Qualifying patients in search of a prescription for medical marijuana may want to start a doctor-patient relationship sooner rather than later.
Three months is the minimum time a physician must have treated a patient in order to prescribe medical marijuana and it could be longer than 90 days before the Florida Department of Health releases rules on regulating dispensaries.
One Florida Keys physician said he’s been getting numerous phone calls and visits from patients.
State constitutional Amendment 2, which allows medical marijuana as a treatment for patients with specific diseases, passed on Nov. 8 with approval from 71 percent of Florida voters, far more than the 60 percent needed. It becomes effective on Jan. 3.
Key West physician John Norris III recently completed an eight-hour course that will qualify him to prescribe marijuana with low tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. He is one of four Keys doctors who have completed the course.
According to the Department of Health website, Dr. Ian Rae and Dr. Bobbi Leben, both of Key Largo, have completed the course along with Dr. Sandra Schwemmer of Tavernier.