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Florida Patients Left to Deal With Fallout From New Medical Marijuana Supply Limits

Florida’s medical marijuana patients face new rules for storing edibles, smokables, and tinctures due to a newly published emergency rule from the Department of Health. Those with medical prescriptions will now experience supply limits and strength rules for what they can keep on their person and place of living.

Floridians with medical marijuana cards will have different supply limits based on the type of use they rely on. For users with an edible prescription, the number of edibles allowed will be limited to a 70-day supply. For users who need a smokable form of marijuana, the new limit is set to a 35-day supply.

The new emergency rule states, “marijuana in a form for smoking shall only be dispensed by a Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics (MMTC) as usable whole flower, ground usable whole flower, or pre-rolled green cigarettes. The new emergency rule states that MMTC may not dispense usable whole flower, ground usable whole flower, or pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes under any other route of administration (e.g., vaporization).”

The new emergency rule limits daily dosages and supply limits for THC amounts.

 

Route of Administration Daily Dose Amount 70-Day Supply Limit
Edibles 60 mg THC 4,200 mg THC
Inhalation (e.g., vaporization) 350 mg THC 24,500 mg THC
Oral (e.g., capsules, tinctures) 200 mg THC 14,000 mg THC
Sublingual (e.g., sublingual tinctures) 190 mg THC 13,300 mg THC
Suppository 195 mg THC 13,650 mg THC
Topical (e.g., creams) 150 mg THC 10,500 mg THC
Marijuana in a form for smoking 2.025 grams N/A

 

In addition to the above limits, Florida will now also limit the dosage strength per restricted supply. The emergency rule further states that “an aggregate 70-day supply limit of marijuana, other than marijuana, in smoking form, shall not exceed 24,500 mg of THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

The new limits will dictate how much marijuana can be prescribed by a qualified physician and allows doctors to request an exception for the new limits, the 35-day supply limit for smokable marijuana, and the 4-ounce possession limit of marijuana to smoke.

The ounce possession limit “will only be approved in conjunction with an approved exception to the 35-day supply limit for marijuana in a form for smoking,” the emergency rule states. Ultimately, only patients with an approved 35-day supply limit exception may apply for the ounce possession limit exception. Even then, it is not guaranteed that the exception will be granted.

The emergency rule will require regulators to measure day supply by the “date of each dispensation” rather than the entire dispensation history. These regulatory changes took effect on the 26th of August, 2022.

 

Doctors Patients React Emergency Rule Limiting Medical Marijuana Doses

 

How Doctors And Patients React To The Emergency Rule Limiting Medical Marijuana Doses

Dr. Deepa Verma, who runs her practice Synergistiq Wellness, said medical marijuana is one of the primary services offered by her practice. Dr. Verma said she first noticed a change after logging into the state’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry.

Dr. Verma stated that “There was no warning. We got an email from the department of health, basically telling us that the emergency rule was implemented. There wasn’t anything asking us what we thought about it. So, as a physician, it is difficult to deal with the changes,because we’re frontline, and doctors and physicians are the ones who make those decisions about what to put people on and the dosages.”

“I went to load some orders for a patient yesterday, and a restriction box popped up,” Dr. Verma continued.

The state has restricted medical marijuana usage over 70 days to under 24,500 mg THC. Limits vary from product to product.

A patient of Dr. Verma said that the type of medical marijuana he uses to treat anxiety is now limited to 13,300 mg of THC over 70-days. Salvatore, Dr. Verma’s patient, was among the patients who also received a DOH email about the new emergency rule.

He stated, “I was looking at this chart, and I looked at the information on the script. I wouldn’t know how to determine what a 70-day range is.”

Dr. Verma mentioned that she’s concerned that many patients will find the change confusing. Among those she said may be particularly impacted are people who buy large amounts of medical marijuana products during sales to save money.

She further noted that it was not uncommon for her to prescribe doses higher than the new limits for patients with cancer or multiple sclerosis.

“These people can barely function throughout the day because their pain is so restrictive. To get a quality of life is what we’re offering patients,” Dr. Verma stated.

“The new emergency rule creates some restrictions on us because now we have to do this extra step, and if it gets denied, then where is the patient left? What are we to do?” concluded Dr. Verma.

Dr. Verma encourages impacted patients to talk with their doctors about how to move forward.

Florida’s medical marijuana

 


 

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