Florida first legalized medical cannabis in 2014 when the Legislature passed the Compassionate Use Act allowing patients suffering from cancer and epilepsy to access low-THC cannabis.
This program grew in 2016 under the Right to Try Act which permitted full-strength cannabis to patients with a terminal illness.
Amendment 2 was passed with a 71.3 percent majority (in every county!) by Florida voters on November 8, 2016, allowing for an expanded florida medicinal cannabis card program to begin on January 3, 2017.
The program operated in a legal limbo until Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 8A into law in June, abolishing the feared “90-day wait” and providing operating standards to meet Amendment 2’s obligations.
Amendment 2 and Senate Bill 8A enlarged the list of qualified medical illnesses, including a category for “all other debilitating…,” which allows doctors to certify people with ailments that aren’t explicitly included.
QUALIFYING CONDITIONS PER AMENDMENT 2
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
WHAT ARE MEDICAL CONDITIONS OF THE SAME KIND OR CLASS?
This category allows doctors to certify patients who have debilitating symptoms or medical conditions that are similar in nature to the medical conditions that are specifically mentioned in the law.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A CONDITION TO BE ‘DEBILITATING’?
A physical or mental health condition must interfere with or limit the patient’s daily activities in order to be considered debilitating. So, how does this appear?
Is the patient unable to work or fulfill other obligations as a result of their symptoms?
Is their ability to maintain relationships, get around/drive/walk, perform manual tasks, concentrate, think, or communicate hampered by their condition?
Do the symptoms of the patient necessitate the use of medications or other treatments? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your condition is probably debilitating.