Marijuana is slowly becoming legalized in more and more states across the country. In November of 2016, Florida voted to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. However, there are still some things that you need to know about Florida’s marijuana laws. In this blog post, we will discuss ten important details you need to know about the new law.
1. Possession of Cannabis
You can still be arrested for possessing cannabis. Although medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016, the possession of non-medical cannabis is still illegal. Anyone caught with 20 grams or less will face a misdemeanor charge and could spend up to a year in jail and be fined up to $1000. If the amount is greater than 20 grams, it will be considered a felony charge and can lead to a maximum of five years in prison and fines as high as $5000.
2. Cultivation of Marijuana
State law allows for the cultivation of marijuana in Florida. It is legal to grow up to six plants for personal use in an enclosed and locked facility, as long as no more than 6 plants are grown at any time. It is illegal to cultivate more than 12 plants at any given time unless you have a valid medical marijuana license.
3. Sale, Manufacturing, and Trafficking of Marijuana
It is illegal to sell, manufacture, and traffic marijuana in Florida. It does not matter whether the sale or manufacturing is for medicinal purposes or not; if you are caught doing so, you can be convicted of the crime of trafficking. If you are convicted of selling or manufacturing marijuana, you may be sentenced to prison for up to five years. If you are convicted of trafficking marijuana, the possible sentence is up to 15 years in prison.
4. Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana
In Florida, the law makes it clear that driving under the influence of any substance is illegal. If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can ask you to take an impairment test—but they don’t have to specifically mention weed. They could also ask you to submit to a blood test as well as a urine test, but only if there is enough probable cause for them to suspect impairment by drugs.
If there’s enough evidence for an arrest, then an officer can request that you submit to any kind of test required by law—including blood and urine tests for alcohol or other substances.
5. Destroying Evidence Carries Even Stiffer Penalties
In Florida, destroying evidence is considered tampering with evidence, which is a third-degree felony. Destroying any amount of marijuana in excess of 20 grams, 1 ounce, or 2 plants is considered tampering with evidence and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
6. Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016, but it’s still a bit confusing to figure out exactly what that means. Here are some important details you should know about Florida’s marijuana laws:
- You need a recommendation from your doctor to legally use medical marijuana.
- Medical marijuana can be smoked or vaped. It can also be consumed through edibles and tinctures, capsules, transdermal patches, and oils.
- Patients who qualify for medical marijuana must register with the state as part of their treatment plan and receive approval from a licensed physician before purchasing cannabis products from one of the state-approved dispensaries.
7. Medical Marijuana is Not Covered by Health Insurance
Florida’s medical marijuana law does not require health insurance companies to cover medical marijuana. That means that if you use cannabis as a treatment for one of the qualifying conditions covered by Florida’s medical marijuana program, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the cost of your medicine.
8. Medical Marijuana Versus Recreational Marijuana
The state of Florida allows the use of medical marijuana for patients who suffer from debilitating medical conditions. If you have a doctor’s recommendation, you can obtain your medicine through a licensed dispensary.
You’ll need to register with the Florida Department of Health, and you can only possess a certain amount of cannabis at one time. For example, if you’re approved for medical cannabis for chronic pain, you can only possess up to four ounces at a time. You can also grow up to six plants for personal use if your doctor recommends it as part of your treatment plan.
9. Medical Marijuana Can Only Be Used in the Prescribing State
Medical marijuana laws vary from state to state. If you’re traveling, be sure to check out the laws in the state where you’ll be using your medical marijuana. You may need to purchase an additional card or another form of identification to ensure that you can legally use your medication.
10. Always Carry Your Medical Marijuana Card
If you are under 21 years of age and caught with marijuana, even if it is for medical use, you will face the same consequences as an adult would for having the same amount of marijuana on them; a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 fine.
Talk to a Lawyer if You Have Any Questions
In Florida, marijuana laws can be confusing. There are many factors that determine whether or not something is legal, from the type of drug to how it’s used. If you’re unsure about how the current laws affect your situation, it’s best to contact an attorney before proceeding.
The legalization of marijuana in Florida is great news for people who are sick and need relief from their ailments. However, there are restrictions on where you can buy the product and many other stipulations that you must be aware of.
If you need help with a marijuana-related case, reach out to our attorneys at Hanlon Law to discuss your options and find out what services we can offer you.
Contact us today at Hanlon Clearwater with any questions and schedule a free consultation.
600 Cleveland St #1100
Clearwater, FL 33755