Medical marijuana insurance in Florida? Lawmakers, agriculture commissioner pushing for it

April 15th, 2019 by admin Leave a reply »

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A look at how to get a medical marijuana card in Florida. Additional information can be found at floridahealth.gov.

Gather up all the people legally allowed to smoke marijuana in Florida and they would be the state’s seventh largest city, with more people than Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale or Cape Coral.

But the 212,000 people on Florida’s medical marijuana patient registry cannot get health insurance to cover the cost of their medicine. 

“Our constitution recognizes that marijuana is medicine, and if it is in our constitution then companies that provide health insurance to Florida patients should be covering it,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told the Democrat.

Florida lawmakers first authorized the use of low-THC marijuana in 2014. Upset with the limitations the Legislature imposed on the drug, voters two years later overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized the plant to treat a wide range of illnesses from epilepsy to anxiety and chronic pain.

But while Florida as a government may recognize marijuana as a medicine, the state as an employer does not.

The health insurance plan offered to 162,000 state employees provides no cannabis coverage. A Department of Management Services spokesman said the state has no marijuana policy for coverage because none of the state’s medical dispensaries are part of the group insurance network.

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