Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

As of January 3rd, 2017, legislation now allows patients who suffer chronic pain from one of eleven qualifying conditions to receive either low-THC or full strength medical marijuana. Senate Bill 8A defines the following medical conditions as qualifying a patient to receive medical marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • A terminal illness
  • Chronic non-malignant pain
  • Any other ailment/condition of the same severity/symptoms, when determined by a physician's opinion that the benefits of medical marijuana use would surpass any potential health risks.
1How Do I Receive a Prescription for Medical Marijuana
You must meet the following criteria to be considered as a suitable patient for medical marijuana:

1. Schedule a face-to-face consultation with a qualified physician, one who has undergone the training required to order cannabis for patients. Physicians can only order medical marijuana for a patient that they have treated during the immediate preceding three months.

2. Physicians have to determine that the risks of ordering medical marijuana are reasonable in relation to the potential benefits for that patient. If the patient is under 18 years of age, a second physician must agree with this determination, and this must be documented in the patient's medical record.

3. The physician must obtain voluntary, informed and written consent from the patient, or their legal guardian, before commencing treatment with medical marijuana. This will only take place after sufficiently explaining the current level of medical knowledge as to the effectiveness of treating the patient’s condition with medical marijuana, the medically acceptable alternatives, and all potential risks and side effects.

4. An ordering physician must enter an order of medical marijuana for the named patient into the Compassionate Use Registry. He or she must update the registry to reflect the contents of that order. The physician must also deactivate the patient's registration if and when treatment with medical marijuana is discontinued.

5. A patient treatment plan must be maintained by the ordering physician, which includes the dosage, method of administration, the planned duration, and the monitoring of the patient's symptoms and any other indicators of reactions or intolerance to the treatment. The physician must submit the patient treatment plan on a quarterly basis to the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy, for research on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana on patients.

6. A patient may fill their order at a qualified dispensing organization. The dispensing organization will verify the identity of the patient or their legal representative, as well as the existence of an order in the Compassionate Use Registry. A dispensing organization cannot dispense more than a 45-day supply of low-THC cannabis at any one time.
2Side Effects of Medical Marijuana to Consider
Some of the side effects of medical marijuana, usually very temporary, can include:
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Euphoria (not a typical side effect)
  • More serious side effects can potentially include severe anxiety and psychosis, although neither are typical side effects of medical marijuana usage.
3What is the difference between low-THC cannabis and medical cannabis?
Low-THC cannabis comes from a plant of the genus Cannabis, the dried flowers of which contain 0.8% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol and more than 10% of cannabidiol, weight for weight. Low-THC cannabis has a trace amount of the psychoactive compound THC, so usually does not result in the "high" commonly associated with medical cannabis.

Medical cannabis refers to all parts of any plant within the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, including seeds, and any resin extracted from any part of the plant. Medical cannabis contains significant levels of cannabinoid THC, which can result in the euphoric "high" sensation. This also means its use should be strictly monitored and controlled, and for it only to be used for medicinal purposes.

Patients who are eligible for an order of medical marijuana must have an established relationship with a physician who has completed all of the necessary state certification and tests needed to recommend an order of medical marijuana. The patient is registered with the state, and upon approval, the patient may receive an order from a state-certified dispensary.

Dr. Dana Dameron has completed all of the necessary certifications, and is eligible to recommend medical marijuana orders to patients in Port St Lucie, Florida.

To learn more about treatment with Medical Marijuana
please call our office at 772.800.3037.

Together we can achieve Healthy Results.