However, attempts are being made to make recreational cannabis use legal, as it is in some other US states. In 2019, state representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Michael Grieco filed a bill, seeking to legalise the drug. This wasn’t given a hearing or a vote. Their bill proposed to permit adults over the age of 21 to “use, possess, and transport” up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, and grow up to six plants.
The US is governed by federal and state laws. This article covers the cannabis laws in the state of Florida. For US federal laws, please visit this page.
Can you sell cannabis in Florida?
In fact, Florida was one of the first to embrace cannabis. The Miami Pop Festival (which was held a year before Woodstock) was full of people smoking it, along with performances by Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix.
If approved, the bill directs Florida’s Department of Agriculture to start drafting the rules for the state’s hemp industry, with regards to safety standards, licencing, and quality control. An advisory council will also be created, providing education to local communities, and explaining how hemp differs from cannabis.
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.
Under the new law, possession of 25 or more plants (formerly 300 plants) is prima facie evidence of intent to sell or distribute, and is a second degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of greater than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Conviction of a drug related offense also requires suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for at least six months but not longer than two years.
The possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Mandatory minimum sentence: When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.