Frequently Asked Questions
1. What conditions qualify?
-See our Contact Us page for a list of conditions that could potentially qualify.
2. Why do you need medical records to confirm my diagnosis?
-The state program is set up for medicinal use, not yet for recreational use. I do not diagnose patients with conditions (as that could be interpreted as a conflict of interest) so medical records from other providers are needed for confirmation.
3. What medical records are needed?
-Any medical records that state your diagnosis. This could be a letter from your doctor/provider, an office visit note, a problem list, a cancer pathology report, etc., as long as your diagnosis is listed.
4. What are your fees?
-Your certification visits will be in person with me and are $250 every 6 months ($150 for cancer patients) as you must be re-certified as a qualified patient each time. You will have 6 months of access to the dispensary included with each visit so there are no extra fees to put in your cannabis orders for dispensary access.
5. Why do you give a discount to cancer patients?
-As on Oncologist, I have witnessed first-hand the physical and financial devastation that cancer and cancer treatments cause for patients.
6. Why do I have to pay a booking fee to schedule my appointment?
-I do not double book patients or have a walk-in clinic, so there are no patients waiting to take your slot if you do not show for your appointment. You have an appointment slot confirmed for you and you only as we respect your time and your schedule. I do my best to stay on time. (The booking fee is credited to the certification visit fee due when you show for your appointment.)
7. Can I do a phone visit instead?
-Visits to be certified must be done in person by the QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN only. No other providers can certify. The following quote is from the Office of Medical Marijuana use. “The law requires that qualified physicians may only issue a certification if they conduct a physical examination while physically present in the same room as the patient and a full assessment of the medical history. A certification may not be issued through telemedicine.” Home visits are available for those who cannot or prefer not to come to the office to be seen in person.
8. Why must I have follow-up visits?
-The state law requires patients to have continual re-certification.
9. How long will I have access to the dispensary to purchase products?
-You will have three 60 day cannabis orders (180 days total) placed in the system at each certification visit giving you 6 months of dispensary access. You will be due for your 6 month re-certification visit when this expires.
10. Do I have to have an ID card?
-Yes, you must have a state approved medical cannabis ID card from the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to purchase cannabis, so you will not be able to purchase cannabis at the time of your initial certification visit. Once qualified as a patient, you get a Patient Registry ID# that allows you to complete the medical cannabis ID card application. You must pay the Florida Department of Health $75 to process your ID card application, but you do not pay any Florida sales taxes when you purchase your cannabis. It is tax free.
11. How do I submit my ID card application?
-The medical cannabis ID card application can be submitted electronically online if you have a working e-mail address and you can get into your e-mail account. Or it can be mailed to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. Electronic submission processes faster than mailing.
12. How long does it take to get my ID card after submitting my application?
-Processing time is 30 days according to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, but in reality, can vary significantly depending on how the application is submitted. Electronic submission processes faster than mailing. You will first get a temporary card e-mailed to you once your application is finished processing, then your physical card will come later by regular postal mail.
13. How long is the ID card good?
-The ID card expires after 1 year. Each year, you will have to pay the Florida Department of Health $75 to get a new ID card made and mailed to you.
14. What is the difference between CBD that I can buy without an ID card compared to CBD that the dispensaries have?
-The CBD that you can buy online, in vape shops, in doctor’s offices, in nutritional stores, in massage spas, etc. is derived from hemp. Hemp is versatile and is grown for many uses such as for food, fuel, clothing, plastic, paper, construction materials, among others. Hemp has essentially no THC and lacks many of the hundreds of other cannabinoids and terpenes that contribute to the “entourage effect” of medical cannabis. The dispensaries’ products come from the flowering part (bud) of the cannabis plant that contains all these ingredients, which working together, produce medicinal effects that treat a wide variety of conditions. Most patients will get superior relief of symptoms by the dispensaries’ products that are grown specifically for medicinal use. The dispensaries have low-THC cannabis (rich in CBD) for those seeking to avoid a high but desire the maximum medicinal effect.
15. Is high-THC cannabis available?
-Yes, low-THC cannabis (does not cause a high, rich in CBD) and high-THC cannabis (medical marijuana) are both available.
16. Can my employer fire me if I have a card and a drug test finds THC?
-Employers can set their own policies. Some employers understand that many patients benefit from the medical use of cannabis, and as long as the patient has a medical cannabis ID card and are not an occupational hazard, finding THC is not a cause for termination. Other employers have a zero-tolerance policy and will terminate if THC is found regardless of the patient having qualified for a medical cannabis ID card.
17. How do I schedule an appointment?
-Appointments or referrals can be made on the Home page. Appointments can also be made on the Medical Services & Pricing page or by calling the office at 1-866-737-9333. Referrals and medical records can also be faxed to 1-866-737-9333, same as the office number.
18. What do I need to transfer care from another marijuana doctor?
-You will need to request that your physician deactivate from you in the registry. Alternatively, you can log into the “Your Profile” section of your Medical Marijuana Use Registry account, click “Manage Profile Details”, click the button that says “Leave Your Current Physician”, and you can deactivate yourself. I will still need medical records confirming your diagnosis. At your appointment, I can then activate you under me.
19. How do I know if a company is legitimate?
-For sure they must be following Florida law. This includes seeing the physician, not a non-physician staff member, in person for all certification and re-certification visits. Phone visits, Skype, FaceTime, or other mediums are illegal to get certified. In addition, only physicians, not non-physician staff members, are legally allowed to certify patients and put in cannabis others. Ask who puts in the cannabis orders. No other non-physician staff member should be accessing your Medical Marijuana Use Registry account to certify you or put in your cannabis orders. Some other common sense methods to determine if a practice is legitimate/reputable/ethical is to Google the practice. Do they have a website? Do they have reviews? Is the physician you will be seeing, along with their picture shown on the website? Do they have their prices and frequency of doctor’s visits listed on their website? Do they require any medical records to confirm your diagnosis since the law is not set for recreational use?
20. I already have a card and doctor, but want to discuss my regimen. Will you see me?
-Yes, we have a medication discussion visit for $100 for those who are not having the success they desire, and want to discuss products, dispensaries, and dosing in more detail. You will also meet with I’sis Maurice, my Medical Cannabis Consultant.
21. I am curious about cannabis, do not want to go through the process of getting a card yet, but would like to discuss more. Will you see me?
-Yes, we have a Q&A visit with Dr. Bernard for $100 if you would like to sit down with me in-person to ask questions to learn more about how cannabis could potentially benefit you. You will also meet with I’sis Maurice, my Medical Cannabis Consultant.
22. Are you really open on the weekends?
-Yes, we work most Saturdays as we know everyone cannot come in for a visit during the week due to work or other obligations. We are also open on select Sundays.
Looking forward to seeing you soon. Dr. Bernard