A Guide to Florida Cannabis Laws
Florida marijuana laws have traditionally been extremely tough. But as the country continues to evolve on marijuana law, Florida is following that trend to a certain extent. Due to the complexity of marijuana law in Florida, specifically in Clearwater, understanding the current laws in 2022 is key to ensuring that your rights are upheld in the criminal justice system.
What Are the Marijuana Laws in Florida?
- Florida marijuana laws provide comprehensive information regarding the use and sale of weed, including the types, potential penalties, and additional penalties for possession in certain locations. Florida laws on weed also include what you need to know regarding Florida medical marijuana laws.
Is weed legal in Florida?
- Even though several states across the country have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, it is still considered illegal in Florida. If you are stopped by the police and found in possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis, you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense. The penalty if you are convicted includes a maximum fine of $1000 and up to one year in prison.
- In the Clearwater/Tampa area specifically, there has been an attempt to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. You may be issued a ticket for the possession of fewer than 20 grams instead. Marijuana citations have been issued instead of a misdemeanor charge in some circumstances to allow law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes. However, the State of Florida’s marijuana laws still allows for you to be arrested for small amounts.
- The use, sale, or possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony. The penalty will depend on the amount found and has a range of up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000 to up to 30 years and a $50,000 fine.
- Hemp CBD is non-psychoactive and only contains trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC. Under Florida marijuana laws, hemp CBD is legal, and the products can be purchased without a prescription or a medical marijuana ID.
Hash & Marijuana Concentrate
- Due to its high levels of THC, possession of hash is considered a felony under marijuana law in Florida, which includes whether found in possession for personal use or with an intent to distribute or sell. If you are arrested for possession of hash, you could receive up to five years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Marijuana concentrate is also considered a controlled substance due to its high potency. It has the same penalties as hash, a critical area of marijuana laws in Florida to keep in mind. With the varying types of products with THC concentrate that are now available, such as THC oil, shatter, wax, and edibles, individuals who have been in possession of these are frequently slapped with a felony.
- Any amount of THC concentrate is considered a felony under Florida marijuana laws. Even if you have just one or two edibles in your pocket, you could be facing severe penalties.
- If you are found in possession of marijuana paraphernalia, which includes such items as pipes and bongs, this would be considered a misdemeanor under Florida marijuana laws. The penalties can include up to one year of incarceration and up to $1,000 in fines.
Additional Parameters of Florida Marijuana Laws
- Certain circumstances can increase penalties if found in possession of marijuana, hash, or marijuana concentrate and/or intent to deliver, distribute, or sell, and are centered around the arrest location where the controlled substance was found.
- Increased penalties, including second-degree felonies and heftier fines, occur when the offense occurs within 1,000 feet of the following areas:
- Church or place of worship that conducts religious activities
- Childcare facility between 6 a.m. and midnight
- College, university, or another postsecondary educational institute
- Park or community center
- Assisted living facility
- Public housing
- Convenience business
- Additionally, it is important not to operate a motor vehicle if you are under the influence of any form of marijuana, including if you qualify for its use for medical purposes. There are stiff penalties if you get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or boat. If you have been arrested for DUI or BUI, contact a Clearwater criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Florida Medical Marijuana Laws
- Florida marijuana laws allow qualified patients to use medical marijuana. Qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Positive Status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Chronic Nonmalignant Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- A Terminal Condition Diagnosed by a Physician
- Marijuana used for medicinal purposes must be purchased at a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC).
How to Qualify for Medical Marijuana
- Medical marijuana laws in Florida exist for those who could benefit from its use, including pain relief, spasticity, nausea, and other needs associated with the qualifying conditions listed above.
- Patients with qualifying conditions go through the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) to Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) identification card to purchase and be in possession of medical marijuana. The application can be completed online and must be submitted every year. The renewal applications may only be submitted beginning 45 days prior to your card expiring. The OMMU website lists details of the application requirements and the approval process for the identification card.
When Was Medical Marijuana Legalized in Florida?
- In 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 1030, also known as the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. This act allowed the use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil for seriously ill patients with cancer or epilepsy.
- The following year, he signed the Florida Right to Try Act. This marijuana law allowed physicians to provide experimental treatments or medicines not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to seriously ill patients.
- In November 2016, Florida voters approved the Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Initiative, also known as Amendment 2, which contained the broader medical conditions listed above, allowing more people to benefit from using medical marijuana.
- Under SB182, passed by the Florida legislature in 2019, smokable marijuana is legal for qualified patients, in addition to oils, sprays, edibles, tinctures, and vaping materials.
- The Florida Department of Health established the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) to regulate the medical cannabis program and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) across the state.
What Is the Legal Amount of Medical Weed You Can Purchase?
- Medical weed law in Florida allows patients to purchase a 35-day supply of smokable cannabis or a 70-day supply of other types of medical marijuana products from a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC).
- Under marijuana laws in Florida, personal cultivation and possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana are prohibited.
Is It Legal to Grow Pot in Florida?
- Under Florida marijuana laws, the home cultivation of cannabis is still unlawful. In fact, any cultivation is considered a felony among first-time offenders. The penalties are as follows:
- Up to 25 plants – a third-degree felony
- Up to 25 plants – incarceration up to 5 years and fines up to $5,000
- 25 or more plants – if the owner of the property, a second-degree felony
- 25 or more plants—incarceration up to 15 years and fines up to $10,000
In larger-scale illegal operations (300 plants or more), there are mandatory minimums and even stiffer penalties.
Possession of Cannabis: What Happens
- When you are found in possession of cannabis, you can face severe consequences similar to growing pot. Florida marijuana laws include the following penalties:
- 20 grams or less – a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000
- More than 20 grams up to 25 pounds – a felony with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000
- Possession of cannabis more than 25 pounds – 2000 pounds carry mandatory minimums, with 3-15 years maximum imprisonment and up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000. The penalties for possession of cannabis in greater quantities increase from there with mandatory minimums as well. When you are faced with a marijuana-related conviction, this also comes with the suspension of your driver’s license for one year.
Cannabis Tax Law
Medical marijuana legal in Florida, but there is no cannabis sales tax for it.
Recreational marijuana is illegal in Florida, so there are no taxes for it. Florida Marijuana Tax
Medical marijuana delivery devices used to smoke marijuana are not required to be purchased from medical marijuana treatment center and are not taxable when purchased from a vendor.
Florida’s marijuana program uses a Percentage-of-price tax system. This means that the tax charged is calculated using the retail price of the Marijuana at the time of purchase.
Florida does not have a Controlled Substances tax involving Marijuana.
Florida Cannabis Advertising Law
- A medical marijuana treatment center may not engage in advertising that is visible to members of the public from any street, sidewalk, park, or other public place, except:
- The dispensing location of a medical marijuana treatment center may have a sign that is affixed to the outside or hanging in the window of the premises which identifies the dispensary by the licensee’s business name, a department-approved trade name, or a department-approved logo. A medical marijuana treatment center’s trade name and logo may not contain wording or images commonly associated with marketing targeted toward children or which promote recreational use of marijuana.
- A medical marijuana treatment center may engage in Internet advertising and marketing under the following conditions:
- All advertisements must be approved by the department
- An advertisement may not have any content that specifically targets individuals under the age of 18, including cartoon characters or similar images.
- An advertisement may not be an unsolicited pop-up advertisement.
- Opt-in marketing must include an easy and permanent opt out feature.
- Each medical marijuana treatment center that dispenses marijuana and marijuana delivery devices shall make available to the public on its website:
- Each marijuana and low-THC product available for purchase, including the form, strain of marijuana from which it was extracted, cannabidiol content, tetrahydrocannabinol content, dose unit, total number of doses available, and the ratio of cannabidiol to tetrahydrocannabinol for each product.
- The price for a 30-day, 50-day, and 70-day supply at a standard dose for each marijuana and low-THC product available for purchase.
- The price for each marijuana delivery device available for purchase.
- If applicable, any discount policies and eligibility criteria for such discounts.