Crime

Don’t get tricked by a medical marijuana scam, Florida health department warns

Samples of cannabis are tested for its purity inside Modern Health Concepts, a South Florida dispensary for medical marijuana that is producing medicine inside its Redland plant on Tuesday, January 3, 2016.
Samples of cannabis are tested for its purity inside Modern Health Concepts, a South Florida dispensary for medical marijuana that is producing medicine inside its Redland plant on Tuesday, January 3, 2016. cjuste@miamiherald.com

Few people in the state have access to medical marijuana, and scammers are taking advantage of Floridians’ hazy knowledge of the laws.

The Florida Department of Health warned residents that scammers are offering free or cheap medical marijuana (it is neither) and are pretending to be the Office of Compassionate Use when gathering credit card information.

Read More: Amendment 2 is law. But most Floridians still have to wait to get medical marijuana

The only group that can issue medical marijuana ID cards is the health department’s Office of Compassionate Use. The office will never ask for credit card information.

In fact, almost all medical marijuana business is done in cash because of the plant’s tricky legal standing. Credit card companies, like big banks, are leery of accepting money from drugs the federal government defines as illegal.

Read More: House and Senate advance medical pot bills but no compromise in sight

Only seven dispensaries can sell medical marijuana: South Florida’s Modern Health Concepts, CHT Medical, The Green Solution, Trulieve, Surterra Therapeutics, Knox Medical and GrowHealthy. Any other group offering access to the drug is a fraud.

Here’s a list of doctors that can legally recommend medical marijuana. To get on the list, physicians had to complete an eight-hour training court and must have a three-month relationship with their patient.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc

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