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Florida’s New Registry Change Includes Smokable Flower

"Today, we’re writing to update patients and physicians on changes to Florida’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) system."

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis legalized smokable cannabis for medical use in March, 2019. This was great news because it meant more medical marijuana treatment options would be available to patients and physicians. We covered the Florida law and steps that need to be made to obtain flower in our previous article, Florida’s New Smokable Cannabis Law: Facts and Next Steps.

Today, we’re writing to update patients and physicians on changes to Florida’s Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) system. When Florida’s smokable flower law went into effect, there was not enough time to update the state Registry system. In the meantime, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) allowed physicians to enter recommendations for smokable cannabis in the Registry so that patients could obtain flower before the necessary system updates were finalized. Last Friday, the new Registry system update was released to include smokable flower as a newly established route of administration for medical patients.

The update requires recommending physicians to create new certifications in the Registry’s new format for patients who are designated to use smokable flower. According to the DOH, the requirement goes into effect on July 12th. Physicians have until then create new certifications for patients who are being treated with smokable cannabis.

If you’re a recommending physician in Florida, we have all the steps and necessary information to make this process as clear and smooth as possible. If you’re a medical cannabis patient, please take the time to read and understand these steps so that you and your physician can approach the process together with confidence.

What’s happening and when?

On June 28, 2019, the OMMU released an update for the MMUR which includes, among other changes, smoking as a route of administration.

Until July 12th, recommending physicians can cancel their patients existing smokable flower orders and re-enter them in a new format. After July 12th, physicians can no longer cancel and re-enter orders. They must re-add any patient with a smokable flower recommendation to the Registry system.

During this grace period, the DOH is allowing physicians to cancel and create new certifications for patients online. The start date of the patients’ certifications can be manually changed to reflect the current 30-week evaluation period. For example, if a patient is due for an in-person re-certification for medical marijuana on August 2nd, the recommending physician will enter the start date for smokable flower as January 4th to reflect the current 30-week evaluation period.

Until July 12th, Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs) may continue to dispense orders for smokable flower in the same way they have been. After July 12th, MMTCs will only be able to dispense smokable flower to qualifying patients in the registry’s new updated format.

What do physicians need to do?

  • Note the start/end dates of a patient’s current 30-week evaluation period
  • Cancel the patient’s certification
  • Re-enter the patient’s certification to include smoking
  • Manually change the start date of the patient’s 30-week evaluation period to reflect their current evaluation period

What can you do as a patient?

Patients should log into their MMUR registry profiles online to check their order status after the July 12th deadline. If you see that you do not have an active order for smokable flower in the Registry system after reviewing your order status, please call your recommending physician’s office. Any existing in-person appointment scheduled for your re-certification will remain unchanged. Please be patient and remember that your recommending physician is doing his or her best to accommodate all patients at this time.

Recap:

Before July 12th, recommending physicians can cancel existing certifications for smokable cannabis and re-enter those certifications to include smoking as a route of administration.

Starting July 12th, patients who are recommended smokable flower must have smoking as a route of administration added in the Registry by their recommending physicians in order to purchase smokable treatment options from dispensing MMTCs.

Important Reminders:

  • Physicians may not recommend more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a form for smoking per 35-day period.
  • Florida law states that qualified ordering physicians must evaluate existing patients every 30 weeks to remain compliant with the requirements of section 381.986, Florida Statutes.
  • Qualified physicians must submit documentation supporting the determination of smoking as an appropriate route of administration to the Board of Medicine or Board of Osteopathic Medicine using form DH-MQA-5035
  • An updated MMUR user guide can be found here
  • Additional MMUR resources are available online at: knowthefactsmmj.com/registry

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