Florida Marijuana Trafficking Laws

Can You Mail Weed Legally in Florida?

No. Recreational marijuana is illegal in the State of Florida. Per Florida Statute 893.13, it is illegal to possess, transport, mail, or use marijuana. An individual or private mail service found delivering or mailing 20g of a controlled substance is guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree, an offense punishable by a $1,000.00 fine and a maximum term of one year in jail. More severe punishments are applicable for individuals found mailing larger quantities of marijuana. These penalties may range from 5 years to over 30 years in jail. Fines may also range from $5,000.00 to more than $200,000.00, depending on the quantity of marijuana involved.

In addition, the United States Code Section 844, Title 21 criminalizes marijuana possession on a federal level. Therefore, federal authorities may prosecute individuals attempting to transport or mail marijuana across state lines.

As a federal law enforcement agency, the United States Postal Service may seize parcels suspected to contain controlled substances and report involved individuals to law enforcement. However, under the Florida Medical Use of Marijuana Act, registered marijuana treatment centers may deliver marijuana to registered qualifying patients in the state. Nonetheless, each delivery should not exceed a 35-day supply of smokable flower or up to 2.5 ounces, and a 70-day supply of other cannabis forms, including edibles.

What Are the Penalties for Transporting Edibles Across State Lines in Florida?

Per Florida Statutes Section 381.986(8)(e)8, edibles are commercially available food products created with marijuana oils, leaves, and other marijuana extracts that individuals may consume orally. Some major forms of edibles are gummies, tablets, gelatins, baked goods, chocolates, and drinks. In Florida, only Marijuana Treatment Centers may distribute marijuana-infused edibles.

Interstate transportation of or delivery of marijuana is governed by federal law. Per United States Code Section 844, Title 21, interstate transportation is illegal. An individual found transporting more than 1,000 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana is guilty of a felony. The punishment may range from 10 years to life in prison. However, if death or serious bodily injury results from the offense, the individual faces 20 years to life. Similarly, individuals found transporting marijuana across state lines may also be fined $10,000,000.00, while other legal entities may receive fines up to $50,000,000.00.

How to Get a Drug Trafficking Charge Dismissed in Florida

In Florida, the onus rests on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an individual was aware of the drugs and knowingly transported the same intending to distribute. Therefore, an individual charged with drug trafficking can employ several strategies to reduce or dismiss the charges. Some of these strategies are:

  • Insufficient evidence - This entails challenging the evidence provided by the state as inadequate or insufficient to hold the drug trafficking charge.
  • Challenge the legality of the search or evidence - The U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment forbids arbitrary searches and seizures. Florida courts may dismiss cases where law enforcement obtained evidence without following due process.
  • Discredit the informant - Providing evidence that an informant has something to gain by ensuring a conviction may help get charges dismissed.
  • Entrapment Defense - Entrapment can happen when law enforcement confidentially pressures, coerces, or induces the accused into committing the crime. This method can be effective if the defense can prove that the accused would not have committed the offense otherwise.
  • Substantial assistance - Providing substantial assistance to law enforcement may also be used as grounds to dismiss drug trafficking charges.

Drug Trafficking Facts in Florida

An individual may also be convicted for drug trafficking if found in possession of illicit substances as follows:

  • 4 grams or more of heroin
  • 28 grams or more of cocaine
  • 28 grams or more of hydrocodone
  • 7 grams or more of oxycodone
  • Fentanyl

The severity of a drug trafficking charge ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the quantity, substance type, and circumstance around the trafficking. For example, an individual caught transporting, delivering, or possessing 20 grams of marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor. However, a person caught with more than 20 grams faces a felony charge and more severe punishments.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the primary federal agency enforcing laws on controlled substances. The DEA also enforces federal money laundering and bulk currency smuggling legislation when the funds involved in the transactions or smuggling originate from drug sales. Other state and federal agencies tasked with handling drug offenses include:

How Many Grams of Weed Is Considered Trafficking in Florida?

Per Florida Statutes Section 893.135, a person is guilty of drug trafficking if the person knowingly sells, buys, manufactures, delivers, or brings into the state, 25 pounds of weed or 300 cannabis plants. Similarly, an individual knowingly in actual or constructive possession of at least 25 pounds of cannabis, or at least 300 cannabis plants, is liable to drug trafficking charges.

What Are the Weed Trafficking Consequences in Florida?

The following are the consequences of trafficking weed in Florida:

  • 25 pounds to 2,000 pounds, or at least 300 cannabis plants: Mandatory 3-year prison sentence and a $25,000.00 fine.
  • More than 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds, or more than 2,000 cannabis plants but less than 10,000 plants: Mandatory minimum 7-year jail sentence and a $50,000.00 fine.
  • At least 10,000 pounds or at least 10,000 cannabis plants: 15-year minimum jail sentence and a $200,000.00 fine.

How to Transport Weed Legally in Florida

In Florida, only licensed marijuana treatment centers and qualified medical marijuana patients and their caregivers may legally transport weed in the state. A qualified person may only transport weed in a medical lock box and keep the box out of the reach of children.

Per Section 381.986(8)(a) of the Florida Statutes, the Florida Department of Health is in charge of awarding licenses to marijuana treatment facilities. A candidate must fill out the Application for Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Registration Form and submit it to the Department of Health for review. MTC licenses are issued every two years.

Completed applications should contain the following:

  • A non-refundable application fee of $60,830.00.
  • Written proof from the Florida Department of State or Department of Revenue confirming that the applicant has a Florida registered business that has existed for at least five years. The applicant's name on the application must match the name on any such supporting documentation.
  • Written evidence that the applicant holds a current Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services registration certificate.
  • A list of the business’ owners, managers, officers, and board members, along with the date of their most recent Level-2 background check within one year of the application.

Parties should deliver applications in person to:

The Department of Health

Office of Medical Marijuana Use

4052 Bald Cypress Way

Tallahassee, FL 32399

The Department of Health will review submitted applications and notify applicants with incomplete applications within 15 days of receiving the applications. These applicants must provide missing documents within five days of receiving such notifications.

Florida Marijuana Trafficking Laws