You may think of Florida as a destination for laidback vacations, but when it comes to marijuana, the state is far from relaxed. Recreational marijuana is a criminal offense in Florida leading to serious penalties. If one is caught any amount less than 20 grams, they are charged with a Class A Misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine and 1 year of jail time as the mandatory minimum sentence. Caught with more is a felony with up to $200,000 in fines and between 5 and 30 years in prison.
Medical marijuana on the other hand became legal in Florida on November 8th, 2016, under the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Amendment 2. The medical program started as one of the most limited programs in the country as there was a THC limit, heavy product restrictions among other tight laws. Year after year, however, voters have been expanding the program and making a stand against the government dictating how one should use their medicine. Today the medical marijuana program is more standard than it had been and continues to see large growth.
With the expansion of the medical marijuana program, more and more medical dispensaries have been popping up around the state. The only place to legally purchase marijuana is through their medical dispensaries and any other type of weed is strictly illegal. Delivery of medical marijuana is also legal in Florida, but it must come from a licensed medical dispensary.
Only those with a valid Florida medical marijuana card are allowed to purchase weed from dispensaries. Recreational marijuana remains highly illegal and the purchase of recreational marijuana of any kind will lead to serious trouble. However, for those with medical cards, purchasing marijuana is made quite simple. One must bring their valid medical marijuana card and ID to enter dispensaries but make sure you carry our card anytime you possess weed.
Medical marijuana delivery services are legal in the state of Florida. However, outside parties are not allowed to do the delivery. Only licensed medical dispensaries are allowed to deliver marijuana products to their customers. An employee who delivers must have additional registration and they must use a GPS tracker at all times. When delivering medical marijuana products, the goods must be stored in the trunk in a locked case so nobody can access it but the delivery man.
Medical marijuana dispensaries have no regulations regarding their hours of operation. Therefore, dispensaries have a wide range of store hours to best meet their customer’s needs. But as always, check out your favorite dispensary’s website for their store hours!
Doctors work closely with medical marijuana patients to determine the best dosage for everyone. Therefore, there is not a uniform purchasing limit, rather each purchasing limit is determined by the doctor and the individual patient. Patients do have a lot of say on how much marijuana they should consume, so don’t be afraid to weigh in with your doctor. Once a good dosage is determined, a patient is allowed to purchase a 70-day supply of marijuana. One does not have to purchase the whole 70-day supply at once, but they cannot exceed the 70-day supply within the current timeframe. However, a doctor is not allowed to recommend more than 2.5 ounces per 35 days meaning and patients are not allowed to hold more than 4 ounces of marijuana at a time.
While smokable herb wasn’t originally allowed in Florida, this was changed in 2019 when the governor signed a bill. Therefore, one can purchase any type of marijuana product imaginable. Dispensaries across Florida are also legally required to maintain a stock of low THC and high CBD products for those who don’t want to ingest the strong marijuana products we all see today.
Recreational marijuana is still illegal across the state of Florida meaning any sale of marijuana that is not medical is illegal and does not go through a proper system of taxes and regulation.
Medical marijuana does not face excise taxes in Florida. Instead, medical patients are required to pay the standard sales tax of 6% across the state. Some areas impose local taxes, but this is becoming increasingly rare. Therefore, one can just expect to pay the 6% sales tax upon the final transaction of medical marijuana.
Recreational users are not permitted to possess any amount of marijuana as it constitutes the mandatory minimum sentence of a Class A Misdemeanor, fines and jail time. For medical users, they are allowed to possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana or its equivalent in oils, edibles, creams, etc. Medical users caught with more than this will face severe penalties. Therefore, do not stock up on cannabis as the legal threshold is quite large and one should not need more than 4 ounces at a time.
As a general rule of thumb, the only place one can legally smoke or consume cannabis is in the privacy of their own homes outside of the public eye. One should always make sure that nobody under the age of 18 is present and that nobody is pregnant. Florida does not allow for businesses where people can consume cannabis, so your best bet is to just stay home
Areas in Florida that DO allow the use of marijuana:
Areas in Florida that DO NOT allow the use of marijuana:
As you may know, marijuana is illegal on a federal level in the United States. So, what this means is that every place owned by the federal government has to abide by their rules. So, smoking or possessing marijuana of any kind on federal lands is highly illegal. If one is caught, they will be prosecuted by a federal court which involves a lot of time and fines.
Medical marijuana has gone through many ups and downs in Florida. The Florida government often tries to interfere or restrict the way patients utilize marijuana, but voters have stood tall and passed laws to allow them to smoke or ingest marijuana how they choose. While the voters have not gotten their way every time, the medical program has expanded greatly through the years. The state started with only selling low THC products in non-smokable forms and now users can purchase products with higher THC concentrations as well as marijuana in smokable forms.
The steps to getting a medical marijuana card in Florida are quite simple:
1. Meet with a doctor face to face to prove one’s qualifying condition
2. After obtaining a doctor’s certification of approval a patient must enter the medical marijuana registry
3. After this, one must submit an application to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use with a $75 application fee
4. If approved, a patient will get a temporary card sent via email followed by a permanent physical card sent in the mail.
Florida does not accept out of state medical cards. Therefore, only patients with valid Florida medical marijuana cards can purchase marijuana within the state.
Florida is quite strict with how one transports weed across the state, but it is still legal. If any marijuana product is in one’s car it must be sealed and in the back seat or drunk out of the driver’s reach. Marijuana of any kind cannot be stored in the glovebox either. If a cop smells marijuana, they have the right to investigate the driver. So be sure to limit the number of times you drive with cannabis in your car and always keep it sealed.
There is no legal limit that is safe to drive in the state of Florida. Any sign of impairment will warrant a drug inspecting officer to be notified and sent to investigate one’s driving condition. Driving under the influence of marijuana can result in massive legal problems similar to that of a DUI. If found driving under the influence, your license will be suspended, and you will have to pay massive legal fines and carry out court-mandated punishment. Please be sure to utilize public transportation or apps like Uber or Lyft if you need a ride after smoking!
Despite legalization efforts, no one under any circumstances is allowed to drive across state lines with marijuana. As mentioned above, marijuana is still illegal in the US on a federal level. And state lines are under the federal government’s jurisdiction. Therefore, it is illegal to transport marijuana from state to state, and cops are often told to look for any attempt of smuggling marijuana across state lines.
Nobody except for state-licensed cultivators is allowed to grow marijuana in Florida. Therefore, no matter the scenario, a patient or caregiver cannot grow their own marijuana. The only way to enjoy marijuana within the state is to purchase weed through a state-licensed dispensary with a valid Florida medical marijuana card.
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