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Patients and Physicians Alerted to Medical Marijuana Scam

Fraser Cobbe

Orange County Medical Society

Seminole County Medical Society

The Orange County Medical Society Board of Directors has been alerted to a scam that attempts to secure credit card information from patients in return for an offer of free or reduced-cost medical marijuana. The perpetrators may mention the "Office of Compassionate Use" in their phone call solicitations to make their communication seem legitimate. The Florida Department of Health has released tips on how patients can protect themselves from scams related to medical marijuana. The Press Release from the Department of Health can be found below.

Department Urges Caution to Avoid Reported Medical Marijuana Scams

Tallahassee, Fla.--The Florida Department of Health is urging Florida residents to use caution to avoid medical marijuana scams. Last week, it came to the department's attention that there are businesses advertising free or reduced-cost access to medical marijuana and in some cases are asserting that they are the "Office of Compassionate Use" when soliciting credit card information. The department reports all incidents of potential fraud and scams to law enforcement, but wants to ensure residents are aware of what to avoid.

Below are tips to help protect you from scams involving medical marijuana:

  • The department's Office of Compassionate Use is the only entity issuing identification cards for medical marijuana in Florida. No third party is authorized to process applications. Do not provide credit card information to any third party entity advertising the ability to obtain medical marijuana cards.
  • The department does not currently accept credit cards as a form of payment for an Office of Compassionate Use identification card. There is no need to ever provide your credit card information to the department's Office of Compassionate Use.
  • There are seven dispensing organizations authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana. These seven are the only businesses in Florida authorized to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and legal representatives.
  • The Office of Compassionate Use maintains a list of physicians who have completed the required 8 hour education course. To find a qualified ordering physician click here.

The department updates the Office of Compassionate Use webpage regularly with accurate information. Patients and legal representatives are encouraged to visit this webpage often.

To report scams to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1800-435-7352).
To report fraud to the Attorney General's office call 1-866-966-7226.

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