ounces of marijuana on your person outside of the home
  • Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edibles
  • Up to 6 mature plants
  • Up to 6 seedling plants

Even with a valid MMJ card, you are not legally allowed to buy MMJ any place besides a state-licensed dispensary (so purchasing from a dealer or another MMJ cardholder is prohibited!)

It’s also not very likely the state will reverse MMJ legality anytime soon because the state is seeing major growth in the number of dispensaries being opened (with around 1,500 dispensary licenses being approved since MMJ was legalized). With increased sales of MMJ products (of upwards of $23 million in sales a month), Oklahoma is also earning state and local taxes to the estimated tune of $2 million a month. More money in state coffers means they’re less likely to head down the route of making MMJ illegal again. In fact, there’s a good chance that the selling and usage of MMJ will only continue to be more accepted in the state (by both MMJ patients and lawmakers alike).

MMJ Recs - person holding marijuana
Be sure to know all you can about OK MMJ laws before you utilize medical marijuana in the state.

How do I get my OK MMJ card?

You’ll want to get your own MMJ card if you have a medical condition that qualifies you to use MMJ products. In order to apply for one, you can go to omma.ok.gov to get an application. You’ll also need a medical professional to help you complete your application; they’ll need to verify that you do have a health issue with symptoms that could be improved with the usage of MMJ. If you don’t have a medical professional to turn to, you can always use the services of MMJRecs. You’ll also need to pay the $100 application fee and provide proof of residency and proof of identification (more details can be found on the OMMA website about this).

If you’re caught by law enforcement with marijuana and you don’t have a valid MMJ card, you could face consequences of a misdemeanor charge of up to one year in prison (if you’re carrying less than 1.5 ounces of cannabis) and a fine of up to $1,000. The charges and fines are much more serious for subsequent offences or for selling marijuana. Similarly, being caught with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under the age of 12 could mean you face double penalties. The amount of marijuana you’re carrying and the location you’re at when confronted by law enforcement could also impact your punishment. Make sure you have a legitimate MMJ card and always get it renewed every year to avoid getting caught with an invalid, expired card.

MMJ laws in Oklahoma are pretty similar to those of the other 32 states that have legalized it so far. With the growing number of people who are applying for MMJ cards, it’s likely the popularity and acceptance of medical marijuana will only just increase with time. To take advantage of the legal status of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, you can apply for your own MMJ card today.

The Difference Between California and New York Medical Marijuana Laws

The advent of the medical marijuana card is fast spreading across the U.S. From California to Colorado to Alaska, more states are becoming more MMJ-friendly as the world starts to wake up to the innumerable benefits that the plant provides. Following the thinking of other like-minded progressive states came New York. Although most people would think of New York using the same terms that they’d think of California — modern, liberal, diverse — what comes as a surprise to most people is that their medical marijuana laws are among the strictest in the country and a far cry from the super-relaxed laws of the Golden State.

CA vs. NY: Medical Marijuana Cards

In California, acquiring a medical marijuana card could not be easier. You fill out a short questionnaire and are then transferred to a doctor who will carry out an online assessment from the comfort of your own home. If they think you’re suitable for an MMJ card, your certification will be posted out with a day or two. Simple huh!?

In New York, it’s a slightly more convoluted process. First, you must book an appointment with you doctor to present them with the illness you think makes you a suitable candidate for medical marijuana treatment (we’ll get into qualifying illnesses later). It’s important to note that the doctor you go to must be registered with the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. If they’re not, they won’t be able to provide you with medical marijuana certification. This doctor will carry out an assessment to determine your suitability for the program. If they think you satisfy all necessary criteria, they’ll provide you with your New York MMJ certification.

When you have this part of the process done and dusted, you must then apply for your Registry ID Card. This is the identification card you must bring with you when you visit the dispensary. This card is acquired by submitting an application to the Department of Health’s Online Patient Registration System. Once your application is rigorously processed, you’ll receive your ID card in the mail.

CA vs. NY: Qualifying Conditions

MMJ Rec - headache

In New York, you must suffer from a life-threatening illness to get a medical marijuana prescription.

California medical marijuana laws are pretty relaxed when it comes to for what you can be prescribed MMJ. If your doctor thinks you have a genuine case for a prescription, then you’ll get it regardless of your ailment.

New York’s medical marijuana laws aren’t quite as embracing. In New York, you must suffer from a life-threatening illness such as HIV, Parkinson’s or ALS to get a medical marijuana prescription. Even then, your illness must exhibit significant symptoms such as chronic pain or seizures. These medical marijuana laws are becoming slightly more lax, with post-traumatic stress disorder thankfully getting added to the list of qualifying ailments, but doctors cannot and will not prescribe for anything other than the few illnesses that the law allows.

CA vs. NY: Medical Marijuana Consumption Methods

If you ask a Californian medical marijuana card holder what their favorite way to consume MMJ is, they could give you any kind of answer: smoking, edibles, teas, tinctures. You name a way and you can bet that Californian MMJ card carriers have tried it.

Unfortunately for their New York counterparts, the same level of flexibility is not accommodated. Under New York law, only liquids and oils (for inhalation and vaporization) and capsules are allowed to be used to consume medical marijuana. This means no edibles, no smoothies and absolutely no smoking. If you’re caught smoking medical marijuana in New York, you’ll find yourself in trouble with the law regardless of whether you have a medical marijuana card.

CA vs. NY: Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

Not only are certain methods of consumption illegal, but home cultivation is also illegal in New York — another contrast to California. On the Pacific Coast, you can grow up to six mature MMJ plants or 12 immature ones once you have a grower’s license. Although it is likely that New York will relax their medical marijuana laws to mirror California’s, this may not come to fruition for a while.

CA vs. NY: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

MMJ Recs - cannabis

New York law only allows for five companies to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana

Although California dispensaries could not be easier to find — and with new ones popping up all the time — New York law only allows for five companies to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana. This will soon be changing as a law was passed late last year to bring this number up to 10.

CA vs. NY: Recreational Marijuana

Probably the biggest and most noticeable difference between Californian and New York medical marijuana laws is the fact that smoking marijuana for recreational reasons has been legalized in the Golden State. New York is likely to follow suit eventually, but until then, cannabis smoking is strictly for those with medical marijuana cards.

Although both states’ willingness to embrace medical marijuana should be lauded, we can’t forget that the plant is actually still illegal at a federal level in the United States. Thankfully, due to the federal government’s laissez-faire attitude on the topic, this is rarely ever an issue for medical marijuana card carriers in either state.

It’s easy to chastise New York and its draconian medical marijuana laws when we compare them to California’s, but we should refrain from doing so. Any sort of legalization is a step in the right direction, and once we see states moving progressively like this, we should be embracing them for it.

Where Can I Find a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in New York?

Living ain’t quite as easy for New York MMJ card holders as for their fellow countrymen. Although other states — we’re looking at you, Cali! —have made it super simple to find a medical marijuana dispensary with one on nearly every block, they’re not quite as ubiquitous in the Empire State.

Sadly, this is not the only way New York differs from other states when it comes to medical marijuana laws. New York has its own unique restrictions on acquiring and using medical marijuana, and oftentimes, this is to the detriment of MMJ card holders living there. For example, did you know that you can’t smoke MMJ at all in New York? Or that you can’t consume it in edible form, either?

The strange and restrictive medical marijuana laws in New York have left MMJ card holders baffled as to why legislators have made them so strict. Our best guess is that they want to draw a clean line between recreational and medical users of cannabis by outlawing methods of consumption that are typically associated more with the former than the latter.

It’s also worth noting that you must suffer from a life-threatening illness to get New York medical marijuana certification. Illnesses that fit this description include HIV/AIDS, cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, your illness must exhibit “associative or complicated conditions” such as seizures or chronic pain. Thankfully, medical marijuana laws are becoming more inclusive with legislation signed to include post-traumatic stress disorder on the list of allowed illnesses for the New York medical marijuana program.

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Certificate

MMJ Recs - cannabis

In keeping with the other strict New York medical marijuana laws, acquiring your MMJ card is slightly harder here than in other states.

Before you start to think about which medical marijuana dispensary you want to use and where to find it, you must first get your MMJ certificate. In keeping with the other strict New York medical marijuana laws, acquiring your MMJ card is slightly harder here than in other states. Your first step in getting your medical marijuana card is having a consultation with a doctor who is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. This doctor will assess you and your condition for suitability for the program, and if they think you satisfy the necessary criteria, they’ll provide you with your medical marijuana certificate.

Although your certificate is the main piece of documentation that you need to bring with you when you visit the medical marijuana dispensary, you’ll also need to get yourself a Registry Identification Card for the Medical Marijuana Program. This is done online via the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration Program. Once you complete this — and your application is approved (which can, unfortunately, take a while) — they’ll send you your ID card.

If you will be visiting a medical marijuana dispensary and acquiring medical marijuana in your capacity as a carer, you’ll need to have your caregiver’s registry identification with you as well as your patient or loved one’s MMJ certificate. Failure to bring these will mean you will be denied service at the medical marijuana dispensary.

What Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in New York Offer

New York dispensaries are thankfully dotted relatively plentifully throughout the state. From Albany to Erie and from New York City to Westchester, you’ll find a medical marijuana dispensary in just about every corner of the Empire State. New York dispensaries offer medical marijuana in all legal forms, including tinctures, extracts, oils and liquids. All these forms come in different strengths, and you can choose whatever one that best suits you based on your ailment and treatment plan. Medical marijuana dispensary staff are pleasant and friendly and are always happy to assist customers in any way that they can.

Where You Can Buy Medical Marijuana in New York

MMJ Recs - NYC

For MMJ card holders who are too ill to travel to a medical marijuana dispensary, there are now some companies who will deliver MMJ straight to your door.

To find the nearest dispensary to you, check out this list from the Department of Health. Although this list may not seem extensive now, last year new medical marijuana laws were passed effectively doubling the number of companies who can dispense medical marijuana, which means you can expect more and more dispensaries to open up within the next year or two.

For MMJ card holders who are too ill to travel to a medical marijuana dispensary, there are now some companies who will deliver MMJ straight to your door. Companies such as Vireo Health have only in the past few weeks started their delivery service in New York City and Long Island, with a view to expand it to Westchester and Staten Island. This will eradicate the problem of traveling to dispensaries for people with debilitating diseases.

Although selling medical marijuana is a relatively new thing in New York, dispensaries are providing the same level of professionalism seen in other states that are more used to MMJ provision with medical centers such as Columbia Care leading the way. New York dispensaries are calm and relaxed spaces, and thankfully, they don’t feel clinical at all. An important aspect of New York dispensaries is their accessibility. Most — if not all — have been designed with accessibility in mind, which means that people of all physical ability can access them easily.

As New York’s medical marijuana laws become laxer, we’ll start to see more and more dispensaries sprout up around the state. At present, the majority of MMJ card holders do have access to a local medical marijuana dispensary, and soon anyone who doesn’t will be able to get their medical marijuana delivered straight to their home.

Your Rights When Traveling with Medical Marijuana

Lots of people may think that there’s no reason to leave California. With sunny weather and a wide variety of cities, people, cuisines and activities, residents of the Golden State could be forgiven for staying put. However, if you’re someone who has been bitten by the travel bug, what options do you have for traveling with your medical marijuana?

It can be scary and alienating, so read our handy guide to the logistics of traveling with medical marijuana before the pre-travel panic sets in! It is not easy to travel with MMJ, so if you’re really panicking, it may be better to stay within California. However, if you really want or need to travel and if you’re able to follow some of our advice, you may find the process slightly less stressful.

Traveling by Car

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As medical marijuana laws vary from state to state, things can become tricky when you leave sunny California.

Arguably, this is probably the easiest option as you’re the boss in terms of what goes in and out of your vehicle. It may limit you in terms of how far you can go, but as far as the roads are concerned, you should be OK — as long as you don’t cause trouble.

You need to become familiar with the medical marijuana laws of the state to which you are traveling. As medical marijuana laws vary from state to state, things can become tricky when you leave sunny California. The bad news is that even if you travel somewhere with legal medical marijuana, you may not be able to bring MMJ products from another state across the border. You will also be unable to buy medical marijuana without a valid MMJ card for that state, for which you must be a legal resident.

In addition, for those who grow their own, it is usually illegal to transport marijuana plants across state borders, regardless of the medical marijuana laws in your home state and the state you’re traveling to.

If you’re worried about the legality, it may be easier to stay home, but it is possible to be discreet in your MMJ use if you’re careful. Obviously, avoid toking up in public, and stick to odorless vaping as this can be disguised as tobacco. Even better is edibles as they can be easily disguised as run-of-the-mill food items — as long as you don’t share them with anyone! 

Traveling by Train

The same rules apply with traveling by train as by car except that you will have to be more discreet as you will be surrounded by fellow passengers and rail staff. In addition, you will be subject to the rules and regulations of your rail carrier, which will likely follow federal law, which states that marijuana is an illegal drug.

It is also illegal to smoke on most trains, so vaping or smoking is out regardless of your preference. It may be easier to employ edibles, as advised above, or tinctures, which are an excellent option when you’re in need of a discreet way to take your medical marijuana.

 Traveling by Air

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Federal law is also the letter of the land in airports, so the TSA is likely to be harsh on patients who travel with MMJ, regardless of their legal status in their home state.

Air is by far the most difficult option when traveling with medical marijuana. The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, carry out incredibly strict bag checks, and sniffer dogs are often employed in major airports to detect drugs. Federal law is also the letter of the land in airports, so the TSA is likely to be harsh on patients who travel with MMJ, regardless of their legal status in their home state.

The reality is that you are unlikely to get away with traveling with any form of medical marijuana, be it buds, oil, tinctures or edibles. The TSA is just too strict, and the checks carried out are just too thorough. If caught with any form of marijuana, be it recreational or medicinal, the TSA can confiscate your items or refer you to law enforcement, who can arrest, charge or caution you depending on the severity of your offense.

Sadly, the medical marijuana laws at a federal level have failed to catch up with the 29 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized cannabis for medical usage, and federal laws govern most of the traveling that happens in the U.S. If in doubt, it’s better to travel without your medical marijuana as it is often just not worth the legal trouble.

If you’re unable to go without, research vacation options within California. From wine country in Napa to glamorous Los Angeles and techy San Francisco, there are lots of options open to you as a user of medical marijuana. Sometimes it’s just better to have the peace of mind that comes with staying put and being able to go about your business as you see fit while treating your conditions in the way you’re able to in California. Happy travels!

7 Things a New York Medical Marijuana Patient Needs to Know

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed medical marijuana legalization into law in July 2014, he made New York the 23rd state to do so. Although this was most definitely a step in the right direction, New York’s medical marijuana laws are still among the strictest in the country, so it can be hard for medical marijuana card holders to keep up with what’s allowed and, more importantly, what’s not. For those of you who may not be au fait with the MMJ 411 in the Empire State, we’ve made a list of seven things that all New York medical marijuana patients need to know.

Acquiring Medical Marijuana in New York Takes a Few Steps

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If you are specifically interested in getting medical marijuana, it’s important that you choose a physician who is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program.

The process of getting medical marijuana in New York isn’t quite as straightforward as it is elsewhere. The first step in doing so is going to your doctor to discuss with them the issue you think might qualify you for medical marijuana certification.

If you are specifically interested in getting MMJ to treat this ailment, it’s important that you choose a physician who is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. This doctor will do an assessment of you and your illness, and if they think you are suitable for it, they will issue you with a medical marijuana certificate. After this, you need to register with the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration Program. This will get you your Registry Identification Card, which will enable you to acquire MMJ.

You Can Only Get Medical Marijuana at Registered Dispensaries

Once you have your Registry Identification Card, bring it to any one of the registered dispensaries that are dotted around the state to acquire your medical marijuana. It is important that you bring your certificate with you, too, or else you will be denied service. If you are acquiring MMJ as a caregiver, you must bring your caregiver’s registry identification and your patient’s certification. To find out where the nearest registered dispensary to you is, see this list.

New York Medical Marijuana Laws Are Much Stricter Than Elsewhere

Although any kind of legalization should be welcomed with open arms, New York’s medical marijuana laws are unfairly restrictive. Unlike California, in New York, you must be suffering from a life-threatening illness such as cancer, ALS, HIV or multiple sclerosis to receive medical marijuana certification. Even then, your ailment must have “associative or complicated conditions” such as chronic pain or persistent muscle spasms.

Additionally, some methods of medical marijuana consumption have been banned (more on that later), and you cannot deviate from the method of administration appointed to you by your doctor. When you’re at the dispensary, you can only acquire 30 days or less worth of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, unlike other states, you cannot grow your medical marijuana at home.

Different MMJ Strains Help Different Ailments

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marijuana strains. Every strain is different, and different strains relieve different ailments differently. Choosing the right strain of medical marijuana to use to treat your ailment is a vitally important part of the treatment process, and you and your doctor should put a lot of consideration into it. Although this can be a long and boring process, it’s well worth the benefits you’ll be reaping once you find the right one. For more information on what strains are best to tackle different types of pain, check out our blog post on the topic.

You Cannot Smoke Medical Marijuana in New York

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Medical marijuana card holders are safe in the knowledge that they have access — albeit restricted access — to the plant that brings them so much relief.

Unlike other states that have legalized the use of the plant, New York has banned all smoking of medical marijuana. This bizarre news came as a surprise to just about everyone who had been campaigning for legalization. Although smoking is not often the preferred method of consumption for medical marijuana card holders — due to the obvious detrimental health effects — it is still annoying for those who are most comfortable consuming this way.

Medical marijuana card holders are still somewhat at a loss as to why exactly this strange rule was brought in with many speculating that it could be because smoking marijuana is typically more associated with its recreational use rather than its medical use. Although this is likely to change eventually, until then, medical marijuana card holders are strictly advised to stick to other methods of consumption.

There Are Several Ways You Can Consume Medical Marijuana

Unfortunately, the New York restrictions on medical cannabis don’t just disallow smoking, but the use of MMJ edibles to treat your ailment is also prohibited. Although this does limit medical marijuana card holders somewhat when it comes to how they can consume, there are still other options available.

The main method of consumption that New York medical marijuana laws allow is the use of liquids or oils for vaporization or inhalation. Vaporization — or vaping as it is more commonly known — is a very popular method of consumption even outside of New York. With vaping, you use a vape pen which heats up your MMJ and creates a cloud from it that you then inhale. Vaping doesn’t overheat cannabis, which means that you’re benefiting from every one of those all-important cannabinoids, which would be destroyed by other methods such as smoking. Alternatively, you could inhale the MMJ liquid using a purpose-built inhaler, which can be easily obtained at a dispensary.

New York medical marijuana laws also allow for the use of MMJ capsules, which can be taken orally. This is a great option for those medical marijuana card holders who might not be comfortable with inhaling MMJ.

You Can Consume Medical Marijuana Anywhere in New York

Like in other states, the key to the consumption of medical marijuana in New York is discretion. Although you may be completely within the realms of the medical marijuana laws by consuming in an obvious manner, this won’t be taken well by the local authorities, and you could find yourself in a spot of a bother anyway.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you’re always discreet. Consuming discreetly is pretty easy to do in New York as the only methods of medical marijuana consumption allowed here are discreet ones. Most vapes come with a scent to mask the weed smell from vaporizers so those around you while you’re using will be none the wiser.

Although New York is slightly more restrictive than other states when it comes to their medical marijuana laws, as the world becomes more marijuana friendly, these laws will become laxer. Whether we’ll eventually see full recreational legalization, we won’t know for a while, but for now, at least medical marijuana card holders are safe in the knowledge that they have access — albeit restricted access — to the plant that brings them so much relief.

Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Florida: The Steps That Need to Be Taken

More than 70 percent of Floridians voted in favor of Amendment 2. The new amendment will be a game changer for Florida medical marijuana patients, caregivers and health care professionals. It will revamp the state’s alternative health care laws and massively modernize the very conservative and limiting Florida medical cannabis laws that have been in existence since 2014.

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Despite the landslide majority vote in favor of more liberal Florida MMJ laws and the impending deadline for implementation, there is still heated debate happening around medical marijuana.

Amendment 2 will ensure much better protection for industry workers, patients, caregivers and physicians. It will also make medical marijuana a realistic and safe treatment option for many people in the state of Florida who, up until now, would not have been eligible for treatment with a cannabis card. Once the new rules are in place, there will be a much wider variety of medical cannabis products, as well as a larger spectrum of strains and strengths, from which to choose. This is all wonderful news for Florida and its inhabitants.

The state is legally required to adopt new medical marijuana laws by July 3, 2017. There will then be a bedding-in period of a few months before the state is obliged to have the new system fully up and running by September 2017.

Despite the landslide majority vote in favor of more liberal Florida MMJ laws and the impending deadline for implementation, there is still heated debate happening within the corridors of power, not to mention homes, cafes and public meeting spaces throughout the state, about the exact nature of the new MMJ laws and the specific details of what the new rules should look like. Many details of the new Florida medical marijuana program have yet to be finalized.

The debate is so heated in Florida because there are conservative in positions of power in the state who are not happy about the adoption of what they regard as laxer drug laws. It is due to these competing factions that much has yet to be decided.

How Much Medical Marijuana Can Patients Get?

Although it is fairly clear that patients will qualify for marijuana treatment with a variety of illnesses such as glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms — similar to other legal MMJ states — it is still not clear what size of prescriptions the law will allow for various conditions. It has yet to be decided how much medical marijuana a patient will be allowed to acquire each day. Will it be left up to the discretion of the patient? Or will there be limits on the amount of herb a person can buy depending on what condition they are suffering from? It is hoped that the Department of Health will decide to allow a flexible amount of medical cannabis to be available and for the patient to decide what they require.

Which Medical Marijuana Products Will Be Available?

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The only thing known is there will be no cap on the amount of THC medical cannabis products sold in the state can contain.

What medical marijuana products will be available has also not yet been finalized. It is hoped and expected that a wide range of products — from edibles to oils to aerosols and ointments to fresh and dried bud — will be available from dispensaries. But the exact details of what will be available are still unclear. What is known is that there will be no cap on the amount of THC medical cannabis products sold in the state can contain. 

What Are the Zoning Laws?

One particular point of contention that is proving particularly difficult to sort out is the exact details of zoning laws for dispensaries. There will be a large increase in a number of dispensaries opening in the state, and not every citizen or city is happy about having a dispensary in their locality. Many cities and districts, including Miami Beach, have put a temporary freeze on new dispensaries opening in their jurisdictions while they attempt to iron out the issues in a way that pleases as many local residents as possible. This is an issue that urgently needs to be sorted out.

What Qualifies a Person as a Caregiver?

It also remains to be decided exactly what circumstances and conditions will qualify a person to become a caregiver, how many people one person can be a caregiver for, and what exactly being a caregiver will allow a person to do on behalf of the patients they are caring for.

What Will It Cost to Join the Registry?

Another detail that remains undecided is the cost of applying to join the Florida Patient Registry. Joining the registry will be mandatory, but the costs involved remain unclear.

Can You Grow at Home?

Unfortunately, under the new amendment home growing will remain illegal. This puts the Florida medical marijuana program well behind other legal MMJ states such as California and Colorado on this issue. Allowing patients to grow their own herb, just as they like it, would have been a huge step in the right direction. Sadly, this is a step Florida did not take on this occasion. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be a rethink on this particular detail of the state’s medical cannabis program.

What About State vs Federal MMJ Laws?

One last gray area (and this applies to all legal medical marijuana states) is the contradiction between state MMJ laws and federal cannabis law. There is nothing the state itself can do about this issue, but surely, as more and more states vote to legalize medical cannabis, it will become unrealistic and silly for the federal government not to look into changing federal MMJ laws concerning medical weed.

It is an exciting time for Florida. They are joining the medical marijuana party in earnest. Amendment 2 will not be a silver bullet — it will have shortcomings, not allowing home cultivation being an obvious example — but it is a big leap in the right direction. There are a number of steps that still need to be taken and decisions that need to be made before full implementation is possible. Time is running out. Get your skates on Florida!

How and Why the State of New York Legalized Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has been legal in the U.S. since 1996 — if you live in California that is. For other states, it’s been an uphill battle to legalize medical cannabis, and for some, the battle rages on. As of May 2017, medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, and several others allow the use of marijuana in its oil form, with limitations on THC content (i.e., the psychoactive component of the drug).

Even where medical cannabis is legalized, the medical marijuana laws regarding its use vary wildly from state to state. The legalization of marijuana for recreational use is also shifting rapidly across the U.S., muddying the waters on medical marijuana laws and marijuana usage as a whole.

Although California is leading the charge on both fronts, especially when it comes to medical marijuana, over on the East Coast, the traditionally liberal and progressive New York has put in place a surprisingly restrictive and limited medical cannabis program. The state became the 23rd in the U.S. to embrace medical marijuana when it was made legal in mid-2014 under an act known as the Compassionate Care Act, signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

At the beginning of his tenure, Cuomo announced plans to introduce medical marijuana legally to the state but was also noted and criticized for his long-held anti-marijuana position. Although Cuomo stated he was receptive to change on the medical marijuana front and approached the subject with an open mind, many feared that his medical marijuana laws would be too strict.

Medical Marijuana Laws in New York

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The state became the 23rd in the U.S. to embrace medical marijuana when it was made legal in mid-2014 under an act known as the Compassionate Care Act, signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

These fears turned out to be well-founded upon the introduction of the CCA, which contained a critical clause that allows the New York Department of health to pull the plug on the medical marijuana program any time it chooses.

The list of qualifying conditions is also fairly short compared to other states, with only severe illnesses entitling patients to medical cannabis. On top of this, doctors can be punished under federal law for suppling marijuana to a patient who doesn’t fit the required conditions.

The narrow qualifying conditions include cancer, ALS and other motor neuron diseases, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS. This means that only around 10 percent of patients who could benefit from marijuana can actually legally avail of it, which is seen by many as far too restrictive.

The number of dispensaries allowed statewide is also pretty narrow, with only up to 20 dispensaries being grated licenses and only five manufacturers being granted the permission to grow marijuana. For as state composed of just under 20 million people, this seems relatively minuscule to medical marijuana advocates.

No Smoking Medical Cannabis in New York

Another measure that is seen as overly harsh, particularly when compared to other states, is the decision to forbid the smoking of medical marijuana, the most traditional method of taking the medicine. This is regarded as another attempt to appear anti-marijuana by the overly conservative Cuomo.

But it considerably limits patients’ methods and ease with which to avail of their medicine. As it stands, patients are only allowed to consume medical marijuana through vaporization, oils, foods and pills, which is, unfortunately, not the cheapest ways to consume the drug — or the most effective.

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In New York, you can’t legally smoke medical marijuana.

Smoking marijuana has traditionally been held as the quickest way to avail of the drug’s effects. When it comes to chronic and severe pain relief, most patients will want their medicine to work as quick as possible, forcing them to illegally smoke it or purchase a vaporizer, costing them hundreds of dollars on top of the amount they’ve already paid for the medicine. Cuomo and his supporters argued that smoking is not in the interest of public health, but this particular decree is seen by many as yet another attempt by Cuomo to straddle the line.

Just before the bill’s introduction in 2014, the governor spoke about the upcoming legislation.

“We’re going to be sending up a bill shortly that we believes strikes the right balance,” he said.

It was the result of near-constant pressure from medical marijuana advocates, lead by Sen. Diane Savino, the Senate sponsor of the bill, and Assembly sponsor Richard Gottfried. Assemblyman Gottfried admitted the bill was a compromise and also expressed concerns about the projected 18-month implication, concerns which turned out to be largely unfounded as the program got up and running on schedule.

It was a thorny path to medical marijuana legalization in New York, but now that it’s here, hopefully, things can continue to improve. There are certainly signs of it, with advocates campaigning for new conditions to be added to the list of qualifiers. Just recently post-traumatic stress disorder was accepted on the list, expanding some horizons in that sense. At the end of last year, the state Department of Health announced that it will be lifting and revising growth limits due to increased pressure from advocates and patients alike. All in all, things look good for the future of medical marijuana in New York.

The Legality of Medical Marijuana in New York Explained

The legality of medical marijuana in the states has come a long way and has overcome many obstacles since 1906 when heavy restrictions were placed on marijuana. At one point, it was even classified as a poison. Today, however, marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 29 states, including New York. Since 2014, thanks to the Compassionate Care Act, patients are now allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes to treat illnesses such as cancer, HIV and AIDs. There has been evidence that medical marijuana can help with problems from glaucoma to epileptic seizures. People have also reported that medical cannabis has helped with inflammation and pain and with coping with the side effects of chemotherapy.

Medical Marijuana Laws in New York

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New York holds much stricter medical marijuana laws, especially with regards to the qualifying diseases and the form of medicine allowed.

In comparison to other states such as California, however, New York holds much stricter medical marijuana laws, especially with regards to the qualifying diseases and the form of medicine allowed.

First, only a handful of illnesses is considered qualifying conditions if you want to try medical cannabis. Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, AIDs and multiple sclerosis are just a few of the ailments. However, recent medical marijuana laws have loosened to allow chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder to be classified as a qualifying illness that could allow for the treatment using medical marijuana. This means that if you have severe pain for three months or more that has not responded well to other treatment, then you can apply for a certification from a medical practitioner.

How to Apply for Medical Cannabis in New York

There are a few stages when it comes to applying for medical marijuana. It is not simply a case of going to your doctor and asking for a prescription, which is actually illegal. The first step is to see if your condition comes under the list of qualifying ailments.

The next step is to ensure that your medical practitioner is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Only then can they give you a certification for medical cannabis.

Once you have received your certification, you need to register for the Medical Marijuana Program through the department’s online patient registration system.

The last step is waiting to receive a registry identification card, which you will have to show when you go to the dispensary facility.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana in New York

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There are currently less than 1,000 qualified doctors in the city who can prescribe medical marijuana.

Out of around 2,000 dispensaries in the United States, there are only a few dispensaries available in New York. Moreover, there are currently less than 1,000 qualified doctors in the city who can prescribe medical marijuana.

Why is this number so low? It is likely to do with the fact that marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug and is considered illegal by the federal government. A possible reason for the strict medical marijuana laws could be that lawmakers are highly suspicious of marijuana being used for recreational purposes. Despite the positive stories people have reported from using medical cannabis to treat their illnesses, the state still believes that this alternative medicine can pose risks.

The Prospect of Recreational Marijuana Use in New York

On the other hand, exciting news has emerged recently hinting that marijuana could also possibly be legalized for recreational use in the Big Apple. If this goes ahead, then, naturally, the expansion of medical marijuana will likely increase, which would hopefully allow more people to have easier access to this natural alternative.

How You Can Consume Medical Marijuana in New York

In terms of the form of medical marijuana allowed in New York, only tinctures and oils are legal, and these can be inhaled, vaporized or taken orally in capsules. Smoking is strictly prohibited.

Furthermore, the amount that you have in possession also has a limit. There is a 30-day supply max at any one time. There are different classes of felonies for just being in possession of cannabis; therefore, it is important to ensure that you always have your registry identification card with you.

On top of these restrictions, the cost is also a big factor that explains why a limited number of people have access to medical marijuana. In comparison to other states such as California and Colorado where cannabis will cost you roughly $15 to $25 a day, in New York, you would have to pay around $180. This is a major problem for people who may qualify for medical marijuana but cannot afford it.

In conclusion, New York possesses much tighter medical marijuana laws with regards to the qualification, form and process of obtaining medical cannabis, especially compared to other states such as California. The number of doctors willing to prescribe medical cannabis and the cost appears to be limiting the number of potential patients.

Things are gradually becoming more lenient though for instance in terms of the types of ailments accepted, and there is hope that the legalization will be less restrictive. But overall, it seems that New York still has some catching up to do compared to other states when it comes to making medical marijuana more easily accessible and affordable for people.

What a Medical Cannabis Patient in New York Needs to Know

Medical marijuana has been making waves on the West Coast since it was first introduced in California in 1996. Since then, especially within the past five years or so, other states have introduced medical cannabis to patients across America. New York became the 23rd state to introduce the drug when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law in July 2014. But for a state with a liberal reputation and voting history, New York’s medical marijuana laws are notorious for being some of the most restrictive and complicated. It can be tough for patients across the U.S. to keep track of medical marijuana laws as it applies to their home state, so for the medical cannabis users of New York, we’re here to make it easy!

Medical Marijuana in New York

Although the conditions that permit medical cannabis use in California are wide, varied and loose, New York is, unfortunately, a lot more restrictive — or at least it has been for the past two years. Officially, you must suffer from a specific, severe, debilitating or life-threatening affliction such as cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s, ALS or neuropathy problems. On top of that, you must be suffering from “associated or complicating conditions” for your particular disease, specifically wasting syndrome, chronic pain, seizures or persistent muscle spasms. This rigid and largely severe conditioning is undoubtedly what gives New York its harsh reputation in the medical marijuana arena, though there are recent signs that these laws are being relaxed.

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New York became the 23rd state to introduce medical cannabis when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law in July 2014.

A bipartisan bill that would introduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition was passed by the Senate Health Committee and now awaits the final hurdle of approval.

There is also heavy campaigning by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal to add menstrual cramps to the list of qualifying conditions, a motion that has seen celebrity support from Whoopi Goldberg and is currently being pushed forward.

So, although the initially restrictive measures for medical marijuana in New York might be disheartening to potential patients, there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel, a light that can only grow stronger as more and more states around the U.S. begin to adopt medical marijuana laws.

How to Obtain Medical Marijuana in New York

The first step to obtaining medical marijuana in New York is to present to your physician with a condition you suspect might entitle you to medical cannabis treatment. The physician will make an assessment, and if he or she is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, they may make a recommendation for medical cannabis and issue you with a certificate.

The next step in a pretty convoluted process is to register with the Medical Marijuana Program through the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration System. After your registration is thoroughly processed, you will receive a Registry Identification Card, which is the all-important document to legally get you inside the dispensaries and start availing of medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana Rules in New York

So now you’re through the dispensary door, you should know a thing or two about how much medical cannabis you can carry around with you and how exactly you can avail of it. Unlike California, New York has made the bizarre decision to forbid all smoking of medical marijuana. The only approved forms of taking the medicine are liquid and oil, for vaporization or inhalation, or capsules that can be administered orally. Exactly why the Department of Health has banned the smoking of medical cannabis remains a mystery. We can only guess that they wanted to draw a firm and decisive line between medical use and recreational use. Although this may change in the future, as it stands currently, smoking is a no-go for the medical cannabis patients in New York.

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The first step to obtaining medical marijuana in New York is to present to your physician with a condition you suspect might entitle you to medical cannabis treatment.

All the details about how you can take your medical cannabis must be written on your certification form by your physician. This means you can’t deviate from the methods of administration you enter initially. The form will also contain information about the authorized brand or use. Again, this is in sharp contrast to states like California, who are much more liberal with the methods of procurement and administration. As marijuana has now been legalized for recreational use in Cali as well, we can hope that the situation will not remain so rigid for NY; though it may take some years to catch up.

Again, this is in sharp contrast to states such as California, which is much more liberal with the methods of procurement and administration. As marijuana has now been legalized for recreational use in California as well, we can hope that the situation will not remain so rigid for New York, though it may take some years to catch up.

When you arrive at the dispensary, it is also important to note that they can only hand out a 30-day supply or less, and unfortunately, it is illegal to grow your own medical marijuana at home. State-registered dispensaries are the only way to obtain the medicine, and even then, there are many hoops to jump through.

While the medical marijuana in New York is undoubtedly restrictive and strict relative to other states, the good news is that it can only get better. It might seem like an uphill battle to avail of medical cannabis at this point in time, but there are people working behind the scenes to make sure everyone in New York gets a fair shot at availing of the many benefits of medical marijuana.

The Difference Between California and Florida MMJ Laws

On Nov. 8, Florida voters chose to legalize medical marijuana, following in the footsteps of California, Washington, Maine and even Alaska, where MMJ has been legal since 1998. In fact, medical marijuana has been legalized in 29 states, with the majority of MMJ laws passing in the past five years. Florida finds itself in the middle of legalization, but the heartening news for supporters is that the bill, known as Amendment 2, was passed with 71 percent of the votes, which, in political terms, is huge.

There’s still a ways to go, though, and it’ll be a while before patients in the Sunshine State are able to avail of legal medical marijuana. Although MMJ has technically been legal since January 2017 and around 200 doctors in Florida are legally qualified to prescribe it, it’s only available by presenting a government-issued ID card, which must be prescribed to patients by September 2017. That’s a long wait, and there are many potential legal challenges and appeals by opponents that can clog up the works in the meantime. The Florida legislature and Department of Health are still hammering out the exact rules and regulations regarding that will govern the industry, leaving patients in an uncomfortable gray area.

Fortunately, the precedent for full legalization is in place. In 2014, Florida legalized small quantities of low-strength MMJ for very specific severe illnesses and only after patients had been seeing their doctor for at least three months. So citizens can be hopeful that the full legalization will pass through without too much trouble, even if it takes a little while to roll out the plans. With 71 percent of the votes, there can be no doubt that the people of Florida have spoken. To go against that will would amount to political suicide, even for those staunchly opposed to MMJ legalization.

CA vs FL: Qualifying Conditions

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California was the first state to introduce MMJ laws, under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

When people think of MMJ laws, the first state that probably comes to mind is California. It was the first state to introduce MMJ laws, under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which means it’s been pioneering the legalization of the drug for an astonishing 21 years now.

There is a large range of traditional qualifying illnesses that enable a patient to avail of MMJ in California, including nausea, chronic pain and migraines, but there is also a clause that allows physicians who are licensed to practice in California to prescribe MMJ for debilitating illnesses at their own discretion. Subsequently, physicians have recommended medical marijuana for an even larger number of conditions, including as insomnia or depression.

This will likely not be the case in Florida, where physicians will be limited to what conditions for which they can prescribe MMJ. As it stands, only severely debilitating illnesses qualify a patient for MMJ.

CA vs FL: Possession Amounts

Another large point of contention for the new Florida law is possession amounts. California is very liberal with their possession laws. Under Proposition 215, patients are entitled to carry whatever amount of MMJ they deem necessary to treat their condition. This comes with a caveat, however; if a person is found to be carrying obviously excessive quantities of marijuana, they can be arrested or they can be fined for exceeding local MMJ laws.

Under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which passed in January 2016, patients in California are permitted to grow their own MMJ in plots up to 100 square feet. This extends to 500 square feet for primary caregivers and/or physicians with fewer than five patients.

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California is very liberal with their possession laws.

In Florida, however, the limits of possession have yet to be determined, but it is certain that patients will have to acquire their medicine through state-licensed dispensaries with home cultivation off the table. Florida wants to keep a keen eye on everyone involved with MMJ, at least at the beginning of its introduction.

By way of contrast, California doesn’t even require its patients to register for an ID card, making it very difficult for the government to keep tabs on everyone using MMJ. Opponents of MMJ in Florida point to California’s lax policies and subsequent experiences as negative and regard their liberal introduction of the MMJ laws as a testing ground for subsequent states.

Federal MMJ Laws vs State MMJ Laws

Under federal law, any kind of marijuana possession is a crime. This led to a confusing gray area in California, where no one was sure whose legal jurisdiction should be upheld. The compromise was reached in 2002 when it was decided that each county and city should decide on their own. The result of this is a confusing web of crisscrossing MMJ laws, leaving some areas of California inundated with dispensaries while others are almost completely MMJ-free.

Florida would do well to learn from California’s successes and mistakes when it comes to implementing its own MMJ laws, hopefully making the introduction of medical marijuana a triumph for both the people and the state as a whole.

5 California MMJ Dispensaries We’d Like to See Set Up in Florida

As of Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters elected to follow in the footsteps of their Cali cousins and legalize medical marijuana. The bill, titled Amendment 2, was voted through with an overwhelming majority (at least in political terms) of 71 percent, indicating widespread approval for a law that supporters have been aggressively trying to pass for the past three years. It was a significant victory for the pro-legalization side; however, as with most controversial political movements, it does come with a few teething problems.

The major hurdle, at least immediately, is the fact that MMJ won’t be legally available in Florida until June 3, 2017. This is largely due to a holdup with MMJ cards, which will be legally required to obtain MMJ. Although medical marijuana became formally legal in the state in January 2017, patients will have to wait until June to get their hands on the all-important card. There’s a lot that could go wrong between now and then, with many different creases to smooth out in regards to the how and where of distribution.

Looking ahead with an ever-optimistic outlook, we’ve chosen five MMJ dispensaries that are already a hit in California and that we hope will make the cross-country trek to Florida in the not too distant future!

California has been pretty progressive in their legitimization of MMJ, and more recently, marijuana in general. There are top-quality dispensaries up and down the state, and as MMJ becomes more and more accepted, they will only become more effective and efficient. Florida would do well to follow their example, start implementing some policies and making room for MMJ dispensaries that have been successful on the West Coast.

Harborside

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With more than 200,000 registered patients, Harborside is one of the most popular and significant MMJ dispensaries in the U.S.

The popular Harborside dispensary can currently be found in two locations in California: Oakland and San Jose. It was founded 11 years ago by a fellow named Steve DeAngelo and has been growing stronger ever since. With more than 200,000 registered patients, Harborside is one of the most popular and significant MMJ dispensaries in the U.S. It’s pretty forward thinking, too. Harborside was the first of its kind to support educating the elderly, war veterans and severely ill children. With that kind of track record, it would be more than welcome to set up shop in Florida!

Granny Purps

Renowned for its warm, welcoming atmosphere and family-style management, Granny Purps is a popular dispensary located in Santa Cruz. It’s been in business for more than seven years and has accumulated more than 23,000 patients on their books. Despite the success, it hasn’t lost its personal touch, and it treats each of its patients like an old friend. Florida could certainly do with its homely touch when MMJ kicks off on the East Coast.

The Green Cross

The Green Cross (we see what you did there) serves sunny San Francisco with some top-quality MMJ. It opened its doors in 2004, kicking off with a storefront in the affluent Noe Valley neighborhood. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and now runs a new storefront in the Excelsior District. The Green Cross was one of the first dispensaries to introduce a delivery service, and it has a reputation for being socially minded, especially in the areas they operate in. They offer patient counseling and caregiving services and strive to employ local residents. It’s this attention to detail and caring attitude that have given The Green Cross its stellar reputation in the local community and beyond.

A Green Alternative Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Have your MMJ discreetly delivered to your door with A Green Alternative’s highly efficient delivery service.

A Green Alternative is a little different from the others on this list because it is a nonprofit organization. It exists to help its patients through a number of debilitating diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and arthritis. It operates out of San Diego and serves much of Southern California. You can visit them in person for an evaluation or have your MMJ discreetly delivered to your door with its highly efficient delivery service. Florida is going to need a few of these nonprofit clinics if it hopes to fully integrate MMJ into its society.

The Apothecarium

Another successful dispensary operating out of San Francisco, the Apothecarium not only has an awesome name but it is also a stylish addition to the new wave of dispensaries popping up along the West Coast. It offers a wide spectrum of medical options for their patients, including flowers, edibles, concentrates and topicals. You can pick it up in their fancy premises in the Castro District or register for home delivery by becoming a member. All you need is your valid doctor’s recommendation and a government-issued ID, and you’re good to go. The forward-thinking Apothecarium also offers reward schemes to loyal patients as well as discounts to seniors and veterans.

All in all, there’s a wide range of choices available to California MMJ patients with dispensaries convenient to every major city and suiting all styles. We look forward to Florida incorporating the same diversity and eventually growing into the same varied and valued community that can be found on the West Coast.

Will Florida Legalize Medical Marijuana to the Same Extent as California?

The results of the U.S. presidential election overshadowed the results of a few very significant votes: the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, Massachusetts and Nevada. Earlier in the night on Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters (who played a major role in the presidential election, too) passed a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, which was, in fact, the first victory scored by the pro-legalization side on a critical night in America. It took the people of Florida some serious legwork to make it to the legalization stage, but will they follow their West Coast allies in making medical marijuana available to the same extent?

This serious legwork should not be underestimated. The pro-legalization side in the Sunshine State has had a serious fight on their hands for the past few years, even to reach the point they’re at now. Unlike California, where it’s possible to avail of medical marijuana with a medical marijuana card, the situation in Florida is a little thornier. The vote brought to the table this past November was one of the briefest legalization laws ever passed in America. From start to finish, it only takes up five pages. It’s titled Amendment 2, and although you may think that the brevity of the law makes it clear and concise, it actually provides more problems than solutions.

It essentially means there are a lot of details left to iron out and many debates to be had over the intricacies of the bill. And it’s already had some teething problems since its birth. Although the law was accepted in November, it wasn’t actually passed until Jan. 3, 2017. And it’s not even fully legal yet.

Although medical marijuana is legal in spirit in Florida, Amendment 2 specifically states that patients must obtain a letter of certification from a physician and a state-issued, valid medical marijuana card. Fair enough. The problem lies in that fact that these required ID cards are not available to citizens and won’t be until at least June 2017.

Fortunately, there is a mechanism in place that states that the Florida Department of Health must finalize its medical marijuana regulations by June 3, 2017. So with a bit of luck, there won’t be too much dillydallying.

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According to Amendment 2, the Florida Department of Health is responsible for overseeing the implementation and regulation of medical marijuana.

The question, then, is what can go wrong in that time? The introduction and management of the state’s new MMJ laws will be overseen by two key people: Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Celeste Philip and Gov. Rick Scott. Scott is the man in charge, but Philip runs the Florida Department of Health, which, according to Amendment 2, is responsible for overseeing the implementation and regulation of MMJ. For Scott’s part, he opposed medical marijuana in 2014 but has had little to say in recent months about Amendment 2 and its implications.

That could be because he’s playing to the gallery. About 71 percent of Florida’s voters were in favor of legalizing MMJ, and Scott could potentially make himself very unpopular very quickly if he pushes back against the will of his people. So it’s clear to all involved that this is a crucial time in the quest to legalize MMJ in Florida. The Senate is preparing its medical marijuana plan, and it remains to be seen exactly what routes and decisions will affect it. The issues on the table are varied and intricate. The most controversial ones comprise who should be considered eligible for MMJ treatment and how many licenses should be given out to marijuana growers.

MMJ - Los Angeles

California has been a kind of trailblazer in many respects on the issue of MMJ, and it’s great to see other states following their lead.

It remains to be seen whether Florida will embrace MMJ laws to the same extent as California. Two main features of California’s laws have yet to be discussed in relation to the Sunshine State, as they’re regarded as too liberal to be introduced immediately. The first is that California has no limits on possession of MMJ, whereas Florida requires that patients have a physician’s recommendation before they acquire MMJ from state-licensed dispensaries. California also allows patients to cultivate their own marijuana at home. In Florida’s case, this is not allowed to any degree.

California has been a kind of trailblazer in many respects on the issue of MMJ, and it’s great to see other states following their lead. Even though Florida has a fight on their hands with a good few issues to smooth over, the fact that Amendment 2 was supported overwhelmingly by the people should provide a clear path to legalizing MMJ across the board. Although it remains to be seen if Florida will be as welcoming to the treatment as their partners on the West Coast, the good news is that the first few key steps have been made successfully. Only time will tell how Florida implements the legalization of medical marijuana and when exactly it’ll be freely available to patients.

What the New Bills in the House and Senate Mean for Medical Marijuana in Florida

In November 2016, Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which took effect in January 2017. The controversial amendment formed part of the Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative and was designed to extend the rights of patients, allowing for more potent strains of medical marijuana in Florida to become available and to be used in the treatment of a wider variety of medical conditions.

However, since this amendment has passed, and with just one month to go in the session, Florida lawmakers remain at odds as to how to carry out and put into practice the new amendment. Senate and House members disagree on the finer details of how to expand access to the drug, from licensing additional distributors to cover the increase in demand to requiring patients to be seen by the same doctor for at least three months prior to receiving their prescription.

What Does Amendment 2 Mean for Medical Marijuana In Florida?

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Amendment 2 means higher-strength strains of medical marijuana will be allowed in Florida.

Under Amendment 2, medical marijuana use will expand beyond the limited prescription of low-strength strains allowed under the 2014 law. The new legislation also expands the list of ailments that qualify for a medical marijuana prescription from cancer, epilepsy and chronic muscle spasms to include post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and potentially other chronic conditions.

It is still yet to be determined whether the new amendment will expand the rights of patients to choose how they would like to ingest their medication. Currently, patients are only allowed topical lotions with vaping being permitted only in the cases of terminally ill patients. This means that smoking, consuming edibles (brownies, gummies, lollipops etc.) and taking tinctures are still illegal with or without a legal prescription.

What Bills Concerning Medical Marijuana in Florida Are Being Debated?

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Follow SB 406 and HB 1397 to keep tabs on medical marijuana in Florida.

There are two major bills at play: Senate Bill 406, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, is viewed as more permissive and has drawn support from advocates in the medical marijuana community. House Bill 1397, sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, has been criticized for being overly restrictive and is heavily backed by the Drug Free America Foundation.

What Do These Bills Aim To Achieve?

SB 406 would eliminate the current requirement that states that patients are required to be under a specific doctor’s care for at least three months prior to receiving a prescription for medical marijuana in Florida. HB 1397 would keep such restrictions in place, something that the medical marijuana community claims will outprice many of the patients who could benefit from the prescription.

Doctors are already experiencing a significant influx of new patients eager to qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions. As of now, there are currently seven dispensaries licensed to sell medical marijuana in Florida. SB 406 would immediately expand the number of licenses issued to medical marijuana distributors in the state to allow for the rapid increase in demand. HB 1397 would first require that more 250,000 patients sign up for medical marijuana in Florida before expanding the pool by an additional five businesses. This pool would continue to increase when sign-ups reach 350,000; 400,000; and every 100,000 patients thereafter.

SB 406 would also establish a coalition for medical marijuana research through Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute and would require that an independent laboratory test all medical marijuana for quality and potency before it is made available to patients. Given the federal government’s previous troubles in producing medical-grade marijuana for patients, these last amendments have received a warm welcome by the medical marijuana community.

What Will Happen If Lawmakers Can’t Agree?

Amendment 2 states that the new legislation for medical marijuana in Florida must be adopted by the state by June 3, 2017, at the latest. If the Senate and House can’t agree on a workable bill by the end of the session May 5, then the health department will be required to issue the regulation on its own. This would make the new legislation much more vulnerable in terms of various legal challenges and would ostensibly leave the issue in the hands of the courts.

Stay tuned for further news on medical marijuana in Florida and what the new legislation will mean for patients’ right to access, conditions that will qualify for use of medical marijuana, different ways to dose with MMJ legally, and the different strains that will become available and how best to use them. In the meantime, if you’re curious about medical marijuana, its benefits and the rights of patients in other areas of the country, then check out the other articles on our extensive blog.

 

Why Traditional Medicine Is Finally Coming Around to Medical Marijuana

Attitudes toward marijuana within the United States have been dramatically changing throughout recent years. As each voting cycle passes, an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana: 28 states and Washington, D.C., permit the use of medical marijuana, and eight of those states also allowing recreational consumption.

In 2016, a Gallup survey found that 60 percent of American citizens support complete decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose and a larger percentage support marijuana exclusively for medicinal use.

Although the public at large now has favorable views on the drug, what about those within the fields of traditional medicine?

WebMD, a popular site used by health professionals, conducted a survey in 2014 asking 1,544 doctors across 48 states and 12 specialties if they support the legalization of medical marijuana. The survey found overwhelming support for legalization. Most doctors said the drug should be legal in their states or, at the very least, an option for suffering patients.

With this support for medical marijuana, why is there still a significant lack of scientific research being conducted? Unfortunately, marijuana is still outlawed by the federal government, designated a Schedule I substance with “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.” Due to the strict federal oversight of medical research, making progress is easier said than done.

Many credentialed doctors have come forward to express their issues with the government standing in the way of important medical research in relation to marijuana.

“Millions of patients are using this plant, and we need to understand it,” says Sue Sisley, a doctor and researcher at the University of Arizona. “It is negligent for states to go selling cards to marijuana patients without actively conducting rigorous medical marijuana research that’s necessary.”

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A Gallup survey found a majority of Americans support medical marijuana.

So why are experts in the field of traditional medicine finally coming around to medical marijuana?

Although research into the drug is far less extensive than it should be, a number of studies have shown findings that suggest marijuana holds the potential to treat a plethora of medical problems — and often more effectively than traditional medicine. The list of ailments that can be treated with the use of marijuana is wide-ranging. Below we examine some of the most promising of treatments.

Nausea and a Loss of Appetite

According to the Institute of Medicine, medical marijuana can greatly assist with nausea and a loss of appetite. Evidence supporting this is obtained through studying those going through treatment for cancer, such as chemotherapy. Common side effects of cancer treatment are rapid weight loss, along with a loss of appetite. A study out of St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, found that through the use of medical marijuana, patients’ nausea and appetites improved by an average of 38%.

Parkinson’s Disease and General Pain Relief

Parkinson’s disease and general pain relief are often cited as the most common reason why patients choose to consume medical marijuana. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that the psychoactive properties of marijuana could be particularly helpful in treating Parkinson’s. A different study published in Neuropsychopharmacology found that the pain experienced by patients with HIV dropped by 30 percent more than 50 percent of the time through the use of marijuana.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Medical marijuana is also used to support United States veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects about 8 million adults each year. Findings out of the NYU Langone Medical Center concluded that the chemical properties of marijuana are particularly poised for addressing PTSD. “We know very well that people with PTSD who use marijuana often experience more relief than they do from antidepressants,” says the study’s lead researcher, Alexander Neumeister.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression affect an estimated 12 percent of Americans. These conditions do not always stem from a traumatic incident but can occur based on the time of year. A research team from Brazil conducted a study surrounding seasonal affective disorder and found that marijuana treatment, when used in moderation, demonstrates a significant decrease in both anxiety and depression. These findings were supported by a separate study out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesee.

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The list of ailments that can be treated with the use of medical marijuana is wide-ranging.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Although scientific evidence remains limited to animal trials, various stories have circulated regarding those who suffer from epilepsy and seizures. Many of those affected claim that medical marijuana has helped their epilepsy. One woman went as far as to say, “Without medical marijuana, I wouldn’t be alive today.” Multiple families have even moved to Colorado to receive a special strain of marijuana to treat their children’s seizures.

Despite the evidence, marijuana remains a contentious issue in Washington, D.C. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a vocal about keeping marijuana illegal at a federal level. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” he says. Sessions also recently stated that marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin. Needless to say, with extreme opinions such as these at the peak of government, laws are unlikely to be changed for the better any time soon.

Traditional medicine has come around to medical marijuana, even if some politicians don’t agree. The Epilepsy Foundation calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to relax its restrictions on marijuana so it can be properly studied is just one example of the countless groups of people offering their support. Let’s hope that in the years to come, organizations, members of the public, and politicians alike can find a common ground.

Medical Marijuana in Florida: The Story So Far


On Nov. 8, 2016, Florida vote overwhelmingly in favor of the controversial Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Amendment 2, which allows patients diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions to lawfully obtain and use medical marijuana.

Some have argued that, even with this new amendment in place, the rules set by the Florida Department of Health that outline the new regulations for the issuance of identification cards, qualification and standards of caregivers, and rules for the registration of medical marijuana treatment centers are still too restrictive and would make it more difficult for new businesses to enter into the industry.

So what does all this mean, and what rights do patients have? How does one apply for a medical marijuana card in Florida? Can any doctor prescribe it? How long does it take, and where can you access it? The following article aims to answer all these questions and shed some light on what this new amendment will mean for patients, their caregivers and family members, and the public at large.

What Rights Have Changed?

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With the passing of Amendment 2, more people will be able to use medical marijuana in Florida.

The new amendment will allow the use of medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions that have been diagnosed by a licensed physician. Back in 2014, the Florida legislature approved the use of low-THC and non-smokable medical marijuana for patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic seizures and muscle spasms under the Right To Try Act. Last year, this was expanded to include patients with terminal conditions and allowed them to use stronger strains of MMJ. Under Amendment 2, patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other similar conditions will now be covered. So, a wider pool of patients will now be allowed access to medical marijuana as a form of treatment, and the MMJ itself will be available at a higher-THC concentration.

How Do You Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida?

Patients must be at least 18 years of age and be a Florida resident with a valid Florida I.D. to provide proof of residency. If you do not have a Florida I.D., then you can use an out of state I.D., passport or another valid form of photo identification in conjunction with a proof of residency document, such as a bank statement or utility bill. Patients must also obtain legitimate medical records from their primary physician that state they’ve been treated by for at least three months prior to application and that outline their diagnosis and medical history.

All patients will be required to register with the Department of Health — more details on this will follow once the Florida medical marijuana program has been fully implemented.

Finally, patients must also show that they have tried other forms of treatment, without success, and their ordering doctor must determine that the risks of this form of treatment are reasonable in respect to the benefits to the patient.

Can Any Doctor Prescribe It, and How Long Does It Take?

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Florida physicians must complete an eight-hour course and examination before they can prescribe medical marijuana.

To acquire access to medical marijuana in Florida, patients will first need to seek treatment from a licensed physician for least three months before they can validate their prescription. Additionally, the physician must have completed the required eight-hour course and examination. Of the 340 doctors that are already fully licensed, many have reported that they have received an influx of new patients to seeking medical marijuana as a form of treatment. There are currently 1,495 patients registered in the state of Florida, but that number is expected to increase steadily in the coming months. The Office of Compassionate Use, which is tasked with regulating medical marijuana in Florida, has predicted a significant increase in registered physicians within the first quarter of the year to cope with the rising demand.

Where Can You Get You Medical Marijuana?

There are currently seven licensed organizations within Florida, with five already authorized to distribute medical marijuana. At least one more additional license will be granted following a recent settlement made between the Department of Health and two southwest Florida nurseries. Once the patient registry reaches more than 250,000, an additional three licenses will be made available, with one being designated solely to black farmers. The dispensaries currently open are in Tallahassee, Clearwater and Tampa, but according to the Florida League of Cities, 55 cities statewide have put zoning moratoriums in place that either ban or heavily restrict dispensaries from opening. Most of the moratoriums that have been put in place are temporary while the cities and counties await news of the new regulations to come out from the passing of Amendment 2.

6 Politicians Who Are in Favor of Medical Cannabis

With three out of four Americans believing that the legalization of medical cannabis is inevitable, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of politicians share an identical line of thought. As more than half the states across the U.S. now offer medical marijuana as a form of treatment and eight states also permitting recreational use, it’s clear that attitudes towards the drug among those in power is shifting.

Great strides have certainly been accomplished in regards to the legalization of medical cannabis, but recent reports out of Washington, D.C., have indicated that the Trump administration may be planning to clamp down on the drug. Although any imminent action from the Department of Justice has been denied, this news has understandably troubled many citizens and politicians alike.

However, with the majority of Americans — including politicians — supporting the legalization of cannabis and the sheer number of states that currently permit cannabis use for medicinal reasons, it’s hard to imagine laws rolling back to outlaw said use. In fact, a bipartisan group of congressional leaders has recently announced the formation of a Congressional Cannabis Caucus, vowing to sponsor and pass federal laws that protect states’ right on issues related to medical cannabis.

Politicians often shy away from their stance on recreational cannabis, yet a substantial number have often voiced their support of its use for medicinal reasons, and there are some conservative surprises residing within the more typical left-leaning folk. Although the political spectrum is divided in a number of ways, the decriminalization of medical marijuana is an issue that frequently invites a common ground.

Let’s we take a look at some of the more vocal politicians who continually support medical cannabis use along with a few of those who may just surprise you.

Sen. Bernie Sanders

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is in favor of medical cannabis.

No shock here: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, is a huge supporter of medical cannabis. Sanders has, on more than one occasion, gone on record as saying that he believes tobacco is more harmful to human health than cannabis. He also co-sponsored the State’s Rights to Medical Marijuana Act in 2001, which would have made the use of the drug for medicinal purposes acceptable at a federal level. Sanders also supports recreational cannabis.

Sen. John McCain

Arizona Sen. John McCain is notoriously uncompromising when it comes to policy. Arizona decriminalized medicinal marijuana back in 2010, but since then, McCain surprised everyone by advocating the use of recreational cannabis, cited as saying: “Maybe we should legalize. We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people.” His daughter has also come out in support for full legalization, admitting she had smoked a joint (or two).

Rep. Allen Peake

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Georgia Rep. Allen Peake also supports medical cannabis.

Rep. Allen Peake is far and away one of the most surprising political figures to support medical cannabis. Not only does he hail from the deeply conservative state of Georgia, but also he’s a Republican and a family man. Although the use of cannabis for either medical or recreational reasons remains outlawed in Georgia, Peake was instrumental in the passing of House Bill 1, which legalized the possession of cannabis oil for people in the state who suffer from a number of sicknesses.

Sen. Maggie Hassan

Although many supporters of medical cannabis also support the legalization of recreational use, Sen. Maggie Hassan is not one of them. Nevertheless, in 2013, the New Hampshire senator signed a bill into law authorizing the implementation of medical cannabis. Upon New Hampshire’s decision to legalize, Hassan stated, “Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of […] medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the state of New Hampshire.”

Sen. Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker’s support of medical cannabis may not be overly surprising unless you take into account the negative attitudes toward the drug in much of New Jersey government. Even though medical cannabis has been legal in the state since 2010, Gov. Chris Christie has made it exceedingly challenging to acquire medical cannabis. Alternatively, Booker believes it to be important; he co-sponsored a federal amendment offering legal protection to patients who receive cannabis treatment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s state of Massachusetts decriminalized recreational use of the drug in 2016.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a firm supporter of medical cannabis. She has previously related the benefits of marijuana consumption to her own life experience: “I held my father’s hand while he died of cancer, and it’s really painful when you do something like that up close […] if there’s something a physician can prescribe that can help someone who’s suffering, I’m in favor of that.” Warren’s state also decriminalized recreational use of the drug in 2016.

As reports suggest, cannabis is a particularly contentious issue in Washington at the moment. Fortunately, there is no shortage of politicians who understand the benefits that come with medicinal use. Let’s hope those likeminded officials continue to represent the majority of the American people on the matter.

How Long Until Medical Marijuana Is Legalized Throughout the US?

Marijuana laws in the United States have made great strides in recent years. Since California first made medical marijuana legal back in 1996, 28 other states and Washington, D.C., have followed suit. Although more states have also legalized medicinal marijuana use in certain respects, limitations are still in place that often restrict psychoactive strains and require a physician to prescribe the drug versus simply recommend it.

Nevertheless, the outlook on marijuana throughout the U.S. is clearly shifting in its favor. Not only is medical marijuana perfectly legal in more than half of the states, but also recreational use is permitted in eight of those states with California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada all electing to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2016. So how long until the rest of the country follows in their footsteps?

This is a question that isn’t easy to answer. Several key factors play a huge role in predicting which states will be next in casting a positive judgment on the use of medical marijuana. Given the results of the 2016 general election, along with the subsequent picks for certain positions within government, a wrench (or two) have certainly been thrown into the mix.

For example, although the general public has voted to legalize the use of marijuana on a state-by-state basis, cannabis use is still illegal under federal law. Despite there being a total of 44 states in which some form of cannabis law exists, the federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act, which does not recognize a difference between medical and recreational use.

Medical marijuana laws have come a long way in recent years.

Under federal law, cannabis is treated no differently than other substances such as heroin and cocaine. Furthermore, Jeff Sessions, Alabama senator turned attorney general, is known to have a bitter disdain for any kind of marijuana use. Sessions once “joked” to an African-American colleague that he had no issue with the KKK, “until [he] found out they smoked pot,” and was quoted as saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

So, perhaps it wouldn’t be wise to hold your breath for a change in federal law. However, as the federal government does not have the ability to direct state and local police, and with only 80,000 out of 1.2 million law enforcement agents operating at a federal level, tackling pre-existing marijuana laws would be rather difficult. Although states looking to legalize medical marijuana may face an uphill battle, it’s unlikely that they’ll stop trying.

So, which states are the most likely to legalize the use of medical marijuana next? Several states passed legislation in 2016 in the herb’s favor, and there were 13 more states that put forward legislation, including those outlined below. Although roadblocks may have been met, it’s clear that there are some states that will be pushing for medical marijuana in the coming years.

In fact, lawmakers in numerous states have already introduced medical marijuana bills in the 2017 session. Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas all have a reasonably good chance to legalize medicinal marijuana within 2017 or soon thereafter.

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Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas all have a reasonably good chance to legalize medicinal marijuana within 2017 or soon thereafter.

Kentucky has already implemented a highly limited law regarding cannabidiol (CBD) strains of medical marijuana, allowing patients with intractable epilepsy and a written recommendation from their physician to obtain CBD oil. Gov. Matt Bevin has also acknowledged medical evidence associated with marijuana. Furthermore, a 2013 Kentucky health poll found that 78 percent of state residents support legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes.

Missouri put forward the New Approach Missouri Bill in the 2016 election. Although regrettably falling short by 23 signatures to make the ballot, this bill would have given voters the opportunity to decide upon the use of medical marijuana. On Jan 5, 2017, Republican Rep. Jim Neely introduced House Bill 437, which would allow terminally ill patients access to marijuana. Additional support is highlighted through a 2016 public poll, which found that 62 percent of Missouri voters support medical marijuana.

It may surprise you to find Texas making this discussion, too. The historically conservative state still currently holds some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. But in 2015, lawmakers legalized low-THC cannabis oil for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. State Sen. José Rodriguez has since proposed a constitutional amendment authorizing the possession and sale of marijuana for medicinal use. Polling also found 71 percent of Texans support expanding medical marijuana treatment.

Although not as likely as other states, the possibility for North Carolina’s medical marijuana laws to be reassessed is certainly viable. Several bills introduced by legislators have suggested new policies will come eventually, and a CBD-only bill was approved in 2014 for those suffering from intractable epilepsy. With a 74 percent approval rate, polling found an overwhelming majority of residents are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

As is apparent from numerous state laws regarding the use of medical marijuana, progress is happening. Although it is unlikely to be legalized at a federal level anytime soon, more states are becoming increasingly liberal in their outlook toward the drug. Further state legalizations or not, cannabis is assured to continue its immense growth across the U.S. going forward into 2017 and beyond.

Can I Consume My MMJ Abroad?

There is a slow-burning but steady and real awakening happening the world over. Forward-thinking countries on every continent are opening their eyes, changing their laws, and allowing people to enjoy the benefits of medical (and even recreational) marijuana on their territory. The Golden State is leading the charge in the US with their California medical marijuana card.

You need a California medical marijuana card to smoke MMJ.

Your California medical marijuana card only lets you smoke MMJ in…California!

It is certainly an uneven awakening. Some countries are very liberal, some still very draconian. Even within the United States, certain states allow marijuanause by any person with a cannabis card, while others still vehemently prohibit it.

As an American, it is illegal to bring your medical marijuana out of your home state. If you have a California medical marijuana card, you can only consume your weed inside California. Federal authorities can arrest you for drug trafficking if you bring your weed out of state, and states without medical 420 laws can arres
t you for possession. If traveling from one medical marijuana-friendly state to another, it is not advisable to take your cannabis through a non-friendly state en route – it’s too dangerous. Some MMJ-friendly states recognize a 420 card from other MMJ-friendly states, but you will still usually need to register in the state you are visiting in order to purchase your weed there. Even traveling within states can be problematic, wi
th certain counties having different rules about the amount of cannabis a patient can have on them. Luckily, this is not an issue in California, where every county must abide by the state’s rules and allow at least the state minimum for every person with a California weed card.

Do not attempt to travel internationally with marijuana. Airports and airplanes are federal jurisdictions and bringing marijuana with you on a plane can easily get you arrested.

Taking your own medical marijuana abroad is not advisable, because as soon as you leave your state your medical 420 license does not entitle you to consume marijuana anymore. You can not consume cannabis in a country in which it is illegal, because each jurisdiction’s laws apply while you are in that specific jurisdiction. So even if you have a California medical marijuana card that does not, repeat NOT, mean you can safely score herb on your relaxing weekend break in Saudi Arabia!!

But while you cannot take your medical marijuana abroad with you, that does not mean you can never enjoy the benefits of weed while overseas.

Sure, there are many countries in which a few hours of relief from your glaucoma can get you heavily fined, thrown in prison, or (if you’’re carrying a large enough quantity) executed. But there are also many countries where getting your medicine is easy, safe and hassle-free.

In a small but growing number of countries weed is fully legalized, although you cannot bring it in or out of these countries. Marijuana is legal and easily sourced (although usually restricted in the same ways that alcohol, gambling, etc. are) in Uruguay, Colombia, Holland, Canada, Czech Republic and certain states in Australia and India (where weed is illegal at a federal level, but legal at state level in many states, and in such states it is often government-run shops that sell ganja!).

Amsterdam Coffeeshop let customers smoke MMJ legally.

In Amsterdam there are several ‘coffeshops’ that allow anyone over 18 to smoke marijuana legally.

In Spain, weed is not technically legal but exists in a grey area and, if consumed in designated ‘’Cannabis Clubs’’, is not punished or prosecuted.

In a whole host of countries cannabis is illegal but has been decriminalized, so while it is technically illegal to purchase and consume weed, somewhat of a blind eye is turned to it if it is done subtly, and if you are ‘caught’ your punishment will be minor or more likely non-existent.

In some countries weed is illegal in name only. In Cambodia it is easy and completely safe to openly purchase and use weed in public with no threat of criminal prosecution or police interference even though it is technically illegal.

Sadly, in many countries in the world it is a truly bad idea to consume cannabis, no matter how bad your glaucoma gets. Indonesia, Singapore (where citizens and permanent residents can be thrown in jail based on urine tests that show they consumed cannabis while on vacation in a country in which it is legal!), Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, have super-tight, draconian anti-cannabis laws, and anyone caught flouting the law is liable to be severely punished.

So, the world, and even America, is a patchwork of friendly and unfriendly jurisdictions. Most of the world is still shaking their fists at the sky, foaming at the mouth, and committing violence against individuals who harmlessly ingest a natural plant that makes their lives better. But every now again we find an oasis of good sense, in which people are free to ease their pain, live life on their own terms and, hell, crazy as it sounds, have some harmless fun!

So my advice to you is to find these glorious kingdoms where the streets are paved with, ahem, green, avail yourself of the laws – e.g., in Cali, you’ll need a California medical marijuana card if you want to consume MMJ – and bestow upon these marvelous places your hard-earned vacation dollars!