Health officials warn of medical marijuana scammers

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Department of Health is warning residents to watch out for medical marijuana scams.

In the past week, the department has learned that businesses are advertising free or reduced-cost access to medical marijuana and requesting credit card information.

In some cases, these scammers are claiming they are with the ‘Office of Compassionate Use’.

Officials with the Department of Health urge folks to avoid these scams and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

They have provided the following tips to help protect you from potential fraud:

• 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 qualified physicians, click here.

For more information on access to medical marijuana, contact the Florida Department of Health.

To report scams to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).

To report fraud to the Attorney General’s office call 1-866-966-7226.

News Channel 8’s John Rogers is going to a local medical marijuana clinic to learn more about what patients need to know. He’ll have more tonight at 5:30.



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