How Snowbirds and Temporary Residents Can Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Florida

Florida’s medical marijuana program has been gaining significant traction in the last few years, providing relief to countless individuals with qualifying health conditions. But what about snowbirds, individuals who spend a significant amount of time in Florida but are not permanent residents? And what options do temporary residents have for accessing medical marijuana? In this informative post, we explore how snowbirds and temporary residents can qualify for medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.

1. Understanding Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program:

First, it is essential to have a solid understanding of how Florida’s medical marijuana program operates. Governed by the Department of Health (DOH), the program allows individuals with diagnosed debilitating conditions to access physician-recommended medical cannabis. These conditions include but are not limited to cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

2. Residency Requirements for Medical Marijuana:

The primary challenge faced by snowbirds and temporary residents is meeting the residency requirements mandated by Florida law. To qualify as a resident, individuals must provide at least two documents proving their ongoing residency within the state. Examples include a valid Florida driver’s license or identification card and occasional utility bills listing their name and address.

3. Seeking Temporary Residency Status:

For snowbirds who frequently visit Florida or temporary residents spending an extended period in the state, obtaining temporary residency status can be beneficial. Acquiring this status allows them to meet the requirement of being a resident while benefiting from Florida’s medical marijuana program.

4. Becoming a Qualified Patient as a Snowbird:

Snowbirds who frequent Florida but maintain another permanent residence elsewhere might need to take additional steps before becoming eligible for medical marijuana access. Consultation with legal professionals experienced in residency laws may help determine the specific actions needed based on individual circumstances.

5. Locating Qualified Physicians:

Once residency is established, finding a qualified physician registered with the Florida Department of Health is crucial. These physicians evaluate patients and determine their eligibility for medical marijuana treatment. Websites and online directories can help identify authorized physicians accepting snowbirds and temporary residents.

6. Gathering Medical Documentation:

To further streamline the process, individuals should gather all relevant medical documentation before meeting with an approved physician. This documentation typically includes any relevant diagnosis, test results, prescription records, treatment histories, and other related medical information.

7. Consultation with an Authorized Physician:

During the consultation with a registered physician, it’s important to openly communicate about existing health conditions and how medical marijuana may alleviate symptoms or improve quality of life. The doctor will discuss treatment options and issue a written recommendation if the patient qualifies.

8. Obtaining a Florida Medical Marijuana Card:

After receiving the physician’s recommendation, patients must apply for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card through the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU). The application process involves submitting personal information along with the recommendation issued by the authorized physician.

9. Accessing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:

Once approved and in possession of a medical marijuana card, snowbirds and temporary residents can visit licensed dispensaries throughout Florida. These establishments provide various forms of medical cannabis products, such as oils, capsules, edibles, topical creams, tinctures, and vaporizers.

10. Renewing Medical Marijuana Cards for Snowbirds and Temporary Residents:

Snowbirds and temporary residents who plan to continue accessing medical marijuana in Florida should be aware of the card renewal process. Florida law requires patients to renew their medical marijuana cards annually. It is crucial to keep track of the expiration date on the card and initiate the renewal process in a timely manner. This typically involves submitting updated medical documentation, along with an application form, to the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU).


Florida’s medical marijuana program offers relief to countless individuals suffering from debilitating health conditions while improving their overall quality of life. As more snowbirds look to access cannabis treatments during their time in the Sunshine State and temporary residents need comprehensive healthcare options during their stay, understanding how to qualify becomes paramount. By ensuring they meet residency requirements through temporary residency status or legal consultations related to dual residences while following appropriate procedures outlined by Florida law for accessing medical marijuana treatment – both groups can benefit from this valuable resource available in Florida.