If you are a cannabis user, then keeping up with your state laws should be very important to you. We want to make things easy, so we put together this article on the most recent changes to the Florida Marijuana Laws.
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Medical Cannabis Smoking Ban Repealed
SB-182 was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in March of 2019, to repeal the ban on smoking medical marijuana. Now that the repeal has been signed, doctors and their patients have easier access to administering cannabis, and also a choice of which method is best for them.
This bill also allows patients to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every 35 days, as long as their doctor approves. Children under the age of 18 must have a terminal condition, and need a second opinion from a pediatrician in order to smoke medical marijuana. A joint motion was also signed by DeSantis, which would eliminate cannabis cases held prior to the law changing.
Doctors and their patients in Florida have been fighting for years to establish a system comprehensive enough to create access to safe medical marijuana. Thankfully, it is looking like the state of Florida is moving in the right direction!
Implementing Medical Cannabis is Underway
Recently, the Florida Department of Health has issued its regulations on the procedure you must follow in order to apply for a MMTC license (Medical Marijuana Treatment Center). You can find the application on the Compassionate Use website here.
If you are looking to start a licensed dispensary, financial statements must be submitted, along with a background check. Amendment 2 will allow 10 new grower licenses to be granted in addition to the 7 the exist. For every 100,000 patients added to the system, 4 more dispensary licenses would then be issued, along with allowing the growers to open an additional 25 dispensaries. You can learn more about the regulations here.
In order to get your medical marijuana card in Florida, you must have a valid drivers license, for your proof of residency. Are you vacationing? No worries, seasonal patients may obtain records from their medical professional, explaining their conditions, which must be debilitating, and bring them to their appointment for cannabis evaluation. The patients guide from the Department of Health can be found here.
Current Laws on Cannabis In Florida
Medicinal Marijuana: Any one may register as a medical cannabis patient as long as his or her doctor certifies that they suffer from one of these conditions:
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Chronic Pain caused by medical conditions
When apart of the program, patients can purchase their medical cannabis from MMTC’s or Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.
Possession of Marijuana: If you posses less than 20 grams of marijuana, you could face misdemeanor charges, a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison, and a fine up to $1000. If you posses more than 20 grams, you could land yourself 5 years in prison, and fines up to $5000!
Delivery/Sales Considered Felony: If you are caught with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a college, park, or school, you will face felony charges, which could land you 15 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.
Florida Decriminalization Polices Adopted Across State
Since 2015, several counties and cities have passed ordinances which gives the officer discretion to replace possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis with just a simple citation. As of now, the jurisdictions include Tampa, Orlando, Key West, and Miami/Dade County.
An example, Orlando has decriminalized small amounts of cannabis by giving the police officers the ability to hand out citations, instead of arresting patrons. If you get caught with less than 20 grams, you’ll have to pay a fine of $100. Second offenders will have to pay $200, and anymore offenses could cost you $500 and an appearance in court.
Stay tuned for more updates on Florida Marijuana laws!