Frustrations mount over Florida medical marijuana delays

By: Kevin Clark , Action News Jax

Updated:

Thousands of ailing patients aren’t getting the help they need because of delays within Florida’s medical marijuana office.

The state says it takes 30 days to process an application, but some patients tell us they have been waiting far longer.

Hoping to ease her PTSD, Heather Preysz applied for a medical marijuana ID card back in August.

“I went online, and I did my whole entire application and uploaded my picture,” Preysz said.

On Tuesday, she called the state and was told her application was just sitting there.

“She was like, ‘I can’t explain the reasons these fall through because it has been complete for over six weeks,’” Preysz said.

The head of Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use says there are up to 6,000 patients waiting to get ID cards at any given time.

When Action News Jax called the office, there was an eight-minute recorded message before we could speak to an employee or be placed on hold.

According to the Department of Health, unsigned applications or photos that don’t meet the requirements are often the reasons for delays.

“The goal has not been for patient access and to help patients to make it an easy process,” Preysz said. “It’s still shame-involved.”

The state is still working on outsourcing its ID card program, meaning that a contractor will soon have to deal with the backlog of applications.

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