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Florida Marijuana Penalties

Updated on June 16, 2021.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Florida decriminalized medical marijuana in November 2016 with the passage of Amendment 2, also known as the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative.

Florida has since expanded its medical marijuana laws. In March 2019, the governor signed SB 182 into law, which allows medical marijuana patients to smoke medical marijuana if a qualified physician deems this method to be appropriate.

In short, you will not be penalized for using medical marijuana, provided that you follow the state’s rules for the Florida medical marijuana program.

Florida Medical Marijuana Program

In Florida, you can use of medical marijuana if you have been diagnosed with the following conditions: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or any similar medical condition. You may also be diagnosed with a terminal condition or chronic malignant pain caused by a qualifying condition.

You must also be permanent or seasonal resident of Florida. You must be diagnosed by a qualified physician, or a doctor who has completed the required training.

After the diagnosis, you must be entered in the Medical Marijuana Use Registry in order to obtain your ID card.

If you have a valid and current Florida medical marijuana card, you can purchase cannabis at a licensed medical marijuana treatment center. If you live in a city without a state-approved treatment center, you may arrange for delivery.

As it stands now, Florida law does not allow anyone other than approved treatment centers to grow marijuana. These treatment centers are vertically integrated and must go through three levels of approval — cultivation, processing and dispensing.

Florida’s approved treatment centers can sell marijuana and low-THC cannabis, which the state defines as cannabis that contains 0.8 percent or less THC and more than 10 percent CBD.

Florida Medical Marijuana Penalties

Despite the fact that medical marijuana is now legal in Florida, there are still rules to follow. Below are a few of the penalties in place for violating Florida’s laws:

Physicians can be charged with a misdemeanor if they falsely diagnose a medical condition that would allow a patient to use medical marijuana.

Similarly, any patient who falsely tries to obtain a doctor’s diagnosis for a qualifying medical condition can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Patients or caregivers who use marijuana in public can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Patients and caregivers can also be charged for purchasing medical marijuana from anyone other than a registered treatment center.

Anyone who grows, processes, distributes, sells or dispenses marijuana without a license can still be charged with a crime.

Making or possessing a fake medical marijuana ID card is also a crime in Florida.

Changing Florida Marijuana Laws

Though there are strict rules governing marijuana use in Florida today, marijuana laws are changing in Florida. Proponents of recreational marijuana hope to get an initiative on the 2022 ballot that would ask Florida voters whether to legalize recreational marijuana. We at will keep you informed about Florida marijuana law developments as soon as we hear about them.

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