Ordering Physician

The Compassionate Medical cannabis Act of 2014 states “Before ordering low-THC cannabis for use by a patient in this state, the appropriate board shall require the ordering physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 to successfully complete an 8-hour course and subsequent examination offered by the Florida Medical Association Florida or the Osteopathic Medical Association that encompasses the clinical indications for the appropriate use of low-THC cannabis, the appropriate delivery mechanisms, the contraindications for such use, as well as the relevant state and federal laws governing the ordering, dispensing, and possessing of this substance. The first course and examination shall be presented by October 1, 2014, and shall be administered at least annually thereafter. Successful completion of the course may be used by a physician to satisfy 8 hours of the continuing medical education requirements required by his or her respective board for licensure renewal. This course may be offered in a distance learning format.

Successful completion of the course and examination is required for every physician who orders low-THC cannabis each time such physician renews his or her license.

a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 who has examined and is treating a patient suffering from cancer or a physical medical condition that chronically produces symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms may order for the patient’s medical use low-THC cannabis to treat such disease, disorder, or condition or to alleviate symptoms of such disease, disorder, or condition, if no other satisfactory alternative treatment options exist for that patient and all of the following conditions apply:

(a) The patient is a permanent resident of this state.

(b) The physician determines that the risks of ordering are low-THC cannabis reasonable in light of the potential benefit for that patient. If a patient is younger than 18 years of age, a second physician must concur with this determination, and such determination must be documented in the patient’s medical record.

(c) The physician registers as the orderer of low-THC cannabis for the named patient on the compassionate use registry maintained by the department and updates the registry to reflect the contents of the order. The physician shall deactivate the patient’s registration when treatment is discontinued.

(d) The physician maintains a patient treatment plan that includes the dose, route of administration, planned duration, and monitoring of the patient’s symptoms and other indicators of tolerance or reaction to the low-THC cannabis.

(e) The physician submits the patient treatment plan quarterly to the University of Florida College of Pharmacy for research on the safety and efficacy of low-THC cannabis on patients.

(f) The physician obtains the voluntary informed consent of the patient or the patient’s legal guardian to treatment with low-THC cannabis after sufficiently explaining the current state of knowledge in the medical community of the effectiveness of treatment of the patient’s condition with low-THC cannabis, the medically acceptable alternatives, and the potential risks and side effects.