However, access to medicinal cannabis remains strictly controlled. No one in Florida can access marijuana for medicinal purposes unless they have first seen a doctor and been granted access to an MMJ card, which needs to be renewed every seven months. All this hassle means that it is not surprising that many Floridians are starting to wonder if it is worth growing their own weed at home.
You may be surprised to learn that cannabis seeds are legal in Florida and can be easily bought and sold. The law is more unclear regarding their dispatch from one state to another, and reports indicate that they are occasionally detained at customs.
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.
Medicinal 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.
Although medical cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, Florida legalized it in 2016. It was first approved by the Florida Senate in 2014, with 36 to three votes for children with epilepsy to be treated with medical cannabis.
The Senate decision was based on the case of a young girl named Charlotte, who used CBD oil to treat her epilepsy. The bill has been dubbed the “Charlotte Web Bill” in honor of the girl. A cannabis strain with a high CBD content is also named after her (Charlotte’s Web).
Cannabis for medicinal use is legal in Florida, but recreational cannabis is not at the time of writing. In fact, Florida currently has some of the toughest anti-cannabis legislation in the USA. Despite its historic conservatism against weed, there is evidence that things are starting to move forward. There has been considerable political pressure on the federal government to legalize the use of weed, but so far the bills have been unsuccessful. The penalties for selling weed or being found in possession of cannabis are severe, and many offenses lead to prison sentences.
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.
But is it legal to grow cannabis in Florida?
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.