It’s clear that the sentencing structure is designed to penalize industrial cultivators as being found in possession of 10,000 plants could result in 30 years’ prison and a $50,000 fine. And any cannabis cultivation found within 1,000 feet of a park, educational institution, or other designated area can carry a 15-year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine. These are hefty sums, so it’s clear that growing your own weed is not something to be taken lightly.
However, this would be a perilous undertaking unless you are prepared to do a stealth grow in the middle of a remote section of the Everglades. The Floridian police force is well-funded and prepared to spend resources and time on collecting evidence on those suspected of growing weed in their property, using undercover officers, in formats, tapping phone lines and many other tactics.
Is it legal to grow cannabis in Florida?
A massive campaign to secure a referendum to legalize recreational cannabis in Florida was announced in 2019. The project was supported by giant MedMen, one of California’s biggest cannabis companies, so many are hopeful that things will eventually change. The legalisation of recreational cannabis would allow adults 21 years of age and older to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The proposal failed in 2020, but with strong voter support for legalisation of cannabis, there will likely be other attempts to reform in the coming decade, although it will probably be structured to benefit Big Pharma rather than small scale growers.
Things are starting to change, and many are hopeful that the law in Florida could eventually change to allow people in the state to grow a limited number of plants at home for personal use. However, the situation is currently on hold.
It is illegal to cultivate marijuana in Florida, so if you are tempted to start a grow, you need to be aware of the risk and be very careful. Growing 25 cannabis plants can carry a maximum prison sentence of five years, in conjunction with a $5,000 fine. The greater the number of plants, the higher the penalty; for example, 25 to 300 plants could lead to a jail term of 15 years and a $10,000 fine. 300 and 2,000 cannabis plants, and you could be looking at a maximum jail term of 15 years and a $25,000 fine. It’s worth noting that hash is also illegal in the Sunshine State, as is marijuana concentrate.
Cannabis seeds are legal in Florida, and may be freely purchased and sold. When it comes to mailing them into the state from another state, the law is a little more ambiguous, and there have been some reports of seeds being withheld at customs.
The legalisation of medicinal cannabis demonstrates how attitudes towards the drug have changed in Florida. When the Medical Marijuana Legalisation Initiative was put to the vote, 71% of the state’s citizens approved it – a considerable majority.
Obtaining medicinal cannabis in Florida
Once approved, the patient is then entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (and their caregiver, if applicable). They can then apply for an ID card, and obtain cannabis products at any approved Medical Marijuana Treatment Centre. Alternatively, they can have the products delivered to their home.
There is still some opposition to its use; notably from Republican representatives. However, it seems that the public are largely open to the legalisation of the drug.
If the laws change after the 2020 general election, then selling cannabis may become legal. Regulate Florida are petitioning to not only get recreational cannabis legalised, but also to create a regulated industry, enabling the plant to be sold to the general public.
However, several cities including San Diego and Miami have introduced new reforms to apply lesser penalties as the state begins to loosen cannabis laws.
Unfortunately, recreational cannabis use remains illegal in the state of Florida. Possession of up to 20 grams is considered a misdemeanour offence, punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $1000, as well as the suspension of one’s driver’s license.
As mentioned, medical use was first legalized in 2016 thanks to a constitutional amendment making Florida the first southern state to adopt proactive measures relating to cannabis law.The initiative was overwhelmingly approved with 71% of the total votes cast and with its introduction, medical marijuana can now be cultivated and dispensed to qualifying patients.
But is it legal to grow cannabis in Florida?
While cannabis remains illegal for recreational use in Florida, the Sunshine State became the first southern U.S state to legalise the plant in any form when they first introduced medical cannabis back in 2016.
In this article, we explore the relevant cannabis laws in Florida relevant to possession, consumption and cultivation.
Under the legislation, those with debilitating medical ailments as determined by a licensed state physician may qualify to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Some of the conditions that qualify for medical cannabis use in Florida include cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain, amongst others