florida marijuana possession law

Florida Marijuana Laws

Historically Florida has had a strong anti-marijuana stance — but recently the state has made some significant steps forward. Recreational marijuana remains illegal, but in 2016 voters approved a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Learn more about Florida marijuana laws below.

Recreational Marijuana in Florida

Florida has some of the harshest recreational marijuana laws in all of the United States. The possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor with one year imprisonment and a fine of $1,000. Possession, use, or sale of anything greater than 20 grams is charged as a felony with prison time ranging from five years to 30 years and up to $200,000 in fines. Also, if you are convicted of a marijuana-related offense, the state of Florida can suspend your driver’s license for one year.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Marijuana

A mandatory minimum sentence is when a judge must sentence the defendant to at least the outlined mandatory minimum amount of jail time for violating a specified law. With other offenses, the judge is given some wiggle room to consider special circumstances, adjusting the defendant’s jail time to reflect the specifics of their individual case. However, with a mandatory minimum sentence, there is no ability to adjust the sentence based on the circumstances.

Many Florida marijuana laws include a mandatory minimum sentence for both possession and sale. For example, possession of between 25 and 2,000 lbs. of marijuana comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years, and possession of 2,000 to 10,000 lbs. of marijuana comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years of jail time.

Is Hash Legal Under Florida Marijuana Laws?

Also known as hashish, hash is an extremely potent cannabis product that is made using the resin found on marijuana plants. Hash features high levels of THC, so possessing any amount in Florida is classified as a felony. Being caught in possession of hash can result in up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Selling, delivering, or manufacturing hash is also a felony, and carries the same penalties as a possession.

Marijuana Concentrate in Florida

Marijuana concentrate is another highly potent form of cannabis, with all excess plant materials filtered out of the final product, leaving users with a very strong concentrate that only features cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Marijuana concentrates hold the exact same penalties as hash, with possession, sale, and/or delivery resulting in five years of jail time and a $5,000 fine.

Florida Marijuana Laws Regarding Drug Paraphernalia

“Marijuana paraphernalia” is any product used as an accessory for using marijuana, such as pipes and bongs. The possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with Florida marijuana law punishing those in possession of paraphernalia with up to one year of jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Local Decriminalization of Marijuana

Florida has several local jurisdictions that have passed local resolutions or laws that decriminalize the possession of marijuana or other cannabis products. For example, in Miami-Dade County, possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana only comes with a $100 fine.

Compare that penalty to the much more restrictive Florida marijuana law for the entire state, where the penalty for possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor that results in a $1,000 fine and up to a year of jail time. Check with your local Florida government for more details regarding the local decriminalization of marijuana.

Medical Marijuana in Florida

Florida had a very restrictive high-CBD, low-THC marijuana law for a couple of years before 71% of voters approved Amendment 2 in November 2016 to allow full medical cannabis. Amendment 2 went into effect January 3, 2017, and the Florida Legislature passed legislation that implemented the amendment in July 2017.

Under Florida’s Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions are allowed medical use of marijuana provided they have a doctor’s recommendation and an identification card. Home cultivation for medical purposes is not permitted under the law. The law does allow qualifying patients to have a caregiver who is at least 21 years old to assist in the collection and administering of medical cannabis.

Originally, Florida marijuana laws permitted only medical cannabis oils, sprays, tinctures, edibles, and vaping materials. While smoking marijuana was originally not permitted under the law, in 2018 Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers ruled that the constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters in 2016 broadly legalized medical marijuana and gave eligible patients the right to smoke marijuana in private. In March 2019, the Florida Legislature approved SB 182, a bill that overturns the ban on smokable forms of medical marijuana for adults and patients under 18 who are either diagnosed with a terminal illness or who have obtained a second recommendation from a pediatrician.

SB 182 also allows patients to order a 210-day supply of medical marijuana at a time, up from the original 70-day supply limit approved in the initial legislation.

Who Can Be Treated with Medical Marijuana Under Florida Marijuana Laws?

Florida’s medical marijuana program allows medical marijuana to be provided as treatment for patients with the following “debilitating medical conditions”:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • “Other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated”

Additionally, in June 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 7107 to allow a cannabis-derived drug for children with epilepsy. The bill changes that specific drug’s classification in state law from a Schedule I substance to Schedule V.

Drugged Driving Laws in Florida

Drivers in Florida are forbidden from using their car or some other type of motor vehicle if there is any detectable level of THC and/or marijuana in their system. If you have recently consumed marijuana, even if it is legally obtained medical marijuana, do not operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances.

Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Florida

While hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal law in the United States, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.

Cultivation of Cannabis in Florida

Even for first-time offenders, the cultivation of cannabis for any purpose is considered a felony in Florida. If found cultivating fewer than 25 plants, it is considered a third-degree felony punishable by incarceration up to five years and fines up to $5,000. If an individual is the owner of the property where more than 25 plants are being illegally cultivated, the offense is charged as a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison.

Florida’s Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in March 2016, permits certain dispensing organizations to grow and distribute cannabis.

In June 2017, Gov. Scott signed the Industrial Hemp Pilot Projects Bill, which gives Florida A&M University and the University of Florida permission to conduct research pilot projects on growing and selling hemp. Nearly two years later, in May 2019, the Florida Legislature passed a bill enabling the commercial production of hemp. Florida had its hemp regulatory plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in April 2020.

Legal Status of Other U.S. States

Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.



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With more states legalizing the use of marijuana it can be hard to stay up to date on Florida marijuana laws. Click to learn more about marijuana laws in FL!

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. ]]>