Can You Get a Medical Card for Glaucoma in Florida

Can You Get a Medical Card for Glaucoma in Florida in 2024?

Can You Get a Medical Card for Glaucoma in Florida


If you’re thinking of joining the medical marijuana crowd, you might be wondering: Can you get a medical card for glaucoma in Florida? In this article, we’ll cover the basics for qualifying for a medical marijuana card in Florida, including how the program can benefit glaucoma patients.

The path to legalizing medical marijuana in Florida wasn’t an easy one.

After several attempts, voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 in 2016, opening the doors for medicinal marijuana in the state of Florida. For two years after, smoking medical marijuana was still banned. It wasn’t until 2020 that the Florida Department of Health updated its regulations to allow edible products.

Now, more than 850,000 people in Florida have medical marijuana cards for various conditions. In fact, Florida has one of the highest rates of medical marijuana patients — almost 4% of the state population has a medical card.


Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Florida

To qualify for a medical marijuana card in Florida, you must be a permanent or seasonal Florida resident. You must also be diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions for Florida’s program, which include:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Aside from these medical conditions, Florida allows physicians to use discretion when recommending patients for medical marijuana. They may also approve your application for the following:

  • Medical conditions of the same kind or comparable to the others listed
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the physician issuing the certification
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition

Patients must visit and be treated by a qualified physician in Florida. After an application has been approved, you must keep your Florida Medical Marijuana certification active by visiting a qualified physician every seven months, or 210 days, for an evaluation.

In 2023, a bill passed allowing Florida medical marijuana cardholders to renew their certifications through telehealth services. However, new patients must visit a physician in person for initial certification.


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So Can You Get a Medical Card for Glaucoma in Florida?

Many Florida residents are turning to medical marijuana for relief from glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to loss of vision or even blindness without preventative care.

Primary treatment for glaucoma includes eye drops, laser treatment, and even surgery. However, medical marijuana can help patients alleviate the symptoms, particularly for advanced cases of glaucoma.

The good news for glaucoma patients is that the condition is listed as one of Florida’s qualifying conditions to get a medical card. However, to get approved for a medical marijuana card, you’ll still need a diagnosis and recommendation from your ophthalmologist or other physician.


The Effects of Cannabis on Glaucoma

Research going as far back as 1971 shows that marijuana can lower intraocular eye pressure by 25 to 30% for three to four hours. Since then, more studies have backed up those findings. One study found that smoking marijuana caused intraocular eye pressure to fall by as much as 65%.

While studies show that the effects on intraocular eye pressure can rival the effects of most anti-glaucoma meds, it does come with its limitations. Most studies show that the effects only last a few hours. As glaucoma requires 24-hour maintenance, a patient would have to consume moderate amounts of cannabis repeatedly throughout the day, which can be complicated, if not impossible, for patients to achieve. For this reason, you should never rely on cannabis alone to treat glaucoma. Always use it alongside other glaucoma medications as a complementary and short-term treatment.

In addition to temporary relief from intraocular eye pressure, medical marijuana can relieve other symptoms of glaucoma. Studies show that marijuana can have therapeutic benefits including pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, and relief from nausea and vomiting — all symptoms that can accompany acute glaucoma attacks.


Medical weed for Glaucoma


Schedule an Appointment with a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Florida Today!

Medicinal marijuana may not be a complete substitute for traditional glaucoma medications, but the research shows that it can be a powerful tool for patients seeking relief from symptoms. And if you live in Florida, glaucoma is on the list of approved conditions, which would qualify you for a FL medical card.

Ready to start the process of getting your medical marijuana card in Florida? At Green Health Docs, we make it easy for people to seek out safe and natural alternative remedies for their symptoms. Schedule an appointment with one of our Florida-based doctors today to see if you’re eligible.


Dr. Anand DugarThis article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.