Recently, Florida has experienced substantial changes in its cannabis regulations, moving from stringent prohibition to permitting medical marijuana usage. Comprehending the intricacies of these laws might pose a challenge, but fear not, as we're here to illuminate the subject.
Come along as we delve into the specifics of Florida's cannabis laws, encompassing rules regarding possession, growth, consequences, and the intricacies involved in obtaining and distributing medical marijuana within the state. Let's explore!
Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in Florida?
Florida Cannabis Laws
How the Legal Sale of Cannabis Happens
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Legal Cannabis to Buy Online
- Cannabis is legal for medical use in Florida.
- A medical patient can have up to 4 ounces at a time
- There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces.
- Recreational use of marijuana is still prohibited, but hemp-derived THC products may be a good option.
Is Cannabis Legal in Florida?
In accordance with the 2016 Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, the state authorizes the medicinal use of marijuana based on recommendations from licensed physicians. However, patients must receive a diagnosis for at least one qualifying condition (see below) to qualify for medical marijuana:
Florida mandates that medical marijuana users be at least 18 years old, while minors have the option to designate adult caregivers to assist in the acquisition of marijuana.
Recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Florida, with the state imposing stringent penalties for residents found in possession of the substance.
Regulations for Medical Use in Florida
There are regulations in place to govern how a medical marijuana patient in Florida can possess and use cannabis. For instance:
- Medical marijuana patients must be granted a medical license from a qualified, board-registered physician.
- Registration for a medical cannabis card is $75. Your card must be renewed every year within 45 days of the card's expiration date.
- According to Florida Statute 381.986, your doctor may issue a recommendation for up to three 70-day supply limits of cannabis OR up to six 35-day supply limits of smokable cannabis. A 35-day supply limit of cannabis can be up to 2.5 ounces.
- Other forms of cannabis are subject to their own state limits, according to the state's 64ER22-8 2023 Dosing and Supply Limits for Medical Marijuana. Here's a breakdown:
- Edibles: Daily dose amount is 60mg THC, with a 4,200mg THC 70-day supply limit
- Inhalation/vapes: Daily dose amount is 350mg THC, with a 24,500mg THC 70-day supply limit
- Oral Capsules and Oil: Daily dose amount is 200mg THC, with a 14,000mg THC 70-day supply limit
- Sublingual: Daily dose amount is 190 mg THC, with a 13,300mg THC 70-day supply limit
- Suppository: Daily dose amount is 195 mg THC, with a 13,650mg THC 70-day supply limit
- Topicals: Daily dose amount is 150mg THC, with a 10,500mg THC 70-day supply limit
- Marijuana in a form for smoking: Daily dose amount is 2.025 grams
- Medical marijuana patients can only possess up to 4 ounces at a time.
- Medical marijuana card holders can possess cannabis in a closed container while traveling, but it must be placed out of reach, such as in the trunk of the vehicle.
- Medical consumers are still prohibited from consuming cannabis in public spaces. This includes in moving or parked vehicles, near educational institutions, federal properties, healthcare spaces, public areas, or near individuals under 18 years old.
Qualifying Conditions and Regulations for Medical Cannabis in Florida
For adults, the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use (with a doctor’s recommendation) include:
- ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease
- Crohn's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
- A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the one issuing the certification
- Nonmalignant chronic pain resulting from a qualifying medical condition
- Medical conditions akin to those listed above
Restrictions for Cannabis Use in Florida
While medical marijuana is legal in Florida, there are still restrictions on how you can use, buy, and possess cannabis with your medical card. For instance:
- Only sealed medical marijuana from dispensaries is legal to possess in Florida.
- Sharing medical marijuana is prohibited, even among registered patients.
- High-THC medication can't be used in public or while operating vehicles, but low-THC (CBD) is allowed.
- Using medical marijuana at work without employer permission is illegal.
- Taking medical marijuana out of state, even where legal, is against the law.
- Carrying and presenting your Medical Marijuana Use Registry card to law enforcement is mandatory.
- Patients must maintain qualification standards, including regular physician visits and annual renewal applications.
Florida Marijuana Laws
Florida's medical marijuana program underwent significant changes since its inception in 2014. Initially, only severe epilepsy or terminal illnesses qualified patients for participation, mandating the trial of traditional treatments before becoming eligible. However, the list of qualifying medical conditions has expanded and now includes ailments such as HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, Crohn's disease, PTSD, among others.
Residents aiming to use medical marijuana must hold active medical marijuana cards, with over 750,000 Floridians currently possessing these cards. Moreover, the Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) has certified more than 2,500 doctors to assist in determining patient eligibility. The OMMU's responsibilities include establishing and implementing rules for medical marijuana and overseeing the application process for Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) licenses.
Florida has witnessed the opening of over 450 operational marijuana dispensary locations as of October 2022.
- The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act was enacted in 2014, enabling specified physicians to prescribe non-smoked, low-THC cannabis products to eligible patients. This law dictated specific THC and CBD content thresholds, mandating the Department of Health to authorize organizations for marijuana cultivation and distribution while creating a registry of qualifying patients.
SB 8A, passed in 2017, was an amendment to the Medical Marijuana act passed by the Florida legislature. This bill broadened the range of qualifying medical conditions for marijuana use, mandated physicians prescribing medical marijuana to undergo Florida Medical Association courses, restricted the number of treatment centers and dispensaries, and prohibited smoking of medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 182 became law in 2019, permitting individuals with qualifying medical conditions to purchase smokable marijuana from medical marijuana treatment centers.
How Cannabis is Bought and Sold in Florida
In Florida, only medicinal marijuana is legally available, following a vertically integrated system where license holders oversee all aspects of production, processing, and sales. Access is limited to those with specific conditions, including anorexia, cancer, PTSD, Parkinson's, glaucoma, ALS, and similar ailments within the same class.
Florida's dispensaries, known as Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs), offer diverse products like hash, concentrates, capsules, oils, and more. They're accessible in major cities like Miami, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, and West Palm Beach, as well as smaller cities offering delivery services.
- Cannabis can be purchased by medical card holders at Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs)
- Products available include hash, concentrates, capsules, oils, vape cartridges, and more.
Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Florida
Less than 20 grams:Misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
20 grams to 25 pounds:Felony with a max 5-year jail term and a fine up to $5,000.
Over 25 pounds:Trafficking felony with 3-15 years jail and up to $25,000 fine.
Over 10,000 pounds: 15-50 years in jail and a fine up to $200,000.
Marijuana Plants Possession or Sale:
Under 25 plants:Up to 5 years jail, $5,000 fine.
Over 2,000 plants:7-30 years jail, $50,000 fine.
Hash and Concentrates:
Possession: Felony with max 5-year jail and a fine up to $5,000.
Possession with Intent to Distribute:
- Minimum 5 or 15 years in jail, depending on quantity.
Possession: Up to 1 year jail, $1,000 fine.
Advertising: 1st-degree misdemeanor, up to 1 year jail, $1,000 fine.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI):
- DUI causing harm: Minimum 5 years and fines up to $5,000.
- DUI causing death: Minimum 15 years imprisonment.
Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives
Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.