Yes, cultivating cannabis is legal in St. Johns County provided it is for medical use only as stipulated by the State of Florida’s Statute 381.986. If a company intends to grow medical cannabis, it must apply to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) of the Florida Department of Health (DOH) for a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) license.
Statute 381.986 only allows the use of medical cannabis that contains 0.8% or lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight. There is no restriction, though, on the percentage of cannabidiol (CBD) content.
The cultivation of medical cannabis by licensed MMTCs must be done only indoors. They must also keep their medical cannabis crops completely separated from any other types of crops they may be growing.
Statute XXXV Chapter 581 of the State of Florida’s Plant Industry requires all licensed MMTCs to keep a tight watch over the medical cannabis crops, flowers, and seeds, to be able to immediately discover any signs of infestations that may harm statewide agriculture. They must eradicate any infestations at once through proper treatment and fumigation. The only pesticides that licensed cultivators are permitted to use are those that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) allows for use on agricultural produce intended for human consumption.
Yes, manufacturing cannabis is legal in St. Johns County, but Statute 381.986 of Florida limits this to medical cannabis products only. Any company that intends to manufacture medical cannabis products is also required to apply for an MMTC license from the OMMU. In addition to the cultivation of medical cannabis, the license also authorizes manufacturing.
Medical cannabis manufacturing must take place completely indoors. This must be separate from the production of any other goods. Licensed medical cannabis manufacturers must follow any relevant DOH requirements when handling a potentially hazardous solvent or gas. Licensed MMTCs must also abide by federal and state standards controlling the collection and disposal of liquid and solid waste.
Two samples must be taken from every batch of medical cannabis processed by a licensed MMTC, and must be set aside for safekeeping for nine months at the minimum. The licensed MMTC is required to pass, within that period, an audit of its samples, testing records, and standard operating procedures by a DOH-approved medical cannabis testing facility.
Medical cannabis products are tested to analyze the following:
Concentrations of THC and CBD
DOH potency requirements compliance
Accuracy of content labeling
Safety for human consumption
The DOH must be given the audit results. The DACS will subsequently be requested by the DOH to confirm if the audit results are corroborated by the MMTC's samples.
As mandated by Statute 381.986, licensed MMTCs must package all their medical cannabis products in conformity with the 1970 Poison Prevention Packaging Act of the United States. Each pack must sport a label that indicates the product name, the quantity of its THC and cannabidiol content, the medical cannabis harvest number, and the medical cannabis batch number. A warning must plainly express the rule prohibiting the giving of medicinal cannabis to anybody other than the designated registered patients. The label must not be worded in a way that is identical to that used on the packaging of children's items in any manner.
Each medical cannabis item packaged by a licensed MMTC must also include a clinical pharmacology leaflet containing the following information:
The number of doses in the product
The strength of each dose
Medical applications for the product
Instructions for using the product
Contraindications of cannabis medication
Possible product side effects that may be hazardous
Further precautions and safety measures
To manufacture edible medical cannabis products legally, a licensed MMTC must obtain a food permit granted by the DACS under the Florida Food Safety Act. The same regulations that apply to all food enterprises must be met by a licensed MMTC to carry out this role. It must agree to have its facilities inspected by a national organization. To be eligible, it must also receive a certification in Food Safety Good Manufacturing Practices.
It is illegal to create edible medical cannabis products that resemble sweets or other foods often given to minors. A maximum 15% variation in potency is permitted for all edible medical cannabis products. A package may include a maximum of 20 servings with a total THC content of 200 milligrams, and each serving may contain a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC. The detailed ingredient list, the expiration date, and directions for secure storage must all be included on the label of every edible medical cannabis product.
Medical cannabis products that are intended to be ingested or smoked must be packaged in unmarked, white, opaque containers. The only graphic that can be featured on the packaging is the licensed MMTC's DOH-approved logo. It is required to include a label that warns buyers to keep the items away from the reach of minors. It is also required to include a disclaimer that medical cannabis intended for smoking may include chemicals that are hazardous to inhale.
Yes, retail selling of cannabis is legal in St. Johns County, but this is restricted to medical cannabis and medical cannabis products as Florida’s Statute 381.986 mandates. Companies that intend to do so also need an MMTC license from the OMMU since that covers dispensing in addition to cultivation and manufacturing. Licensed MMTC dispensaries are only allowed to sell to patients and caregivers who are Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) cardholders. There are four licensed MMTC dispensaries in St. Johns County.
Licensed dispensary selling hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. only. They are allowed to sell the following medical cannabis forms:
Pills and capsules
Vape devices containing medical cannabis
Smokable medical cannabis
Licensed MMTCs must cross-reference on the online registry the patient's MMUR ID card. By doing so, they also identify the type and dose of medical cannabis that the patient's doctor's certification recommends. Licensed MMTCs may only supply the exact type of medical cannabis, the dose, and the administration route specified in the prescription.
For medical cannabis intended for smoking, each patient may only get a 35-day supply from a licensed MMTC, with a maximum of 2.5 ounces at every transaction. For other types of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products, the patient may purchase a 70-day supply. However, on August 29, 2022, the following additional limits were imposed on the quantity of THC content in the medical cannabis or medical cannabis product that each patient is allowed to purchase from a licensed dispensary per day:
Edibles: 60 milligrams
Topicals: 150 milligrams
Sublingual preparations: 190 milligrams
Suppositories: 190 milligrams
Capsules: 200 milligrams
Tinctures: 200 milligrams
Additionally, patients can only buy a maximum of 350 milligrams of nicotine in a vaping product each day.
The following details must be clearly labeled on each medical cannabis product that the licensed MMTC is selling:
The MMTC name
The patient's name
The caregiver's name, if relevant
The name of the medical specialist who issued the certification
The recommended dosage of medical cannabis
Each sale must be reported to the MMUR by the licensed MMTC. For each purchase, the following information must be logged:
The purchase date and time
The name of the dispensary employee who made the sale
The name of the patient who made the purchase
If relevant, the name of the caregiver who made the purchase
The kind of medical cannabis or medical cannabis product purchased
If relevant, the medical cannabis administration accessory purchased
Medical cannabis retail outlets require strict security, which is the responsibility of licensed MMTCs. A vault or any other well-secured area must be provided for the storage of medical cannabis. Alarms and CCTVs are required to be part of a 24-hour security system for the property.
Yes, delivering cannabis is legal in St. Johns County but, in compliance with Statute 381.986 of the State of Florida, only medical cannabis and medical cannabis products can be delivered only by licensed MMTCs to the registered residences of MMUR cardholding patients and caregivers.
Each medical cannabis delivery must be made by two workers of a licensed MMTC. In order to create a medical cannabis transit manifest before the product leaves the facility, the licensed MMTC is required to employ the seed-to-sale tracking system. The manifest must be completed and stored for at least three years.
The following information must be included in the medical cannabis transit manifest:
Name, address, and license number of the licensed MMTC
Names and signatures of the licensed MMTC delivery personnel
The types and quantities of medical cannabis provided
Name and address of the patient
The delivery vehicle's make, model, and license plate number
The date of delivery
The date and time the product left the MMTC facility
The time the product arrived at the patient's house
Each medical cannabis item must be handed over personally to the registered patient or caregiver by the licensed MMTC's delivery personnel. Delivery employees are prohibited from leaving the parcel in the letterbox or any other storage location. As confirmation that they received the delivery, the patient or caregiver must sign a duplicate of the medical cannabis transit manifest.
A Florida MMUR ID card can be applied for by a permanent resident of St. Johns County or even by seasonal visitors. To apply with the OMMU, they must first be examined by a state-licensed doctor who is qualified to provide medical cannabis treatment and diagnosed to have one of the qualifying medical conditions below:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Other medical conditions similar to the aforementioned
After the patient has been diagnosed, the physician will input their name and email address into the MMUR. The doctor will also input the information of the caregiver if the patient requires one. Because minors are not permitted to buy medical cannabis on their own, they require caregivers. Purchasing assistance may also be needed by some adult patients.
Once registered by the physician, the patient and caregiver will each be given an identifying number by the MMUR. They will also be sent an email by the MMUR containing their temporary account login and password. The patient and caregiver must use these to get into the registry, update their password, and finish the application process.
Patients may also submit applications manually. The official application form must be printed and filled up. This must be mailed together with the necessary documentation to the following address:
Office of Medical Marijuana Use
PO Box 31313
Tampa, FL 33631-3313
A $75 processing charge is applied to all applicants. For online applications, this is paid online. Cash is not allowed for postal applications. A check or money order made to the Florida Department of Health must be included instead, with the memo line containing the patient's ID number.
Sales tax is not imposed on medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, and devices used for medical cannabis, according to Statute 381.986 Section 212.08. Therefore, St. Johns County and the State of Florida do not benefit economically from the legalization of medical cannabis.
The sales of medical cannabis are high and increasing, and if a sales tax was imposed, high revenues would be earned from it. The OMMU's sales statement with data from July 6 to 13, 2018 shows that MMTCs across the state sold 29,470,708 milligrams of medical cannabis within that period. After four years, the quantity of medical cannabis sold statewide by MMTCs in the week of July 29 to August 4, 2022 reached 243,358,822 milligrams.
Statute 381.986 legalized medical cannabis in Florida in 2017. In the same year, according to data from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, there were 471 arrests related to drug abuse violations. In 2020, this decreased to 422 arrests for drug abuse violations.
There were 151 DUI arrests in 2017. This increased to 338 DUI arrests in 2020.