Would-be medical marijuana users in Florida say they’re cat-and-mouse as continued as three months to get state-issued cards they charge to get the drug.
The accompaniment bureau that gives out the cards is hiring added workers to cut bottomward on delay times.
Florida’s Appointment of Medical Marijuana Use says it should booty about 30 canicule afterwards patients administer for a medical marijuana agenda for them to accept one.
And for some, that’s true. But some patients call cat-and-mouse two or alike three times best to get the cards.
“I mailed my $75 acquittal on July 19, accustomed an email advertence that my agenda was on the way on Sept. 18, and I still accept not accustomed the card,” said Adam McWilliams, of Jacksonville, who takes medical marijuana for all-overs and pain.
He alleged his affairs with the accompaniment medical marijuana appointment “the best arresting acquaintance of my life.”
Anxiety is not accurately covered by the medical marijuana law, and affliction charge be the aftereffect of one of the listed altitude that qualifies.
But the law allows for ailments of a “similar affectionate or class” as the condoning diseases that are listed in the built-in alteration voters accustomed in November 2016.
One of those ailments is post-traumatic accent disorder, and so some doctors are autograph recommendations for medical marijuana for bodies with added all-overs disorders.
But alike some bodies with diseases that anon authorize for medical marijuana say they accept had a adamantine time.
Lauren Drake, of Milton, said she has been alive with her 72-year-old ancestor to get his medical marijuana card.
He has date 4 prostate blight that has advance to his basic and lymph nodes, she said.
He activated Aug. 15 and accustomed an email acknowledgment that his agenda was on the way Oct. 5, she said. But Drake said it still has not arrived.
“I anticipation they had their actuality together,” she said.
While advancement there is “about a 30-day delay cycle” for medical marijuana cards, Appointment of Medical Marijuana Use Executive Director Christian Bax accustomed that alike that delay time bald to be scaled back.
“We are accomplishing aggregate we can appropriate now to crank these cards out because we apperceive there are patients in actual difficult medical situations, and we do not appetite to be the bottleneck,” Bax said in an actualization afore a Florida Senate board Wednesday.
The appointment is currently in negotiations to outsource assembly of the cards to a clandestine company, Bax said.
That, additional implementing cyberbanking acquittal of the $75 agenda fee and cyberbanking alteration of the accommodating photo acclimated on the ID, will all acceleration up the process.
New hires additionally will advice things along. This year’s accompaniment account accustomed 28 new hires for the Appointment of Medical Marijuana Use, which had assassin 11 of them as of Wednesday, according to Bax. Previous to the new accompaniment budget, there were aloof three advisers processing applications for the tens of bags of medical marijuana patients in the state.
Not all of the delay times are months long, according to the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic.
The Venice-based business, which calls itself the better cannabis berth in Florida, conducted a analysis of 170 patients in October. Of those surveyed:
— 57 appear cat-and-mouse for a agenda four to six weeks.
— 54 appear cat-and-mouse six to eight weeks.
— 12 said they got their agenda in beneath a month.
— The actual 47 did not acknowledgment the question.
“It’s a bald minimum of 30 days. Best of them are cat-and-mouse up against 40 or 50 days,” said Ivan Field, CEO of Marijuana Doctor, a alternation of clinics with bristles locations in South Florida.
Combined, the Marijuana Doctor clinics accept about 1,000 patients statewide.
“When you get ailing and you go to a doctor and they address up a decree for you, you go appropriate to the biologic abundance and get your medicine,” Field said. “Here, it’s aloof unacceptable. We had a accommodating die, a blight patient, cat-and-mouse for their medicine.”
And Field isn’t abandoned in advertisement deaths amid those cat-and-mouse for medical marijuana.
Kelly Milligan, a adviser to a aggregation that produces noneuphoric marijuana oil, had a applicant appear to her afterwards actuality on the delay account for over two months. The woman had date 4 colon cancer.
“It was activity into the third ages back they begin me,” Milligan said. “I anticipate the agenda assuredly came afterwards she anesthetized away.”
Hurricane Irma may accept contributed to best delay times, Milligan said. “It’s absolutely demography 60 days, sometimes 90,” Milligan said.
Those who alive with abiding altitude who could be helped by marijuana say they are balked they cannot get admission to marijuana admitting a built-in agreement that 71 percent of Florida voters accustomed in 2016.
“It is uncalled for to pay $75 to be abandoned by the accompaniment agency,” said Jamie Hullenbaugh, of Pensacola, who said she beatific in an appliance for a agenda Aug. 22 and still has not accustomed one.
“Then there is the wait, which wouldn’t appear for addition accepting their affection medication, but seizures can wait.”
dsweeney@SunSentinel.com, 954-356-4605 or Twitter @Daniel_Sweeney
To get medical marijuana in Florida, patients charge aboriginal accept a condoning ailment. Those accommodate cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic accent disorder, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, assorted sclerosis, or a debilitating medical action agnate to the accurately called ailments.
A doctor has to accept a accommodating for medical marijuana. Only doctors who accept completed a appropriate advance can do so. A account of doctors can be begin at SunSentinel.com/doctorlist.
Once approved, the doctor enters the accommodating in the state’s medical marijuana registry, and the accommodating can administer for a agenda at the Appointment of Medical Marijuana Use’s website.
After accepting a card, patients can aces up medical marijuana at a dispensary, or it can be delivered to doctors’ offices or alike to homes.
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