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Florida Marijuana Laws – What You Need to Know

Marijuana laws in Florida are changing rapidly. All citizens need to know the current marijuana laws in the state and what to do if you are in a car accident in Tampa involving marijuana. Here’s what you need to know about marijuana laws in the State of Florida.

Florida Marijuana Laws

Florida marijuana laws allow medical marijuana use but not recreational use. Medical marijuana users need physician approval to consume marijuana in the state lawfully. Medical marijuana users can smoke or consume it in another way. While recreational marijuana use remains illegal in the State of Florida as of 2019, many cities charge recreational use as a civil offense rather than as a crime.

Florida History of Marijuana Laws

After rejecting medical marijuana use in 2014, voters approved it in 2016. When medical marijuana was first approved, only oils and edibles were legal. Smoking marijuana wasn’t legal.

However, in 2019, lawmakers approved smoking medical marijuana along with other ways to consume it for health purposes. In addition, many cities have measures that allow law enforcement to charge unlawful possession as a civil infraction rather than as a criminal offense.

Is Recreational Marijuana Use Legal in Florida?

No, recreational marijuana is not legal in Florida. Only medical marijuana is legal in Florida. There are many qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana. However, people who use it for a recreational purpose without having a medical marijuana card in Florida may face criminal charges.

What Is Florida’s Medical Marijuana Law?

Florida’s medical marijuana law is Florida Revised Statutes 381.986. The law gives a list of medical conditions that may qualify a patient to use medical marijuana. A physician must approve the patient for use. The law creates regulations for a user registry, caregiver possession, and treatment centers for purchasing consumable marijuana.

Are Edibles Legal in Florida?

Yes, edibles are legal in Florida. A person that is approved to use medical marijuana lawfully may consume edibles. They may use oils, sprays, and pills. In fact, in Florida, it has been legal to use edibles for medical purposes since 2016. It has only been legal to smoke medical marijuana since 2019.

Is Marijuana Legal in Tampa?

Medical marijuana is legal in Tampa, but recreational marijuana is not legal in Tampa. Even though violators may face criminal charges under state law, the City of Tampa has created a system that allows law enforcement to issue civil infractions for marijuana offenders. The city council voted 5-1 to implement the civil system for unlawful possession of marijuana up to 20 grams. Offenders face a $75 fine for a first offense and escalating fines for additional violations.

List of Debilitating Medical Conditions for Florida Medical Marijuana

Here is the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana use in Florida:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • PTSD
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Other similar medical conditions
  • Other terminal medical conditions
  • Chronic pain

Chronic pain is the most common medical condition used to qualify for a medical marijuana card. A person who falsely represents their symptoms to be eligible for medical marijuana faces a misdemeanor charge.

Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card Under 18 in Florida?

Yes, you can get a medical marijuana card under 18 in Florida. However, the minor must meet qualifications based on severe medical illness. Any minor seeking a medical marijuana card in Florida must have approval from two physicians who are qualified to evaluate a patient and approve them for marijuana use. The minor’s parents must consent to the child having a medical marijuana card.

What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Florida?

The penalties for marijuana possession in Florida depend on the amount of marijuana that you have in your possession. Possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail — the more marijuana found in your possession, the greater the penalty. The top penalty for marijuana possession in the State of Florida is up to 30 years in prison. Some cities in Florida choose to issue civil infractions rather than misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession.

Defenses to Marijuana Charges in Florida

Here are some possible defenses to marijuana charges in Florida:

  • The marijuana wasn’t in your possession
  • The police can’t prove that it was marijuana
  • You have the right to lawfully possess marijuana as a medical patient
  • You have the right to legally possess marijuana as a caregiver
  • The police unlawfully searched your home, vehicle or personal items

It’s up to you to take the steps that you need to take to get a medical marijuana card before you face criminal charges. However, if you’re caught with marijuana and you would qualify for a medical marijuana card, the state may go easier on you if you take the necessary steps to get a card. But there are no guarantees. It’s essential to get your medical marijuana card before you face criminal charges in Florida.

Is Driving After Smoking Marijuana Legal in Florida?

No, driving after smoking marijuana is not legal in Florida. Even if you have a medical marijuana card, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Florida. If you drive after smoking cannabis, you may face criminal drunk driving charges just as if you were over the legal limit for alcohol. If you cause an accident, you may be financially responsible to the victim for their injuries.

Tampa Attorneys for Marijuana Laws

Have you been hurt in an accident involving a driver that was smoking marijuana? You may deserve financial compensation. Even though Florida allows medical marijuana use, it’s still illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. When you’re hurt by a driver who has been smoking marijuana, they may owe you financial compensation for your injuries.

The attorneys at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, can help you evaluate your case and determine your legal rights. We handle all types of car accident claims. Our team knows all of the latest marijuana laws, including the laws that relate to car accidents. We don’t stop until every accident victim has the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.

Understanding Florida Marijuana laws can help ensure that you're protected and aware of your rights. Here's what you need to know about cannabis in Florida.

Florida Laws and Penalties

Possession

Hash & Concentrates

Paraphernalia

Miscellaneous

Penalty Details

Possession

Possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Any person who is knowingly in active or constructive possession of 25 pounds or less of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Any person who is knowingly in active or constructive possession of more than 25 pounds – 2,000 pounds of cannabis (or 300-2,000 plants) is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Any person who is knowingly in active or constructive possession of 2,000 pounds – less than 10,000 pounds of cannabis (or 2,000-10,000 plants) is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment as well as a maximum fine of $50,000.

Any person who is knowingly in active or constructive possession of 10,000 pounds of cannabis or more is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment as well as a maximum fine of $200,000.

Sale or delivery within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, or other specified areas is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.13(h)(3) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.03)(1)(c)(7) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.135 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.082(a) Web Search

Sale/Delivery

The delivery of 20 grams or less without remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.
The sale of 25 pounds or less of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.
The sale of more than 25 pounds- less than 2,000 pounds of cannabis (or 300-2,000 plants) is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

The sale of 2,000 pounds – less than 10,000 pounds of cannabis (or 2,000-10,000 plants) is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment as well as a maximum fine of $50,000.

The sale of 10,000 pounds or more of cannabis is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment as well as a maximum fine of $200,000.

Sale or delivery of cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, or other specified areas is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.13 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.03(c)(35) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.13 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.135 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.082(a) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.083(1) Web Search

Hash & Concentrates

Hashish or concentrates are considered schedule I narcotics in Florida.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.03(1)(c) Web Search

Possession of hashish or concentrates is a felony in the third degree. A felony of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 5 years and a fine no greater than $5,000.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.13(6)(b) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.083(1)(c), (d) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.082(3)(d) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.082(4)(a) Web Search

Possessing more than 3 grams of hash, selling, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, hashish or concentrates is a felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 5 years and a fine no greater than $5,000.

The offense is charged as a felony of the second degree if the offense occurred:

  • Within 1,000 feet of a child care facility between 6 A.M. and 12 midnight;
  • Within 1,000 feet of a park or community center;
  • Within 1,000 feet of a college, university or other postsecondary educational institute;
  • Within 1,000 feet of any church or place of worship that conducts religious activities;
  • Within 1,000 feet of any convenience business;
  • Within 1,000 feet of public housing;
  • Within 1,000 feet or an assisted living facility.

A felony of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 15 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.13(1)(a)(2) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.13 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.083(1)(b), (c) Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.082(3)(c), (d) Web Search
  • Rutherford v. State, 386 So.2d 881 (Fla. 1980). Web Search

Florida defines any product, equipment, or device used to make hashish or concentrates as drug paraphernalia.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.145 Web Search

Paraphernalia

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in the first degree, punishable by a maximum sentence of one 1-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 775.083 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.145 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.145 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 893.147 Web Search

Miscellaneous

Conviction causes a driver’s license suspension for a period of 1 year.

  • Florida Criminal Code § 322.055 Web Search
  • Florida Criminal Code § 322.056 Web Search

More Information
Drugged Driving

Every state criminalizes driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Some jurisdictions also impose additional per se laws. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Read further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available online.

Local Decriminalization

This state has local jurisdictions that have enacted municipal laws or resolutions either fully or partially decriminalizing minor cannabis possession offenses.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical CBD

This state has passed a medical CBD law allowing for the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC in instances where a physician has recommended such treatment to a patient with a state-qualifying condition.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.

Florida Laws and Penalties Possession Hash & Concentrates Paraphernalia Miscellaneous Penalty Details Possession Possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis is a misdemeanor ]]>