Is marijuana legal in Florida?
Current legality status
Cannabis is legal for qualified patients with a licensed card.
Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Florida, but recreational marijuana use is not.
Possession of less than 20 grams is a misdemeanor punishable with one year of incarceration and up to a $1,000 fine. More than 20 grams can land you in jail for five years.
Delivering less than 20 grams without remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $1000. If money is accepted for the sale of 25 pounds or less, it’s a felony punishable by up to a five year jail sentence and a fine of $5,000.
By amending the Florida Constitution with Article X, Section 33, recreational marijuana could become legal in Florida, but the amendment is still gaining signatures for a place on the 2022 ballot. Until then, cannabis remains a controlled substance under Schedule 1.
The possession or sale of cannabis in Florida can also lead to revocation or suspension of a driver’s license.
Florida medical marijuana laws
In 2014, Florida legalized access to medical marijuana with the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act.
Patients with a physician’s recommendation can obtain medical marijuana from licensed FL dispensaries. Physician recommendations may not exceed more than three 70-day supply limits of cannabis. There is no specified limit on the amount of cannabis a medical marijuana patient may possess, and home cultivation is not permitted.
Florida qualifying conditions for medical marijuana
Qualifying conditions are physician-diagnosed ailments that can be treated by medical cannabis.
Required qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Florida include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic seizures
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those listed above
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the certification
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
For more information on the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization, please refer to 381.986 Florida Statutes.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Florida
Florida statute states that a resident of the state who has been added to the medical marijuana registry by a qualified physician can get marijuana or use a marijuana delivery device for medical use. They must qualify for a patient identification card after discussing their qualifying condition with a doctor and establishing permanent or seasonal residency in the state of Florida.
The medical marijuana program in Florida is run by the Department of Health and the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.
Does Florida accept out of state medical cards?
Florida does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
When does my Florida medical marijuana card expire?
“To maintain an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card, a patient and/or caregiver must annually submit a renewal application,” states Florida’s Department of Health website, “along with the application fee and any required accompanying documents to the department forty-five (45) days prior to the card expiration date.”
Identification cards expire one year after the date of approval.
Got your medical card? Find a dispensary in Florida
Congratulations! You made it through the process to get your medical card in Florida. Your next step is to find a dispensary nearby.
Florida marijuana growing laws
Florida does not permit home cultivation of marijuana.
Other Florida laws regulating cannabis
Even though the Florida government takes a clear stance on medical and recreation use of marijuana, there are still many other laws that shape legalization in the state.
These laws govern areas like public consumption, interaction with law enforcement, and intake formats.
Florida public consumption laws
It is unlawful to administer medical marijuana:
- By smoking (burning or igniting the substance and inhaling the smoke)
- By transferring cannabis to a person other than the qualified patient
- On any form of public transportation
- In any public space
- In a qualified patient’s place of employment, if restricted by the employer
- In a state correctional institution
- On the grounds of a preschool, primary school, or secondary school
- On a school bus or in a vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat.
Possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis in public is a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail, up to one year probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Florida cannabis DUI laws
In Florida, even medical marijuana patients need to be careful about operating a motor vehicle. Although Florida is a medically legal state, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis.
By driving in Florida, one has implied consent to a blood and/or urine test. A refusal to submit to this test is a misdemeanor and can be punished by a one-year suspended license and one year in jail; a subsequent refusal can revoke one’s license for 18 months. The results of the test may be admissible as evidence in a court law, except in the prosecution of the possession of a controlled substance.
The test can be administered via breath, blood, or urine. Penalties include the following:
- 1st offense: No more than six months in jail, $500 to $1,000 fine, 180-day suspended license up to one year, mandatory 50 hours of community service, up to one year of probation, 10 days of vehicle impoundment, must complete DUI school.
- 2nd offense: No more than nine months in jail, $1,000 to $2,000 fine, 180-day suspended license up to one year, mandatory IID for one year.
- 2nd conviction (within five years): Mandatory 10 days in prison, 30 days of vehicle impoundment, five-year suspended license, must complete DUI school and remain in DUI supervision program for suspension period, must not consume alcohol for one year prior to reinstatement, mandatory IID for one year.
- 3rd offense (within 10 years): 3rd-degree felony; mandatory imprisonment of 30 days up to five years, $2,000 to $5,000 fine, 10-year suspended license.
- 4th and subsequent offense: 3rd-degree felony; imprisonment for up to five years, no less than $5,000 in fines, mandatory permanent license suspension.
For more information, please refer to Florida DUI and Administrative Suspension Laws.
Florida cannabis testing regulations
Florida has operational third-party cannabis testing labs and many producers and dispensaries use those labs, but at this point, testing for toxins and contaminants in medical marijuana products remains entirely voluntary. There are no state regulations requiring specific tests.
In late 2018, it was reported that “aside from some regulations on potency, there are no specific guidelines.” Senate Bill 8A, which governs medical marijuana testing in Florida, said nothing about specific contaminants; it said only that tested marijuana “should be safe for human consumption and free from human contaminants.” It further required the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to set maximum allowable levels for contaminants. That has yet to happen.
Senate Bill 182, which allowed the sale and use of smokable cannabis flower, took effect on March 18, 2019, but it contained no further guidelines about what exactly the state’s cannabis testing labs should test for.
Later law enforcement guidelines issued by the state in April 2019 made no mention of specific contaminants or their allowable maximum levels; they seem more concerned with security, chain of custody, and keeping products away from children. The only requirement is that products display their lab-verified THC and CBD levels.
In 2019, the Gainesville Sun reported that some cannabis producers were lab shopping, going door to door with contaminated products to different testing operations until they obtained “clean” results. “It’s the wild west out there right now,” said one lab operator.
The top-level takeaway for medical marijuana patients is this: Buyer beware. Ask a lot of questions at your dispensary. Demand to see test results from the batch you may be purchasing. And tell your state lawmaker it’s unacceptable for medical patients to ingest untested and potentially contaminated medicine.
Common questions about marijuana legalization in Florida
Is recreational marijuana legal in Florida?
No. Only medical marijuana is legal in Florida.
Can you get a medical marijuana card for anxiety in Florida?
Florida’s list of qualifying conditions does not include anxiety. You can only receive medical marijuana for anxiety if you have a physician’s recommendation that states your anxiety is a debilitating medical condition.
Can you get a medical card with a felony in Florida?
There are no laws prohibiting convicted felons from becoming medical marijuana patients in Florida.
Can you grow your own cannabis in Florida?
Cultivating cannabis at home in Florida is not sanctioned by law and can result in incarceration or a fine depending on the number of plants.
Are vape pens legal in Florida?
Medical marijuana inhalation devices are legal in Florida under Senate Bill 182.
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