Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Follow Up to Medical Cannabis Evaluation

KNOX Medical local Dispensaries 
So today (July 12, 2017), I had my second follow-up appointment to see the medical cannabis doctor here in Orlando. Since my last visit back in April, I was told some laws have now changed pertaining to the 3-month grace period for new patients; which is now a 45 day turn around. Legislation and regulations are constantly being adapted as Florida laws are keeping up with the fast pace of demand for cannabis.

Today, I got a clear focus of the plan regarding my treatment, and the my medical scripts were officially sent electronically to the state at the office of Compassionate Use in Tallahassee, FL. Two days ago, I got an email from the Office of Compassionate Use, a department of Florida Health, that my online profile and card were setup. A link was emailed that allowed me to login to complete my online profile and medical card for cannabis. On that profile is my unique patient ID number as well. There is a one-time fee of $75 for registering with the state of Florida, and a check or money order "must be" mailed, with a processing time of 10-14 days from the time they receive the payment.

My Cannabis Recommendation Sheet from Green Health
Patients are required to submit a photo ID. A "full‐face, passport‐type, color photograph of the patient taken within the 90 days immediately preceding registration, and 2x2 inches in size. The photograph must be color, clear, with a full front view of your face, with a plain white background. The photograph must be taken in normal street attire, without a hat, head covering, or glasses." A scanned copy of your Florida issued driver's license validating your proof of residency, your mailed processing fee of $75, and a digital signature. So now, the only thing I'm waiting for is the approval of my card by the state, and then I can contact any of the 7 seven state-wide medical cannabis vendors to order my products.

My recommended prescription includes a 10mg low THC tablet that I can take daily, or multiple times daily as needed for pain. Accompanying the tablet is an oil based treatment that is either in the form of a mouth spray or vape. The mouth spray has a slower peak from 30-60 minutes before you feel it's medicinal properties, and lasts 3-4 hours depending on the individual. The other oil form is a E-Cig vape liquid, which has a 90 second medicinal release and lasts 1-2 hours.

Since my last blog 3 months ago on cost for this process, here is an updated list of the overhead expenses going forward.

  1. Doctor Visit #1 (getting established and approved) - $125
  2. Doctor Visit #2 (45 day waiting period) - $125
  3. 45 Day post treatment check (via telephone only, if adjustments are needed) $75
  4. Doctor Visit #3 (30 weeks from second visit) - $150
  5. Compassionate Use Florida Department of Health Processing Fee - $75 (check/money order)
  6. Medication Dispense - $100-150 (varies on dosing and dispensary)
It seems like a lot out of pocket, but being that I'm on disability, and having already paid in full for my first and second visits, plus my processing fee, I'm in the home stretch. It can be done if you manage your money wisely. These fees may look daunting, but stretched out over time eases that burden. Pace yourself, and do one fee at a time. The FDH processing fee has no time limit on, so pay what you can, and move on the next. Eventually, you'll be caught up and ready to pay for your first dispense. 

So now, as I'm nearing the home stretch, I'm really excited to get started and document my progress here on my blog and social media. As far as I know, I'm the first hemophiliac in the state of Florida to come forward with Medical Cannabis treatment for chronic pain and HIV disease. Dr. Schultz told me that I was his first patient with hemophilia, so he's enthusiastic to follow and document my progress as well. As soon as Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee clears my card and processes my payment, I'll finally have the legal pleasure of calling a Cannabis Dispensary and try these products for myself.

Lastly, I've been nominated for the WEGO Helath Award, for "Best in Show : Instagram." Take a moment, click THIS LINK, and cast your endorsement for me. I could win a prize pack. This truly means a lot to me!