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8 Investigates: Patients wait months for state medical marijuana ID cards

  • TAMPA (WFLA) – More than 50,000 patients in Florida have applied for medical marijuana use ID cards.
  • For most of 2017, the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) handed them out at a snail’s pace.
  • According to the Florida Department of Health, 50,284 patients are in the Medical Marijuana Patient Registry.
  • “If Rick Scott wants to fire him (Christian Bax) I’ll go up there for free and I’ll bring a whole team of people in and it won’t be eight people, it’ll be 30 people and I’ll have the cards all handed out within 14 days,” vowed Morgan.
  • According to John Morgan, the ID card delay pushes patients to opioids, which lines the pockets of pharmaceutical companies, which he points out, contribute heavily to political campaigns.

Process is supposed to take no longer than 30 days.

TAMPA (WFLA) – More than 50,000 patients in Florida have applied for medical marijuana use ID cards.

For most of 2017, the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) handed them out at a snail’s pace.

Christian Bax, director of the OMMU, told a recent legislative hearing that once his office has received an application, it takes 30 days to process.

That’s not what Janice Michalski of Pinellas County found. Janice has lived with significant pain for 20 years. She waited two months for the state to process her ID card.

Other patients we’ve spoken to say their waits are two to three months, if not longer.

“The patients are the ones that are suffering,” said St. Petersburg physician Dr. Lora Brown.

The bottleneck is at OMMU, the office charged with writing and implementing rules for medical marijuana.

“We have patients with cancer, we have patients with you know long-time serious chronic diseases that are desperate to start this new therapy and it’s unfortunate that they’re having to wait,” added Dr. Brown.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 50,284 patients are in the Medical Marijuana Patient Registry. The OMMU has issued 29,778 ID cards.

“In private business if you had a backlog like this, you’d work at night, you would open up on Saturday, you’d open up on Sunday, you’d get it done,” said attorney John Morgan, who…

8 Investigates: Patients wait months for state medical marijuana ID cards

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