LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Florida?
Medical marijuana recommended by a licensed physician is allowed in some instances in Florida. Adult-use (recreational) marijuana sales, possession, and use remain illegal in Florida.
In 2014, the Florida Legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act , allowing seriously ill patients with cancer or epilepsy to use low-THC cannabis. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) established the Office of Compassionate Use (OCU) to manage the state’s medical cannabis program.
Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida Right to Try Act into law in 2015, allowing physicians to provide experimental treatments or medicines not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seriously ill patients. In March 2016, low-THC and medical cannabis were added to this list of experimental medicines with the passage of HB 307 .
Florida voters passed the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative , or Amendment 2, on Nov. 8, 2016, with more than 70% voting in favor. Amendment 2 permitted broader legalization of medical cannabis and expanded the list of qualifying conditions. The amendment also transitioned the OCU to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) and called for the establishment of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC).
The Office of Medical Marijuana Use, established by the state Department of Health, is the organization responsible for the regulation of Florida’s medical cannabis program .
Registry Identification Cards allow patients to purchase medical marijuana. The ID cards must be presented when making a purchase at an approved MMTC. The cards are used by law enforcement and other individuals to verify that a legal patient is a part of the statewide database.
Patients must purchase their products from a licensed MMTC. Some locations offer delivery services. Patients and caregivers can purchase a 35-day supply of smokable flower and a 70-day supply of other cannabis forms, including edibles, at a time.
Marijuana and marijuana delivery devices used for medical purposes are exempt from state sales tax. Retail, delivery, distribution, and storage are also exempt from state sales tax.
Licensed MMTCs can deliver medical cannabis to registered patients anywhere in Florida. Delivery fees may apply depending on the MMTC.
Finding licensed dispensaries in Florida
Medical marijuana registry cardholders and caregivers can find licensed dispensaries in Florida and search by major metro areas including Orlando, Miami, and Tampa. Many dispensaries in Florida offer delivery and curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.
Marijuana may not be consumed in any public place; on a school campus; in the workplace, unless permitted by the employer (smoking is prohibited indoors); or aboard a motor vehicle, public bus, train, aircraft, or watercraft. Consumption must take place in a private residence. Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
Cannabis may be consumed as edibles and via spray, oils, vaping, smoking, and pills. Cannabis flower may only be used for smoking or vaping and must be sealed in tamper-proof containers. Patients younger than 18 may not consume medical cannabis via smoking unless the patient is diagnosed with a terminal condition and a second, board-certified physician concurs with the diagnosis.
Florida defines cannabis as either low-THC cannabis or medical marijuana. In order to qualify as low-THC, the flowers, seeds, resin, and any other products derived from the cannabis plant must contain 0.8% or less THC and more than 10% of cannabidiol (CBD) by weight.
Patients and legal representatives may not possess more than a 70-day supply of cannabis at any given time, and all marijuana purchased must remain in its original packaging. Patients may not purchase more than a 35-day supply of cannabis (2.5 ounces) or possess more than 4 ounces of smokable cannabis at any one time.
Marijuana may not be transferred for any purposes other than a legal representative buying and transporting for a designated patient.
It is illegal for patients or caregivers to cultivate marijuana.
A patient must be diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions to qualify to receive marijuana or a marijuana administration device:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
- Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition
- Medical conditions comparable to those above
In order to qualify for medical marijuana, a prospective patient must meet with a qualified ordering physician and be diagnosed with a qualifying condition. All prospective medical marijuana patients must be Florida residents and at least 18 years old, unless a minor younger than 18 designates an adult caregiver or legal representative to help obtain marijuana. Seasonal residents who have lived at least 31 consecutive days per year in Florida and maintain a temporary residence, return to their home state at least once per year, and are registered to vote or pay income tax in their home state, may also qualify as Florida medical marijuana patients.
Patient registry process
- Meet with a qualified physician. Patients may search for qualified physicians on Weedmaps or the Florida Department of Health website .
- Patients must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition. If patients are younger than 18 or terminally ill, a second physician must confirm the diagnosis.
- Physicians must enter patient information into the MMUR and approve an order. Caregivers can be added at this time.
- The OMMU will send patients an email, which includes directions for the MMUR identification card application process. A Patient ID Number will be included.
- Patients can submit the ID application electronically on the MMUR online registry or via mail. The application fee is $75.
- Patients will be notified by email whether their application is approved.
- Patients can order from an approved and licensed MMTC with the approval email temporarily until the ID card arrives.
Patients may designate a caregiver when they apply to the MMUR. Caregivers with a valid registry ID card can purchase cannabis on their patients’ behalf and assist with the administration of their medicine.
Caregivers must be at least 21 years old, not a qualifying physician nor have any financial interest in an MMTC. Patients may only designate one caregiver at a time, and patients younger than 18 are required to designate an adult caregiver or another legal representative to assist them with their medical cannabis use.
Caregiver registry process
- Patients must designate a caregiver in their application for the MMUR identification card.
- The OMMU will send the caregiver an email, which includes directions for the MMUR identification card application process. A Caregiver ID Number will be included.
- Caregivers can submit the ID application electronically on the MMUR online registry or via mail. The application fee is $75.
- Caregivers will be notified by email whether their application is approved.
- Caregivers can order from an approved and licensed MMTC with the approval email temporarily until the ID card arrives.
ID cards are valid for one year after approval.
Florida does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards or patients. It does allow seasonal residents to apply for registry cards.
MMTCs must submit cannabis samples to a licensed lab testing facility. Samples must be tested for:
- Heavy metals
- Moisture and water activity
- Residual solvents
This page was last updated September 25, 2020.View the cannabis & marijuana laws & regulations for Florida. ]]>