Lee County Cannabis Overview

  1. Florida Cannabis
  2. Lee County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Lee County?

Yes, but only for medical marijuana. The State of Florida legalized the medical use of marijuana in 2016. Florida Statute 381.986 says that only marijuana treatment centers may hold a license to cultivate medical cannabis and low-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cannabis. The statute also says that the qualified patient or caregiver's registration may be revoked if ever they are caught cultivating marijuana from any person or establishment other than a medical marijuana treatment center. Recreational marijuana is still prohibited in Florida.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Lee County?

Yes, cannabis manufacturing is legal in Lee County. Florida Statute 381.986 says that only licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and their owners, managers, and employees may manufacture, sell, possess, distribute, dispense, deliver, and lawfully dispose of marijuana.

To ensure the safety and security of areas where marijuana processing, cultivation, storing or dispensing occurs, a medical marijuana treatment center shall:

  • Maintain a functional security alarm system that secures all perimeter windows and entry points
  • Maintain a video surveillance system that continuously records 24 hours a day
  • Ensure that the outdoor premises have sufficient lighting
  • Ensure that the indoor premises include a waiting area with adequate space and seating to accommodate qualified patients and caregivers
  • Not dispense from its premises marijuana between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., but may deliver marijuana to qualified patients 24 hours a day
  • Store marijuana in a vault or a secured and locked room
  • Require a minimum of two employees to be present on the premises at all times where processing, cultivation, or storing of marijuana occurs
  • Require all employees to wear an identification badge at all times while on duty
  • Require each visitor to wear a visitor badge at all times while on the premises
  • Implement a drug and alcohol-free workplace policy
  • Report to local authorities or law enforcement within 24 hours after the treatment center becomes aware of theft or loss of marijuana

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Lee County?

Yes. The State allows cannabis dispensaries to be operated only by licensed medical marijuana treatment centers. Only qualified patients are permitted to buy medical-use cannabis from these dispensaries. Approved medical marijuana treatment centers dispense low-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cannabis, medical cannabis, and cannabis delivery devices.

In accordance with Florida Statute 381.986, the medical marijuana treatment centers must see to it that before dispensing cannabis, the test results should indicate that the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) meets the potency requirements of low-THC cannabis, the labeling of the concentration of THC and cannabidiol is accurate, and all cannabis and cannabis-related products are free from contaminants and safe for human consumption.

Low-THC cannabis and edibles are approved for sale in Lee County. According to  Florida Statute 381.986, edibles shall not contain more than 200 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol, and a single serve of an edible shall not exceed 10 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol. Edibles shall have a potency variance not exceeding 15 percent. 

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Lee County?

Yes. Pursuant to Florida Statute 381.986, approved medical marijuana treatment centers are permitted to transport and dispense marijuana for medical use. To ensure the safe transport of marijuana to qualified patients, marijuana testing laboratories, or other medical marijuana treatment centers, the medical marijuana treatment center must maintain a marijuana transportation manifest in the vehicle transporting marijuana. The marijuana transportation manifest must be produced by the treatment center's seed-to-sale tracking system and include the following:

  • Departure date and estimated time of departure
  • Name, address, location, and license number of the medical marijuana treatment center where the marijuana came from
  • Name and address of the marijuana recipient
  • Quantity and form of marijuana or marijuana delivery device being delivered
  • Arrival date and approximate time of arrival
  • Delivery vehicle license plate number, make and model
  • Name and signature of the employees of the medical marijuana treatment center delivering the product

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Lee County

To obtain a medical marijuana card in Florida, each patient must: be a Florida resident, be diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a certifying physician, and must have been encoded to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry by a qualifying physician (with a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Patient Identification Number).

New patient applications must include:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of your Florida driver's license or Florida identification card, or other proof of residency
  • A $75 check or money order (application fee) payable to the Florida Department of Health
  • A full-face, 2x2 inches passport-type, color photograph taken within 90 days preceding application

Minor applications must also include:

  • A designated caregiver and a caregiver application with Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card

According to Florida Statute 381.986, the qualifying health conditions are:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Medical conditions of the same kind or class as mentioned above
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by an ordering physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification.
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain

The department urges applicants to complete the process online as this lessens processing time. Patients then receive an email from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) once their email is approved and added to the registry by their qualified certifying physician, which directs them to the application. Once an application is approved, qualified patients receive an approval email which can be entered to fill an order at an approved medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) while they await their physical card.

For questions or concerns, you may also mail or contact:

Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU)

Tampa, Florida

PO Box 31313

medicalmarijuanause@flhealth.gov

tel: (800) 808-9580

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Lee County?

A study from Duke University titled "An Economic Analysis of Marijuana Legalization in Florida" concludes that Florida's combined annual savings and increase in tax revenue that would come from the legalization of marijuana would total $145.7 million yearly in the short run and $285.5 million yearly in the long run.

While Statute 381.986 mentions that medical cannabis is tax-exempt, medical marijuana gross sales are still subject to the statewide 6% sales tax.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Lee County

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued an arrest database for Lee County. The report for total drug arrests in Lee County surprisingly shows an increase in cases for the years 2015 to 2017⏤ from 3,641, 4,051, to 4,206, respectively. Note that the 2016 marijuana legalization in Florida is for medical use only.

As for the DUI cases in Lee County for 2015, 2016, and 2017, data generated from the same arrest report showed a varying number of cases from 1,446, 1,527, and 1,491, respectively.

Lee County Cannabis