Florida Marijuana Laws – What You Need to Know

Marijuana in a jar and outside of a jar on a prescription pad

Marijuana laws in Florida have changed over the years and differ from other states. While some lawmakers are pushing for the legalization of marijuana, others are opposed to the idea. Here’s what you need to know about Tampa weed laws.

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What Are Florida Marijuana Laws?

Florida marijuana laws allow medical marijuana use but not recreational use. According to Florida statute § 893.13, medical marijuana users require physician approval to consume marijuana in the state lawfully. Medical marijuana users can smoke or consume it in another way, such as edibles or oils.

While recreational marijuana use remains illegal in the State of Florida as of 2019, many cities charge recreational use as a civil offense rather than as a crime.

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 created the Office of Compassionate Use, which was authorized by the Department of Health. Essentially, the act allowed medical use of cannabis with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. The act defined low-THC cannabis as containing 0.8% or less of THC and more than 10% of cannabidiol weight for weight.

With a medical marijuana card, individuals could purchase low-THC cannabis products from a Florida marijuana dispensary.

Florida Medical Marijuana Law

Florida’s medical cannabis law is Florida Revised Statutes 381.986. The law gives a list of medical conditions that may qualify a patient to use medical marijuana, such as chronic nonmalignant pain. A physician must approve the patient for use. The law creates regulations for a user registry, caregiver possession, and treatment centers for purchasing consumable marijuana.

When medical marijuana was first approved, only oils and edibles were legal. Smoking marijuana was not legal. However, in 2019, lawmakers approved smoking medical marijuana along with other ways to consume it for health purposes.

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Florida Medical Marijuana Use?

Here is the list of some of the debilitating medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis use in Florida:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • PTSD
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Other terminal medical conditions
  • Chronic pain

Chronic nonmalignant pain is the most common medical condition used to qualify for a medical marijuana card. A person who falsely represents their symptoms to be eligible for medical marijuana faces a misdemeanor charge.

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Is Recreational Weed Legal in Florida?

No, recreational marijuana is not legal in Florida. Only medical marijuana is legal in Florida. There are many qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana. However, people who use it for recreational purposes without having a medical marijuana card in Florida may face criminal charges.

Are Marijuana Edibles Legal in Florida?

Table with different cannabis edibles and joints

Yes, edibles are legal in Florida, but only for medical purposes. A person that is approved to use medical marijuana lawfully may consume edibles. They may also use oils, sprays, and pills. In fact, it has been legal to use edibles for medical purposes since 2016 in Florida. It has only been legal to smoke medical marijuana since 2019.

Is Marijuana Legal in Tampa, Florida?

Medical marijuana is legal in Tampa, but recreational marijuana is not. Even though violators may face criminal charges under state law, the City of Tampa has created a system that allows law enforcement to issue civil infractions for marijuana offenders.

The city council voted 5-1 to implement the civil system for unlawful possession of 20 grams of marijuana. Offenders face a maximum fine of $75 for a first offense and escalating fines for additional violations. More than 20 grams is still punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison (depending on the amount).

Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card Under 18 in Florida?

Yes, you can get a medical marijuana card under 18 in Florida. However, the minor must meet qualifications based on a severe medical illness. Any minor seeking a medical marijuana card in Florida must have approval from two physicians who are qualified to evaluate a patient and approve them for marijuana use. The minor’s parents must also consent to the child having a medical marijuana card.

What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Florida?

The penalties for weed possession in Florida depend on the amount of marijuana that you have in your possession.

  1. Possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
  2. The more marijuana found in your possession, the greater the penalty.
  3. The top penalty for marijuana possession in the State of Florida is up to 30 years in prison.

Some cities in Florida choose to issue civil infractions rather than misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession.

Is It Illegal to Drive After Smoking Marijuana in Florida?

A person with a joint in their hand while driving

No, driving after smoking marijuana is not legal in Florida. Even if you have a medical marijuana card, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Florida. If you drive after smoking or consuming cannabis, you may face criminal drunk driving charges just as if you were over the legal limit for alcohol. If you cause an accident, you may be financially responsible to the victim for their injuries.

Free Consultation With Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you been hurt in an accident involving a driver that was smoking marijuana? You may deserve financial compensation. Even though Florida allows medical marijuana use, it’s still illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. When you’re hurt by a driver who has been smoking marijuana, you may qualify to bring a personal injury claim for your damages.

The attorneys at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, can evaluate your case and determine your legal rights. Our team knows all of the latest marijuana laws, including the laws that relate to car accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation to see what your claim may be worth.

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