Yes. In Hernando County, medical marijuana is legal, while recreational marijuana remains prohibited in the county and the State of Florida. Authorized by the Department of Health (DOH), the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) writes and implements the rules for medical marijuana and oversees the statewide Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR). It also issues licenses to Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) – the only entities allowed to cultivate, process, transport, and dispense medical cannabis, low-THC cannabis, and cannabis delivery devices under Section 381.986 of the Florida Statutes.
Licensed MMTCs must have the technical and technological ability to cultivate and produce medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis. When growing marijuana, an MMTC must grow marijuana in an enclosed structure or indoors and in a room separate from any other plant. They must inspect the growing plants and seeds for pests that may endanger or threaten the horticultural and agricultural interests of the state. Pesticides may be used by cultivators allowed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) that are safe to apply to plants intended for human consumption. Lastly, cultivators must perform fumigation or treatment of plants, or destroy and remove infested plants.
It shall be unlawful for a qualified patient, caregiver, or any other person to cultivate, process, dispense, or sell marijuana without the required MMTC license. The DOH has the discretion to revoke the registration of the qualified patient or caregiver who cultivates marijuana without the proper license.
Yes. Medical marijuana treatment centers are also authorized to process medical marijuana in Hernando County. They must be able to secure the premises, resources, and personnel essential to function as a marijuana processor. Processors shall also be able to maintain accountability for all raw materials, finished products, and any byproducts to prevent unlawful access to, diversion, or possession of these substances. Since MMTC licenses are limited, the MMTC shall not contract services directly connected with the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of marijuana or marijuana delivery devices except with another licensed MMTC.
When processing medical marijuana, MMTCs must perform their operations in an enclosed structure and a room separate from other plants and products, similar to the cultivation of medical marijuana. They shall comply with the DOH rules when processing marijuana with hydrocarbon, solvents, or other gases exhibiting potential toxicity to humans. The DOH and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) develop the rules on the procedures for the handling, storage, management, transportation, and disposal of solid and liquid waste generated during cannabis production and processing, which the processors must follow.
The MMTC must test the processed marijuana through a certified marijuana testing laboratory before dispensing it. Two MMTC employees must verify and sign the results of the laboratory. Prior to distributing the marijuana, the MMTC must determine whether the test results indicate that the low-THC cannabis meets the allowed concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). All marijuana must be safe for human consumption and free from unsafe contaminants.
Marijuana must be packaged in compliance with the US Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, which ensures child safety by preventing accidental ingestion of harmful chemicals through special packaging (child-resistant but adult-friendly packaging). The packaging and labels must indicate the name of the MMTC from which the marijuana product originates, the batch number and harvest number of the products, the dispense date, and the product name and dosage form (including the concentration of THC and CBD), among others.
Yes. Dispensing low-THC cannabis and medical marijuana to qualified patients and caregivers is permitted in Hernando County. Meanwhile, the sale of recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state. Eligible patients and caregivers shall only acquire medical marijuana from licensed MMTCs; otherwise, obtaining marijuana from unauthorized persons or entities is subject to penalties.
Low-THC cannabis is a plant of the genus cannabis, the dried flowers of which have 0.8% or less of THC and more than 10% of CBD weight for weight; the seeds, resin extracted from any part of the cannabis plant, or any compound, manufacture, derivative, salt, mixture, or preparation of the plant, seed, or resin. Marijuana, on the other hand, means all parts of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, its seeds, the resin extracted from the plant, and any compound, manufacture, salt, mixture, derivative, or preparation of the plant, resin, or its seeds, which includes low-THC cannabis.
When dispensing medical marijuana or a marijuana delivery device, MMTCs may not dispense more than a 70-day supply of marijuana within 70 days and not more than one 35-day supply of marijuana used for smoking within 35 days to qualified patients or caregivers. A 35-day supply of marijuana used for smoking may not exceed 2.5 ounces unless otherwise provided.
The MMTC must verify that the patient or caregiver has an active registration in the MMUR and an active and valid MMUR identification card. The purchaser must present a proper order for medical marijuana, which contains the amount and type of marijuana certified by a physician in the MMUR and that the physician certification has not already been filled. Medical marijuana may not be sold to qualified patients under 18; it can only be dispensed to their designated caregiver.
Marijuana may be sold as edibles, dried flowers, topical products, inhalants, and ingestible such as sublingual tinctures, oral syringes, pills, pastes, and oral sprays. Edibles are commercially produced food items (baked goods or gummies) containing marijuana oil but no other form of marijuana, produced and dispensed by MMTCs. It may not have over 200 mg of THC, and a single portion of an edible may not go beyond 20 mg of THC. No more than 15% of potency variance may be contained in edibles. A qualified physician may determine that smoking marijuana is a proper route of administration for his patient. However, smoking marijuana has its restrictions, such as smoking in public places and indoor workplaces.
The dispensing facility must be reasonably located to dispense marijuana to registered qualified patients and caregivers. MMTCs are also required to employ medical doctors to supervise their activities.
Yes. Cannabis delivery to qualified patients holding MMUR IDs is allowed under Section 381.986 of the Florida Statutes. The MMTC must maintain a marijuana transportation manifest in any vehicle transporting marijuana. The marijuana transportation manifest shall contain the name and address of the recipient and the quantity and form of any medical marijuana or marijuana delivery device being transported.
Having an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID allows patients and caregivers to purchase and own medical marijuana. The Medical Marijuana Use Registry is an electronic, secure, and online registry for patients, physicians, and caregivers that keeps all records of the patients and caregivers, and physician certifications, including the prescribed prescription drugs.
To obtain an MMUR ID, a qualified patient must be a resident of Florida and has been entered into the MMUR by a qualified doctor to receive marijuana or a marijuana delivery device for medical use. Minor patients must designate a caregiver who must be a resident of Florida and has agreed to assist a qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana.
The OMMU requires the patient to secure a physician certification which serves as authorization from a qualified physician that the patient may receive medical marijuana from an MMTC. To be a qualified patient, he must be diagnosed by a physician with any one of the qualifying medical conditions:
Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Medical illnesses of the same class or kind comparable to those listed above
A terminal disease diagnosed by a physician apart from the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
Chronic nonmalignant pain
Patients and caregivers may apply for an MMUR ID online or by mail:
They may ask the applicant to provide the following requirements: photo, proof of residency, signature, and a registration fee of $75.
Office of Medical Marijuana Use
Weekdays (7:00 am - 6:00 pm, EST): 850-245-4657
Weekdays (8:00 am - 6:00 pm, EST): 800-808-9580
Patient and Caregiver ID Card Applications & Accompanying Documents:
PO Box 31313
Tampa, FL 33631-3313
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) does not impose excise or sales taxes when medical marijuana or marijuana delivery devices are sold to patients or caregivers.
According to a local news agency in Florida, the state’s medical marijuana industry generates an estimated $1 billion annually.
Even before 2014, the legislature had attempted to legalize medical marijuana for qualified patients. It was only in 2014 that the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act became effective. Then, in 2016, the legislature expanded the medical marijuana program to acclimate previous restrictions in the law.
The publicly available data in the FBI Crime Data Explorer are arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) arrests, illegal possession of marijuana, and illegal sale/manufacturing of marijuana starting from 2017.
There were 32,697 DUI arrests made in 2017 in Florida. By 2018, DUI arrests dropped to 1,613; however, in the following two years (2019 and 2020), the number of arrests went up to 33,872 and 29,126.
On the other hand, the arrests for the illegal possession of marijuana was 135. In 2018, no arrests were recorded by the FBI CDE. Then, in 2019 and 2020, there were 74 and 16 arrests for the same offense, respectively. As for the illegal sale/manufacturing of marijuana, from 2017 to 2020, the number of arrests are as follows: 3, 0, 2, and 1.