Florida Marijuana Possession Laws

Is Possession of Marijuana Legal in Florida?

In Florida, marijuana possession without a prescription is a crime. Only patients with a physician's recommendation may legally possess up to four ounces of medical cannabis only available at state-licensed dispensaries. According to Florida marijuana laws, patients who have herbal marijuana must have any of the qualifying medical conditions. Some examples of these diagnoses include cancer, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma. The Florida Department of Health established the Office of Medical Marijuana Use to regulate the state's medical cannabis program. 

The decriminalization of recreational marijuana in Florida is still an ongoing process. Possession of low-THC cannabis like hemp, Delta-8 THC, and CBD (Cannabidiol) is legal in Florida. However, only individuals above 18 years old can carry low-THC or medical cannabis in the state. Minors may designate adult caregivers to assist in obtaining cannabis. 

How Much Weed Is a Felony in Florida?

Florida residents can only own medical cannabis if diagnosed with one or more qualifying medical conditions. Ownership of cannabis below 20 grams for recreation is illegal and regarded as a misdemeanor. If found guilty, offenders may likely serve a one-year jail term together with a $1000 fine. 

  • Individuals who possess above 20 grams of marijuana will be accused of a felony crime. Offenders charged with felony possession of cannabis may face between five to 30 years of prison and a fine between $5,000 and $200,000. 
  • Harsh sentences are given to persons who sell or possess cannabis within 1,000 feet of a college, school, park, or other designated areas. Possession of hash or cannabis concentrates like resin and budder is also a felony offense in Florida. According to Florida Statute §322.055, a controlled drug offense also results in a driver's license suspension for one year.

What Are the Penalties for 1st Time Offense of Possession of Weed in Florida?

First-time offenders charged for marijuana possession may pay fines or get jail sentences depending on the amount and type of cannabis found on them. However, it is unlikely to receive a jail sentence for possessing trace amounts of marijuana as a first-time offender. 

According to Florida Statutes §948.08, first-time offenders may be eligible for pretrial intervention programs (PTI), which are monitored by private organizations like the Salvation Army Correctional Services. The pretrial intervention aims to provide education, supervision, counseling, and medical and psychological service. 

To be eligible for pretrial intervention in Florida, a person must have only one non-violent misdemeanor conviction, like marijuana possession. However, eligibility will not guarantee that a first-time marijuana possession offender will not serve jail terms or pay fines. Other factors that will determine if a person will be jailed for owning marijuana for the first time include: 

  • The amount of cannabis possessed.
  • The type of cannabis possessed.
  • The location of the arrest. 

Where to Buy Legal Weed in Florida

Only qualified patients can buy legal weed or medicinal marijuana in licensed Florida dispensaries. These marijuana dispensaries are also known as Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs).

Some MMTCs have physical locations where customers may go to buy medicinal marijuana, get deliveries, or do both. The search tool on the Florida OMMU website contains a list of authorized dispensaries in Florida, their contact details, and locations by city. 

Currently, marijuana is sold at over 20 licensed Florida dispensaries in various forms, including hash, concentrates, and marijuana accessories. Whole flowers, capsules, infusions, CBD oils, vape cartridges, and topical applications are among the goods available in dispensaries. 

To buy legal weed, qualified patients must have one of the qualifying illnesses, such as: 

  • Cancer
  • Anorexia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • PTSD
  • Glaucoma
  • ALS
  • Multiple sclerosis

Such patients will need to register for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry card and undergo an in-person evaluation with a doctor authorized to prescribe medicinal marijuana. Once you have that card, you are added to the Compassionate Use Registry, which is essentially a registry of everyone in Florida who has been given a marijuana prescription. 

Keep in mind that a marijuana prescription is only valid for 30 weeks. Beyond that time, patients will need another doctor's approval. Application for medical marijuana use in Florida costs $75. While mail application forms require an additional three to five days, online applications typically take ten business days to be approved. 

Meanwhile, minor patients below 18 years in Florida must appoint a caregiver to make marijuana purchases on their account. All caregivers must fill out a caregiver application and be included in the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to receive an identity card from OMMU. The state charges $75 to handle caregiver applications. Non-residents with medicinal marijuana cards from other states are not permitted to buy marijuana at Florida dispensaries. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Weed in Florida

You have to be 18 years old and above to buy weed in Florida. Registered caregivers are allowed to purchase herbal cannabis on behalf of minors. Patients below the age of 18 are not permitted to smoke medicinal cannabis unless they have been given a terminal diagnosis and a second board-certified doctor agrees with the prescription.

How Much Weed Can You Carry in Florida?

Carrying below 28 grams of weed (one ounce) without a prescription is illegal in Florida. Nevertheless, registered patients with a medical marijuana card in Florida can carry up to 2.5 ounces (70.9 grams) of herbal cannabis every 35 days. 

The possession of a 70-day worth of cannabis is illegal, while patients are advised to keep purchased cannabis in its original packaging. Licensed persons may not possess more than 4 ounces (113.4 grams) at any given time. Also, registered physicians must not recommend over 15 ounces (425.2 grams) over a 210-day period.

What Happens if You Get Caught With Weed Under 18 in Florida?

Persons below 18 years old found with weed may be charged under Florida juvenile laws. Generally, patients not up to 18 years old are expected to own cannabis only in the possession of their caregivers. Therefore, law enforcers will charge juveniles possessing legal or recreational weed. Charges of simple ownership are first-degree misdemeanors, which carry a maximum one-year prison sentence. First-time juvenile offenses are handled in juvenile court, where the offender has the option of having the charges erased from their record. 

The state juvenile justice system recognizes that young people convicted of drug possession and who have a criminal history are more likely to commit crimes again than those who don't. Due to this, minors charged with simple possession will be able to avoid the criminal justice system and leave the situation with a clean record, thanks to the juvenile system. When given a chance to redeem themselves from drug use, juveniles are more liable to make amends for their mistakes and get rehabilitated than when faced with severe punishment and a criminal record.

Drug crimes stain a person's criminal record and may prevent them from joining specific organizations or organizations in the future. In addition, drug-possessing minors frequently face strict punishment from the juvenile legal system in an effort to discourage other youth from participating in the same conduct.

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Have in Florida?

None. Florida marijuana laws do not allow individuals to grow marijuana plants for medical or recreational purposes. Marijuana cultivation is a crime that carries a potential punishment of several years in jail. 

  • According to Florida Statutes §893.13(1)(a), cultivation is a 3rd-degree felony punishable by a maximum 5-year prison term or a fine of $5000. 
  • Owning 25 cannabis plants and a grow house can result in a 2nd-degree felony conviction that carries a maximum fifteen-year jail sentence.
  • Cultivation may be classified as a 1st-degree felony if kids are housed in the area where the plants are being grown.

However, the state hemp program allows individuals to grow hemp and other cannabis derivatives with THC content below 0.3%. Individuals who wish to grow low-THC cannabis must register for hemp cultivation permits from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). 

There are efforts to include a proposal regarding the cultivation of marijuana plants for medicinal purposes on the November 2022 ballot. The 2016 Medical Marijuana Legalization Amendment would be revised to add up to nine cannabis plants when defining "medical usage." Patients and their caretakers would fall under this category.

How Much Weed Can You Fly With from Florida?

None. Crossing state lines with weed possession is still illegal since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug according to federal laws. Therefore, patients traveling across state lines by plane are advised to stay away from marijuana. However, eligible persons may fly with marijuana products containing less than 0.3 percent THC per the Transportation Security Administration guidelines. 

However, qualified residents traveling by air within Florida with weed can carry up to four ounces of weed. If you must bring medicinal marijuana on a trip, be aware that it won't necessarily be handled any differently than recreational marijuana. This implies that regardless of whether you have a Florida medical marijuana card, it may still be confiscated if medicinal marijuana is discovered during airport security screening. 

Is It Illegal to Be High in Public in Florida?

Yes, it is illegal to be high in public in Florida. Generally, Florida marijuana regulation forbids the consumption of cannabis in all public places, especially on a school campus and on public transportation. The acceptable location to consume medical marijuana must be private residences or workplaces, provided employers agree to it. Furthermore, marijuana use while driving is prohibited. According to Florida Statutes 856.011(1), intoxicated persons who endanger the wellbeing of another individual or cause a public disturbance may be charged with disorderly intoxication.

Florida Marijuana Possession Laws