Florida Marijuana Limitations

What Happens if I am Under 21 and Caught Carrying or Using Cannabis?

It is illegal for anyone to buy, possess, or use cannabis in Florida except for persons who have been registered on the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry. Possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties including jail, probation, and driver's license revocation.

First-time juveniles in possession of marijuana cases are almost done in juvenile court, with the opportunity to have the charges sealed from the defendants' records. Sentences commonly end up as some sort of combination of counseling, probation, diversion, or in extreme cases, detention. Florida is aware that juveniles who are convicted and left with criminal records are more likely to commit the same offense again when compared to juveniles with clean criminal records. Hence, the State permits minors with simple possession charges to be diverted from the criminal system and allows them to avoid having criminal records.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Florida?

When Florida residents voted on Amendment 2 in November 2016, many thought all types of medical marijuana would be available for patient use, including smokable cannabis flowers and edibles. Eventually, when Amendment 2 was implemented in 2017, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) moved to ban all smokable forms of medical cannabis. The only exceptions made to the DOH were vape oils, capsules, and topical creams.

Governor Ron DeSantis petitioned the Florida State Legislature to remove the restrictions in Amendment 2. In March 2019, Governor DeSantis signed SB182 into law, lifting the ban on cannabis smoking. Therefore, medical marijuana patients can choose to purchase smokable flowers as one of the cannabis therapeutic options at licensed dispensaries.

Florida stipulates that smoke from cannabis poses a health threat to the public. Hence, medical marijuana is only permitted to be smoked at home. You cannot smoke weed in public or a closed indoor workplace as defined in the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. Smoking of weed is prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, place of worship, or public housing. Private parties may restrict or limit smoking or vaping medical marijuana on their private properties. You may be able to smoke medical marijuana in a nursing home, hospice, or assisted living facility if the facility does not prohibit medical use of marijuana in its policies.

Note that in Florida, medical cannabis in a form for smoking must remain in its original plain, white packaging. Patients under the age of 18 may not obtain certification for marijuana for medical use by smoking except in instances where the patients are diagnosed with terminal conditions and a second physician, who is a board-certified pediatrician agrees with the determination.

Florida also requires patients smoking marijuana to sign a standardized consent form which includes information about the dangers of smoking near oxygen tanks. The DOH also advises patients to check their marijuana supplies for mold contaminants. Buds can get infected with mold or mildew that poses significant health risks.

Can I Leave Florida with Cannabis?

While it is legal to carry, possess, or use medical cannabis in Florida, it is illegal to leave the state with it. Per federal law, cannabis remains a Schedule I drug. Hence, persons caught crossing state lines with the drug will face charges. Even though several states have legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use, it is still a crime to possess any amount of marijuana under federal law. Hence, possessing a Florida medical marijuana card will save you from criminal charges if you carry cannabis with you when going through TSA or crossing state lines in an airplane.

You can also not consume or possess cannabis on federal properties located within Florida. These include national parks and government offices.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in Florida?

Persons found driving under the influence of marijuana face harsh penalties in Florida. Driving while intoxicated by cannabis is prohibited and punishable in the same way as driving while impaired by alcohol is. Driving under the influence of cannabis usually results in hefty penalties, license revocation, and prison time. Convictions may be kept on your record for up to 75 years.

In Florida, the penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis are as follows:

  • For the first DUI offense: up to 6 months in prison; penalties ranging from $500 to $1,000; license suspension ranging from 6 months to a year; 50 hours of community service or a $500 "buyout" option; car impoundment for 10 days.

  • For a second DUI offense, the penalties are as follows: up to 9 months in jail; fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000; a mandatory ignition interlock device; a license suspension ranging from one to five years; one year of probation with a psychosocial evaluation; 50 hours of community service or a $500 buyout; and a 10-day vehicle impoundment.

  • For the third DUI offense: Possible felony with up to one year in jail; a fine between $2,000 and $5,000; a 2-10-year license suspension; one year of mandatory probation with a psycho-social evaluation; installation of an ignition interlock device; 50 hours of community service or a $500 buyout; 90-day vehicle impoundment.

  • For the fourth offense, the penalty is a felony punishable by up to $5,000 in penalties, up to 5 years in jail, a lifetime license revocation, 50 hours of community service or a $500 buyout option, and a 90-day car impoundment.

In addition to these penalties, if you are convicted of driving under the influence of cannabis, your car insurance premiums will increase owing to the nature of the crime. The cost of insurance will be determined by your previous criminal background, driving record, and the specific car insurance provider. While insurance businesses are governed by state laws, insurance prices are the result of contractual agreements between customers and insurance companies.

If you have been convicted for possession of cannabis or drugged driving before and are subsequently repeatedly convicted, some automobile insurance companies may view you as a greater risk and adjust the risk by charging you a higher premium.

In addition, Florida also authorizes the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to refuse issuing driver's licenses to residents who are habitual drug users. Therefore, even if you have not been involved in an automobile accident, but have received numerous cannabis convictions, you may still end up losing your license and eventually your auto insurance coverage.

Can I Get a DUI if I Drive While I am High?

Although qualified patients can legally purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Florida Statute § 316.193(1)(A) specifically prohibits a person from driving or being in direct physical control of a vehicle when influenced by any controlled substance, which impairs the person's normal faculties. If you are pulled over while driving under the influence of marijuana, you will be prosecuted and arrested for DUI.

To prove that an individual is driving under the influence of cannabis, Florida requires the prosecutor to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person drove a vehicle and was under the influence of marijuana to the extent that the driver's normal faculties were impaired. If the prosecutor cannot prove that the person drove a vehicle, then it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the individual was in actual physical control of a vehicle. In Florida, actual physical control of a vehicle means the defendant must be physically in a vehicle and have the ability to operate it.

You can be convicted of DUI for alcohol if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is above 0.08%. This is known as the per se legal limit. Unlike alcohol, there is no per se limit for driving under the influence of cannabis in Florida. Therefore, residents with any amount of cannabis in their system are at risk of DUI, even if they are under the influence of legally prescribed medication.

Any traffic violation, whether moving or non-moving may lead to a stop that may result in a marijuana DUI investigation. A police officer may observe a traffic violation and make a traffic stop. Upon interacting with the driver, the officer may need to conduct sobriety tests to gauge the driver's mental faculties. Unlike alcohol-related DUI offenses in which police officers can swiftly obtain BAC measurements through breath rests, possible drug impairments usually require alternate testing methods, such as blood draws or urinalysis. Often the police will summon drug recognition experts (DREs).

A DRE is a law enforcement expert trained in determining whether an alleged offender is under the influence of a controlled substance as well as the type of controlled substance that may have been used. A DRE typically uses a 12-step process on an alleged offender to determine the influence of cannabis. These steps are:

  • Breath alcohol test
  • Interview of the arresting officer
  • Preliminary examination
  • Examination of the eyes
  • Divided attention psychophysical tests
  • Examination of vital signs
  • Dark-room examinations
  • Examination of muscle tone
  • Examination for injection sites
  • Subject's statements and other observations
  • Opinions of the evaluator
  • The toxicological examination

Normal faculties are, but also not limited to, "the capacity to hear, see, speak, walk, estimate distances, operate a vehicle, make decisions, act in crises, and, in general, usually execute the numerous mental and physical actions of everyday life," according to Florida Statute 316.1934(1)."

Typically, individuals under the influence of cannabis experience:

  • A slowed reaction time
  • Limited short-term memory functions
  • Decreased hand-eye coordination
  • Weakened concentration
  • Difficulty perceiving time and distance

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Florida?

You can legally buy medical marijuana in Florida if you are 18 and older, and are a medical marijuana patient. However, there are some restrictions to what constitutes a medical marijuana patient and what you must do to be prescribed the substance. Obtaining a prescription involves speaking to a doctor. The physician must be certified by the state to prescribe marijuana. You can find qualified physicians in Florida by using the Florida medical marijuana qualified physician search tool on the Department of Health website. The patient must also have an examination and discuss the conditions and symptoms for which medical marijuana is needed with the doctor. The doctor may also request information on previous medication and treatment used to treat the condition before determining whether to prescribe medical cannabis use.

There are only a few conditions that may lead to a medicinal cannabis prescription. If your doctor approves of medicinal cannabis usage, you may apply for a Florida Medical Marijuana Card via the Florida Department of Health. Once enrolled in the Compassionate Use Registry, your card will include a complete prescription for a certain number of weeks. After this time, you will need to see a doctor again to get permission to continue using medicinal cannabis.

Patients under the age of 18 are not permitted to use medical cannabis without having obtained legal permission from their parents or legal guardians. Under the Florida medical marijuana program, parents or legal guardians will act as caregivers. A caregiver must be a Florida resident, agree to help a qualifying patient with their medicinal marijuana use, have a caregiver identification card, and satisfy the criteria of Florida Statutes Section 381.986.

You can also purchase medical cannabis as a caregiver:

  • When the patient is an adult who has developmental and/or intellectual impairments and is unable to fully participate in self-care or self-determination for health requirements.
  • When a terminally sick patient is admitted to a hospice program.

It should be noted that individuals under the age of 18 cannot receive certification for marijuana for medicinal use by smoking unless they have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. In such cases, two competent doctors must concur that the patients are suffering from terminal illnesses.

Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Florida?

Patients can purchase medical marijuana from licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs) in Florida. An MMTC is an entity licensed by DOH to cultivate, manufacture, process, acquire, possess, sell, deliver, distribute, dispense, and lawfully dispose of medical marijuana or delivery devices.

Some dispensaries or MMTCs offer delivery services. Delivery fees may apply depending on the dispensary. You need to provide a Registry Identification Card before you can be allowed to purchase medical marijuana in Florida. The ID cards are also used by law enforcement and other individuals to verify that patients are registered on the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry.

MMTCs in Florida are carefully monitored and controlled. You risk getting cited by the authorities if you buy marijuana from an unauthorized dispensary or other source. Your marijuana prescription may only be used in a registered dispensary.

Marijuana products sold in Florida dispensaries currently range from whole flowers, capsules, oils, tinctures, vape cartridges, and topical products. Note that many dispensaries also have their own custom line of products, and some specialize in specific products.

Before you can purchase medical marijuana from an MMTC, the treatment center will verify whether the buyer (patient or caregiver) has:

  • Active registration in the use registry and an active
  • A valid use registry ID card
  • An amount and type of medical marijuana to dispense that matches the certification in the use registry and must not already have been filed

How Much is Medical Marijuana in Florida?

There are no uniform prices for marijuana products in Florida. Prices vary depending on the strain, form, and the dispensary. Florida dispensary products are available in a variety of marijuana strain types including Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains. Hybrids can range from Sativa Dominant, Balanced, to Indica Dominant. Florida strains also include High CBD Strains and CBD-only strains.

According to Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research projections, Florida marijuana users pay $0.15 per milligram of THC or CBD medicines.

In Florida, the approximate prices for marijuana products are:

  • Flower: $50 (1/8th oz)
  • Pre-rolls: $12 per gram
  • Vapes: $35
  • Vapes Cartridges: $55
  • Tinctures: $40
  • Oral Spray: $25
  • Inhalers: $65
  • Shatter: $65
  • Syringes: $75
  • Transdermal Patches: $15
  • Topicals: $55
  • Nasal Sprays: $120
  • Capsules: $20 - $100

Acceptable payment forms for medical cannabis at Florida dispensaries are cash and check. Many treatment centers also accept CanPay. Credit cards are typically not accepted. ATMs are typically present at most locations.

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

Within each certification, your certified physician may prescribe up to six 35-day supply of medicinal marijuana in the form of smoking. A 35-day purchase may not include more than 2.5 ounces of smokable medicinal marijuana. If you reach your limit during the first 35 days, it cannot be reset. You must wait until the next 35-day period to purchase medicinal marijuana. At any one moment, qualified patients may possess no more than 4 ounces of medicinal marijuana in the form of smoking.

Note that marijuana may not be transferred for any purposes other than a caregiver buying and transporting to a designated patient.

Where Is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
In this section:
Florida Marijuana Limitations