Buy Marijuana Seeds in Florida
Laws on Buying & Growing Marijuana Seeds in Florida in 2022. Growing Tips, Recommended Seed Strains, and the Best Seed Banks That Deliver to The Sunshine State.
If you enjoy cannabis, sunshine, and limitless coastline — Florida is the place to be.
However, underneath the glitz and sunscreen, Florida has the potential to be a tour de force in the cannabis industry — as long as Florida adopts progressive cannabis laws.
Regardless, if you’re ready to buy and grow cannabis seeds in the Sunshine State — read along! You’ll soon discover the best online seed banks, top-shelf seed strains, grow tips, and Florida’s long history with cannabis.
In a Nutshell — The Legality of Marijuana Seeds in Florida
If you want to grow cannabis seeds or plants in Florida — you need to understand the laws surrounding marijuana.
Here’s a summary of current cannabis laws in Florida:
- Medical marijuana is legal
- Recreational cannabis is illegal
- Medical CBD is legal
- It’s illegal to grow cannabis seeds from a seed bank
As you can see — Florida’s current cannabis laws are a buzzkill. Now that you know what’s legal and what’s not — it’s time to learn how to buy and grow cannabis seeds in the Sunshine State!
Below, you’ll discover the best seed banks, top-rated seed strains, grow tips, and an in-depth look at Florida’s cannabis laws.
Super Lemon Diesel
White Widow Max
Super Sour Berry
Growing Cannabis Seeds in Florida
If there’s one thing that Florida isn’t missing — it’s an abundance of sunshine.
However, long sunshine hours aren’t the only thing that’ll transform your cannabis garden into a bud-producing powerhouse. Below, we’ll discuss essential aspects of growing cannabis seeds, such as when to germinate weed seeds and what to look out for.
Once you finish this section, you’ll have a clear path to growing cannabis seeds in Florida.
When to Sprout Cannabis Seeds in Florida
Florida exhibits a humid subtropical climate.
In other words, Florida is a playground for anyone who prefers sunny and balmy weather over four seasons. Although Florida has a “winter” — it’s by far the warmest winter in the continental United States.
Therefore, you don’t need to worry about frost while sprouting weed seeds. Overall, the best time to germinate cannabis seeds in Florida is between April and May.
If you want nearly-year-round outdoor growing capabilities — autoflowering seed strains are the best options from seed banks!
If you grow marijuana indoors — you can germinate cannabis seeds any time.
Florida exhibits a humid subtropical climate, like here in Miami.
Issues to Consider When Growing Marijuana Seeds in Florida
Now, let’s talk about a few problems that can occur while growing cannabis seeds in Florida.
From the police to hurricanes — a lot can go wrong when you germinate your seeds to the day before harvest. Here’s a list of problems that you may experience while growing marijuana seeds in the Sunshine State:
As you can see — each of these issues can disrupt or destroy your weed crop. Below, you’ll find in-depth content on how to avoid each of these problems for a stress-free grow!
Considering it’s illegal to grow marijuana seeds at home in Florida — you don’t want to see the boys and girls in blue headed to your door.
Therefore, your cannabis garden needs to go incognito for the duration of the growing season. Let’s take a look at how to go dark while growing marijuana seeds and plants at home.
If you grow cannabis indoors, you’ll need a dedicated carbon filter. Carbon filters diffuse the smell of weed, which is essential to avoiding detection.
Additionally, growing cannabis seeds or plants in a grow tent is a must. Remember, grow tents mask your garden and prevent bright light and aroma from spilling out into your neighbors view.
If you grow marijuana outdoors — tall fencing is an absolute must. Remember, no one should be able to glance at your backyard and see a bunch of weed plants.
Furthermore, you can get creative with camouflage. Tomato plants look similar to cannabis from a distance — so always plant tomatoes around the perimeter of your weed garden.
Besides — who doesn’t like fresh tomatoes at the end of the growing season?
Thieves are another problem that you may experience while growing weed seeds and plants in Florida.
Unlike the police — thieves will rip you off without a warrant, so always tread carefully when telling someone you grow marijuana at home.
The best way to avoid thieves is by harnessing useful technology, such as security devices.
If you grow cannabis indoors — your best bet is to install high-quality security equipment throughout your home. From surveillance cameras to alarms — a thief won’t want to risk it once they see how protected your home is.
If you grow marijuana outdoors, you’ll need high fencing and motion-detecting lights. Furthermore, cameras looking at the garden is a tried-and-true deterrent.
Although Florida is known for its beautiful weather, beaches, and endless sunshine — you may run into some inclement weather.
That’s right, not everything is perfect in paradise, and you may soon experience the force of a hurricane. Therefore, you need to have a plan if a hurricane decides to barrel through Florida.
Additionally, Florida is hot and humid, which means you’ll need to buy tolerant cannabis seeds from online seed banks.
you need to have a plan if a hurricane decides to barrel through Florida.
Pests and Diseases
Considering Florida’s elevated humidity throughout the year — it’s clear that cannabis crops have a challenging time throughout the growing season.
However, there are a few battle-tested methods to avoid devastating outbreaks of mold or pests — let’s take a look.
First, it’s best to buy disease and pest-resistant seed strains from an online seed bank. By doing so, your cannabis crop will be less susceptible to pests and diseases.
Next, you should always apply organic pesticides or fungicides a few times during the vegetative stage. By doing so, you will prevent minor infestations from occurring.
Tips for Growing Cannabis Seeds in Florida
Now, let’s take a look at a few tried-and-true tips for growing cannabis seeds in Florida.
Buy Cannabis Seeds From a Reputable Online or Local Seed Bank in Florida
The best tip that you’ll ever read is to buy marijuana seeds from online seed banks.
Furthermore, you must buy cannabis seeds from trustworthy seed banks that deliver to Florida. By using online seed banks, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.
Online seed banks are the gateway to thousands upon thousands of verified seed strains. Whether you’re on the hunt for award winners or heavy-hitter seeds — you’ll find the seeds you’re after!
Buy Cannabis Seeds for Your Regional Climate in Florida
Another excellent idea is to buy marijuana seeds according to your local climate.
In other words, whether you live in Miami or Tampa, you should always buy cannabis seeds that are resistant to powdery mildew and bud rot.
Remember, Florida exhibits high humidity levels during the summer months, which makes disease-resistant seed strains a must-have.
Due to high humidity, you should always buy cannabis seeds that are resistant to powdery mildew and bud rot.
Plan Your Cannabis Garden in Advance
Last but not least is to plan your cannabis garden.
Even if your marijuana seeds from a seed bank arrive earlier than expected — don’t germinate them until the indoor or outdoor garden is set up. From trellises to grow light systems, ensure everything is ready for your incoming cannabis crop for the best results.
Which Marijuana Seed Store Is the Best Option For Residents in Florida?
Next, let’s look at two different types of seed banks and which is the best option for residents in Florida.
Local Cannabis Seed Stores in Florida
Considering cannabis cultivation is illegal in Florida — don’t expect to find weed seeds for sale while cruising through downtown Jacksonville.
Instead, residents in Florida have a better (and more convenient) option — online seed banks.
Online Cannabis Seed Banks That Ship to Florida
If you want to grow the best weed in Florida — you need to buy marijuana seeds from an online seed bank.
Our two favorite online seed banks that deliver to Florida are:
ILGM and MSNL Seed Bank offer thousands of top-shelf seed strains at affordable prices. Furthermore, ILGM and MSNL Seed Bank’s customer service offerings are through the roof.
Ultimately, ILGM and MSNL Seed Bank are two of the most trusted seed banks that ship ultra-fast to Florida.
Recommended Cannabis Seed Strains to Buy From Online Seed Banks and Grow In Florida
Without further ado — it’s time to discover this year’s top three seed strains to grow in the Sunshine State.
From endless layers of trichomes to mind-blowing effects — you’ll be shocked that weed could be this good once you harvest these astounding genetics.
Bruce Banner Feminized Seed Strain
If you’re ready to get dazed and confused — look no further than the Bruce Banner Feminized seed strain.
The Bruce Banner Feminized seed strain is one of the world’s strongest varieties that’ll knock you off your feet in a single puff. In other words, the Bruce Banner seed strain is the perfect tool for anyone looking for a one-hit-quit.
Although the Bruce Banner Feminized seed strain isn’t the easiest variety to grow — it’s well worth the experience once you harvest ounces of trichome-covered nugs.
Furthermore, the Bruce Banner Feminized seed strain flowers within 8-weeks. Whether you grow the Bruce Banner Feminized seed strain indoors or outdoors — you’ll have an easy-going experience.
Additionally, the Bruce Banner seed strain is mold resistant — making it perfect for cannabis cultivators in Florida.
From lip-smacking terpenes to stoned-to-the-bone potency — you’ll always reach for the jar that holds Bruce Banner weed.
Amnesia Fast Flowering Seed Strain
Amnesia Fast Flowering
Although sativas are notorious for lengthy flowering times — the Amnesia Fast Flowering seed strain transforms the game.
The Amnesia Fast Flowering seed strain flowers within 6-weeks, making it one of the quickest varieties in the industry. Furthermore, Amnesia’s award-winning qualities are locked in the Fast Flowering version, making it perfect for anyone who wants to experience its legendary traits.
From mind-racing thoughts to amped-up energy — the Amnesia Fast Flowering seed strain is the perfect option for thrill-seekers in Florida.
The best quality of the Amnesia Fast Flowering seed strain is its ease of growth. There’s nothing better than hassle-free growth — and the Amnesia Fast Flowering seed strain is exactly that.
From stellar yields to deliciously potent buds — the Amnesia Fast Flowering seed strain is a must-buy for this year’s grow!
Auto AK47 Seed Strain
When you need a heavy-hitter — look no further than the Auto AK47 seed strain.
The Auto AK47 seed strain is perfect for beginners and professionals alike. Whether you grow indoors or outdoors, the Auto AK47 seed strain rewards anyone who ventures to grow out her seeds.
In as little as 8-weeks post-germination, you’ll find ounces of trichome-packed buds that smell of diesel sweetness and sour fruit. Once you indulge, however, get ready for instant euphoria and hours of blissful relaxation.
The Auto AK47 seed strain can withstand an abundance of inclement weather — especially high heat and humidity. Therefore, the Auto AK47 seed strain is a clear winner for Florida growers.
The History of Cannabis in Florida
Now, let’s go over the history of cannabis in Florida.
When we talk about cannabis history — we’re specifically talking about marijuana in terms of the law. To understand why Florida’s current cannabis laws are the way they are — we must first dive into its past.
Cannabis Laws in Florida
From cannabis prohibition to medical marijuana and beyond — Florida’s history with cannabis is complicated.
Below, you’ll find all of the landmark moments that lead to cannabis reform.
Florida Bans Cannabis
Florida banned all forms of cannabis, including seeds for cultivation, in the 1930s after the landmark Victor Licata case in 1933.
Although we won’t go into the gruesome details, Victor Licata murdered his family during a bout of severe mental illness. However, authorities attributed his acts to cannabis.
Headlines across the state and the rest of the USA read that Victor Licata was under the influence of weed when he committed the murders. However, it was later disproved that Licata was high on cannabis.
Regardless, the push to ban cannabis began. Eventually, marijuana was banned in Florida based on the belief that it made people insane.
Florida banned all forms of cannabis, including seeds for cultivation, in the 1930s.
Florida Legalizes CBD Oil
In 2014, Florida relaxed its cannabis laws to allow the use of CBD oil.
SB 1030, also known as the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, was signed by the acting Governor into law. SB 1030 allowed patients to consume high CBD and low THC extracts from the Charlotte’s Web seed strain.
However, all patients must first qualify and receive permission from their physician.
Florida Attempts to Legalize Medical Marijuana
In 2014, cannabis advocates tried to get Amendment 2 on the ballot.
Amendment 2 was the name of the bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida. However, the measure did not gain the necessary support to be added to the ballot.
Florida Expands Medical Cannabis to Terminally Ill Patients
In 2016, the acting Governor signed The Right to Try Act into law.
The Right to Try Act allows terminally ill patients to consume cannabis products, such as concentrated oils.
Florida Legalizes Medical Marijuana
Finally, in 2016, Florida officially legalized medical marijuana.
Amendment 2 passed with flying colors and officially cemented itself as law in Florida. Overall, Amendment 2 allowed patients to obtain MMJ cards and purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries.
However, Amendment 2 does not include the right to grow cannabis seeds at home.
In 2016, Florida officially legalized medical marijuana.
How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida
If you’re ready to indulge in medical marijuana — you must apply at Florida’s Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU).
Once complete, you’ll have access to high-quality cannabis products, such as flowers, concentrates, and edibles.
The Legality of Cannabis Seeds and Seed Banks in Florida
As we’ve discussed — it’s illegal to grow cannabis seeds in Florida.
Therefore, owning and operating a local seed bank in Florida is illegal. However, possessing cannabis seeds is not a crime. Once you germinate cannabis seeds, the live seeds become a criminal act. Therefore, it’s illegal to sprout marijuana seeds.
Remember, most online seed banks sell marijuana seeds as souvenirs for this exact reason. As long as your marijuana seeds remain in the ungerminated form — you shouldn’t have any issues with law enforcement.
However, we recommend that you stash your marijuana seeds in a safe location and keep them away from the police.
Cannabis in Florida – Laws, Use, and History
Medicinal cannabis is legal in Florida, but recreational cannabis, at present, is not. Various representatives have attempted to pass bills to make cannabis use legal, but so far, they have been met with opposition. As such, the penalties for possessing or selling the drug remain severe, with prison sentences in place for even minor offences.
- Recreational cannabis
- Medicinal cannabis
- Legal since 2016
Cannabis laws in Florida
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 possess and use cannabis in Florida?
At present, it’s illegal to possess and use cannabis in Florida. If caught with 20 grams or under, the offender may be given a prison sentence of up to a year, and/or a $1,000 fine. If the amount of cannabis is over 20 grams, the offence becomes a felony, rather than a misdemeanour, and the prison sentence rises to as long as five years (with a possible fine of $5,000).
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.
One significant obstacle stands in the way of recreational cannabis being legalised, and that’s the restriction of citizen drives. Pushed by Republican representatives, the bill limits the impact citizen petitions can have on constitutional amendments. Given that four of the amendments involve changing current cannabis law, this is likely to be a major issue in the future.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed this controversial bill in June 2019, and it came into immediate effect. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel referred to the move as an “arrogant abuse of political power.”
Can you sell cannabis in Florida?
Selling cannabis is also illegal in Florida. If the offender is caught trying to sell 20 grams or less, then the maximum prison sentence is one year, with a $1,000 fine. Selling 25 lb or less is a felony, and can result in up to five years in prison, plus a $5,000 fine. Anything over 25 lb but under 2,000 lb is punished with a three to 15-year prison sentence and a fine of $25,000.
If the laws change after the 2020 general election, then selling cannabis may become legal. Regulate Florida are petitioning to not only get recreational cannabis legalised, but also to create a regulated industry, enabling the plant to be sold to the general public.
Can you grow cannabis in Florida?
It’s illegal to grow cannabis in Florida. If caught cultivating less than 25 plants, the maximum prison sentence is five years (with a $5,000 fine). For 25 to 300 plants, the sentence is increased to a maximum of 15 years and a fine of $10,000; and if the amount of plants is between 300 and 2,000, this changes again, to three to 15 years in prison, plus a $25,000 fine.
If the offender is caught growing 2,000 to 10,000 plants, then the prison sentence is seven to 30 years, with a $50,000 fine. Any cultivation that takes place within 1,000 feet of an educational establishment, park or other specified area can result in a 15-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
The law may change in the future, permitting people in Florida to grow a limited number of plants for personal use only, in their homes. However, at the time of writing, the situation hangs in the balance.
Is CBD legal in Florida?
Since Congress removed hemp from their list of illegal drugs, CBD has been technically legal to use, sell, and buy in Florida. It must come from a licenced grower, and it isn’t allowed to contain more than trace levels of THC (the substance responsible for providing a ‘high’).
In real terms, the law is far more complex. The Florida Department of Agriculture’s official stance is that it’s not legal to sell hemp or CBD, but Nikki Fried, the Agriculture Commissioner, is currently attempting to push through legislation to bring state law in line with federal law.
In the interim period while the situation is ambiguous, the authorities have been largely turning a blind eye to consumers purchasing and using CBD. The few crack-downs that have occurred have been involving CBD retailers, not buyers.
Despite the confusion surrounding the legality of CBD, sales have been booming across the state. During the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, sales rose by around 59%, with people claiming they were using it to cope with depression and anxiety.
Can cannabis seeds be sent to Florida?
Cannabis seeds are legal in Florida, and may be freely purchased and sold. When it comes to mailing them into the state from another state, the law is a little more ambiguous, and there have been some reports of seeds being withheld at customs.
Medicinal cannabis in Florida
Although medicinal cannabis is still illegal at federal level, it was legalised in Florida in 2016. Bill 182 was originally approved by Florida’s Senate in 2014, with a 36 to three vote; and it was put in place to ensure that children with epilepsy had access to medicinal cannabis to treat their condition.
The Senate’s decision was based on the case of a young girl called Charlotte, who was using CBD oil to treat her epilepsy. The bill was nicknamed the ‘Charlotte’s Web bill’ in honour of this girl, and after the high CBD cannabis strain that was named after her too (‘Charlotte’s Web).
- Edibles cannot have bright colours, or resemble any commercial candy to minimize attraction to children.
- They cannot be decorated with sprinkles, icing or any topping.
- Edibles must be packaged appropriately, and can come in the form of lozenges, candy, baked goods, chocolates and drink powders.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels must not exceed 10 mg in single servings, or 200 mg in multi-servings.
Possessing cannabis-infused edibles without a valid medicinal card is illegal.
Obtaining medicinal cannabis in Florida
- have a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card, which permits them to buy and possess medicinal cannabis.
- have a qualifying condition.
- be a permanent or seasonal resident of the state.
- agree to keep the medicinal cannabis in Florida – it can’t legally be taken across the border.
- agree to use it privately – public use is forbidden.
- store it out of reach of children, ideally in a locked box.
How to qualify for an ID card
In order to qualify for medicinal cannabis, the patient must first be diagnosed by a qualified physician. If the patient is under 18, a second physician needs to agree with the original diagnosis.
Once approved, the patient is then entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (and their caregiver, if applicable). They can then apply for an ID card, and obtain cannabis products at any approved Medical Marijuana Treatment Centre. Alternatively, they can have the products delivered to their home.
The following health conditions have been approved for medicinal cannabis treatment in Florida:
Industrial hemp in Florida
Industrial hemp was legalised at federal level in 2018, under the Farm Bill. In 2019, Florida’s Senate voted unanimously to pass a bill, establishing a framework for the regulation of hemp cultivation in the state.
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.
Good to know
If you are travelling to Florida (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following:
- Although the authorities are adopting a relaxed approach to CBD at present, there have been clamp-downs on certain products. For example, in 2019, $33,000 worth of CBD edibles were seized, as they looked too much like children’s sweets.
- In 2019, the Florida Board of Medicine officially approved the prescribing of smokeable medicinal cannabis.
- The famous OG Kush strain was first cultivated in Florida, after a California strain was paired with Hindu Kush from Amsterdam.
Cannabis Use in Lebanon – Laws, Use, and History
It took a long time for cannabis to make its way to Florida. Elsewhere in the country, the plant’s popularity grew significantly during the prohibition period (the 1920s), but Florida took a little while longer to fully embrace it.
However, by 1931, the Key West Citizen commented that: “use of marijuana, a drug made from a Mexican plant, is rapidly spreading in the United States. And, the pity of it is, there is little legislation to prevent this.”
At this time in the US, notable public figures and businessmen were promoting negativity towards the plant. Harry J. Anslinger, the first commissioner of the US Bureau of Narcotics, launched a smear campaign, blaming cannabis for several violent offences in the country. These cases of cannabis-inflicted crime were later debunked by historians.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 saw the plant banned in Florida, along with the rest of the country. Although public perception was largely negative throughout the 1940s, by the 1950s and 60s, hippy culture had taken root – and cannabis was taken up by Florida’s hip young citizens.
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.
By the end of the 1960s, Florida was known as the US’s cannabis smuggling capital, with the drug regularly entering the ports. This continued throughout the following decade, though as well as gaining a reputation for trafficking the drug, the state was also renowned for growing it too.
Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs in the 80s meant that Florida’s cannabis fields were covered in chemicals, as part of the eradication efforts. The drugs cartels weren’t too worried about selling cannabis covered in toxic substances, which resulted in users getting sick. In 1988, the Miami Herald stated that the plant was the second biggest crop in Florida, bringing in around $400 million each year.
By the 1990s, attitudes were changing once more. In 1991, Kenneth and Barbara Jenks were arrested for using cannabis to treat their AIDS symptoms. They appealed their conviction and were later acquitted. This, and other similar cases, eventually led to medicinal cannabis being legalised – though it took over 20 years for it to happen.
Cannabis in Algeria – Laws, Use, and History
Attitudes towards cannabis
The legalisation of medicinal cannabis demonstrates how attitudes towards the drug have changed in Florida. When the Medical Marijuana Legalisation Initiative was put to the vote, 71% of the state’s citizens approved it – a considerable majority.
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.
Will it be legalised in the future?
Various attempts have been made to legalise recreational cannabis use in Florida. So far, none have been successful – but experts suggest that it’s only a matter of time before the legislation is passed.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide legal advice, as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.
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Author and reviewer
The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
Maurice Veldman is a member of the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers and one of the Netherlands’ most notable cannabis lawyers. With 25 years’ experience in the field, his knowledge of criminal and administrative law supports cannabis sellers and hemp producers by addressing the inequalities between the individual and the state.
Introduction to marijuana in Florida
There are a few states around the country that have relaxed the marijuana laws to allow for personal, medical and even recreational use. Florida is not one of the states that have relaxed the marijuana laws!! At this time there are no exceptions in Florida for medical marijuana, nor will you be cut a break for a small amount of marijuana found on your person for recreational use!! Florida has very strict drug laws and at this time marijuana is still seen as being a dangerous drug.
Florida Statute 893.03 sets out certain schedules for various types of drugs. The drugs listed are considered to be illegal. The schedules define whether the drug has a legitimate medical purpose and whether the substance has the potential for abuse. The drugs seen as being the most harmful are in Schedule One. The least harmful are listed in Schedule Five. At this time, marijuana is listed as a Schedule One narcotic meaning that it has no legitimate medical purpose and has a high potential for addiction and abuse.
When you are found to be in possession of marijuana in Florida, the state has guidelines on how the possession is to be charged. The possession falls into three basic categories. These categories are:
- Simple Possession
- Sale/Purchase/Delivery and
FOR ANY CONVICTION OF ANY DRUG CRIME, INCLUDING CRIMES ASSOCIATED WITH MARIJUANA THERE IS A TWO YEAR DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION THAT WILL BE IMPOSED. This means if you are convicted of possessing, selling, delivering or trafficking any amount of marijuana, no matter how small the amount, you will lose your driving privilege. There are also some professions regulated by the State that mandate a suspension of professional licenses if you are convicted of a drug related offense. So it is important to speak with a licensed attorney about the best way to protect these rights you may hold.
How do I know which category the State will charge me with?
The way the case is charged depends on the circumstances surrounding its discovery and the weight of the substance found. If you are found with marijuana plants, the number of plants controls how you will be charged.
What is considered “marijuana” under the statute?
Technically, marijuana is listed as “cannabis” in the Florida statutes. In the actual schedule, it is listed as number 37 in subsection “C” of the Schedule One drugs. The official listing shows marijuana or cannabis as “Tetrahydrocannabinols”. This means anything with Tetrahydrocannabinols or “THC” for short is considered illegal.
What if I only have seeds or a few stems? Is that really considered marijuana?
Under the definitions of Florida Statute 893.02 (3)“Cannabis” means “all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin.”
This means if you are found with just a few seeds or stems in your possession, you can still be charged for possession of marijuana under the statute.
What do I do if I am arrested for a marijuana charge?
You call a qualified defense attorney immediately! Marijuana charges have several mandatory penalties that can affect work, school and everyday aspects of you life. If you are accused of a marijuana crime, call the office of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins to discuss your options! We are available 24/7 by calling (888) 424-7777.
Simple possession is the term used to describe the crime charged when the state feels you have marijuana for personal use or recreational use. This is the least severe of the marijuana charges. Many times cases of simple possession are given minimal jail sentences or periods of probation. However, even simple possession can be punishable by up to five years in prison, depending on the amount you possess.
Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(b) makes possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. It is also possible to receive up to one year of probation for this charge. If you receive probation, the most common terms are drug evaluations, community service hours and random drug testing to make sure you are not using marijuana (or any other controlled substances) while on probation.
If you are placed on probation after entering a plea or being found guilty of possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana you will be supervised by county probation. County probation is not transferable form county to county. But you may be able to make arrangements so that you will not have to travel.
Florida Statute § 893.13(2)(a)(2) makes purchasing or possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana a third degree felony, punishable with up to five years in prison. It is also possible to be sentenced to up to five years of probation. It is also possible to receive a combination of both.
Felony probation for a marijuana offense is similar to that of misdemeanor probation as far as the sanctions that can be received. You will most likely have to have a drug evaluation, undergo substance abuse treatment and perform community service hours. Felony probation is supervised by the state Department of Corrections. This means you can ask to transfer the supervision to another county within the state and, in some circumstances, even other states.
If you are convicted of felony possession charges you are a convicted felon. This means you lose your right to vote, possess a firearm and you can also lose your professional license. If you receive financial aid for school you can lose the right to receive that aid. If you are living in a home with the aid of public assistance you can lose that assistance as well.
Of course, for any conviction for a drug offense, if you are adjudicated guilty, you will also lose your driver’s license for a period of two years.
Even the simple possession charges carry harsh consequences. This is why it is so important to have quality representation from an experienced attorney.
What does the State have to prove to convict me of simple possession?
The jury instructions for possession state that in order to prove the crime of possession of marijuana the state must prove the following:
- You possessed a certain substance. To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed. Possession must be actual or constructive.
- The substance was marijuana
- You had knowledge of the presence of the substance. If a person has exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed.
So basically, this means the State must show that you had marijuana in an area you control and you knew it.
What is constructive possession and how does it work? How is it different from actual possession?
There are two types of possession when it comes to drug charges: actual possession and constructive possession.
Actual possession means that the drugs are found on your person: such as in your hand, in your pocket, in your bra or some other place on your body. The jury instruction for actual possession states as follows:
Actual possession means:
a. The controlled substance is in the hand of or on the person, or
b. The controlled substance is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or
c. The controlled substance is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.
Constructive possession means that the drugs were found in an area where you had dominion and control. Constructive possession is commonly charged in cases where the drugs are found in cars. When the drugs are found in a car where there are multiple persons riding, the state will charge constructive possession.
The jury instruction for constructive possession reads as follows:
- Constructive possession means the controlled substance is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it.
- In order to establish constructive possession of a controlled substance if the controlled substance is in a place over which the person does not have control, the State must prove:
- (1) control over the controlled substance and
- (2) knowledge that the controlled substance was within the person’s presence.
Constructive possession gives the State a way to charge two or more people with the same drugs. However, it can also be a good defense. If you have questions about whether or not the State may be able to prove a charge of constructive possession against you, you should consult an attorney with experience in presenting this type of defense.
Manufacture, Sale or Delivery
Florida statue 893.13 deals with the manufacture, sale and delivery of illegal substances. Penalties vary according to the amount manufactured or sold, and whether the crime was committed in a drug free area, such as a school, park or church.
Florida statue 893.02(15)(a) defines “manufacture” as: “the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, cultivating, growing, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly, by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container. . .”
“Sell” means to transfer or deliver something to another person in exchange for money or something of value or a promise of money or something of value. It is the common understanding of trading some type of money or other valuable object for the drug.
“Deliver” or “delivery” means the “actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance…”
If you are found to be preparing a drug for sale by making or packaging it, the State will probably charge you with manufacturing. If you are caught actually exchanging the drug for some type of payment, then you will most likely be charged with sale. If you are taking it from one place to another or from one person to another, you will more than likely be charged with delivering the drug. However you are charged it is still a criminal act.
What does it mean to “manufacture” marijuana?
When it comes to marijuana, “manufacture” usually means growing plants.
What is possession with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver?
In the simplest of terms, “possession with intent” means that you had in your control some type of controlled substance. But instead of simple possession where you have it for your own personal use, you have possession of the controlled substance because you intend on selling it or distributing it, or packaging it to another person.
Sometimes the State determines this by the amount of the drug you have and how it is packaged. For instance, if you have multiple baggies of marijuana that add up to an ounce, the State my assume that you are selling bags of marijuana rather than charging you as if you had an ounce of marijuana for personal use. So if all the marijuana was in one bag, the State may charge you as if you bought an ounce for yourself. If it is in more than one bag, the State may assume you are selling it or that you have some for someone else and they may charge you with possession with intent.
What does the state have to prove to convict me of manufacture or sale or delivery of marijuana?
Like every other criminal act, there are certain elements the State must prove in order for you to be convicted of manufacture, sale or delivery of any controlled substance. These elements are as follows:
Sold – “Sell” means to transfer or deliver something to another person in exchange for money or something of value or a promise of money or something of value.
Manufactured – “Manufacture” means the production, preparation, packaging, labeling or relabeling, propagation, compounding, cultivating, growing, conversion or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly. Manufacturing can be by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis. It can also be by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis.
Delivered – “Deliver” or “delivery” means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.
2. The substance was actually marijuana.
In a case of possession with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, the State must show in addition to the elements listed above that you had:
- Possession – To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed. Possession may be actual or constructive. Possession may be joint, that is, two or more persons may jointly possess an article, exercising control over it. In that case, each of those persons is considered to be in possession of that article.
- Knowledge – That you had knowledge of the presence of the substance (if you are charged with possession with intent). If a person has exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed.
If the State is able to prove these elements, you can be found guilty of the charge. If they cannot prove all of these elements then you can be found not guilty. If you are found guilty or enter a plea of guilty to the charge then you will be sentenced by the judge. Before you plea, you should speak with a qualified defense attorney to explore defense options. In some cases the State may be unable to prove some of the elements of the charge. If this is so you may be able to avoid a lengthy jail stay.
What are the penalties for manufacturing, selling or delivering marijuana?
The maximum penalty for the crime of manufacture or sale of marijuana depends on the amount of marijuana you manufacture, sell or deliver.
If you deliver or give away 20 grams of marijuana or less, without being paid, you can be found guilty of a first degree misdemeanor. This is a crime punishable by up to one year in the county jail or one year of probation, or a combination of both. There is also a two year license suspension for this crime.
In general, the charge of sale, delivery or manufacture of marijuana is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in a Florida State prison. There is also the possibility of up to five years of probation, five years community control or a combination of any of those punishments. If you are placed on probation or community control, it is very likely that you will have to undergo drug counseling and that you will be randomly tested for marijuana (or any other drug) during your probation or community control period.
However, there are certain enhancements that can change this so that the charges are more severe.
What types of enhancements can give me more jail time for the crime of manufacture or sale of marijuana?
Manufacture or sales (or possession with intent to manufacture or sell) within 1,000 feet of a drug free area.
There are several places that are considered to be “drug free” areas. If you are caught growing plants or selling marijuana within 1000 feet of any of these areas, you can face a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in a Florida State prison. In some cases there is a three year minimum mandatory sentence that must be served day for day. In addition there are mandatory fines and community service that must be imposed if it is proven that you sold or grew marijuana within 1000 feet of the drug free zone. These places that are designated by law as “drug free” are:
- Daycare centers
- Community or Recreation Centers
- Public Housing Properties
- Assisted Living Facilities
If you are convicted of selling, manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance within 1000 feet of any of these areas, you may face a 3 year minimum mandatory prison sentence that must be served. The mandatory sentence depends on the type of drug you are selling and the amount being sold.
You may also face a $500 mandatory fine and 100 mandatory community service hours if you are convicted of manufacturing, selling or delivering drugs in these areas. This may not seem like a big deal, but in order to enforce these penalties the Courts usually place the offender on probation. This carries lots of restrictions and fees. Plus, if you violate the probation by not paying or completing the hours, you could face an additional criminal charges and significant jail or prison time.
In addition, if your charge was a 3rd degree felony, such as with sale of marijuana, the penalty is enhanced one level. This means instead of being a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, it is now a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. So your exposure for a long sentence increases tremendously if you are caught in one of these areas.
How do they measure 1000 feet?
In discussions about how the 1000 feet should be measured, the purpose is to measure 1000 feet in any direction from the property. If you think that a measurement is incorrect or that you have been not been charged properly you need to contact an attorney well versed in these cases. The measurement, and how it is proven, can be tricky. Only a professional attorney with experience in defending these types of charges would be able to accurately explain how this is done.
Are there any other enhancements that I may face?
Florida Statute 893.13(4)(b) makes it a second degree felony to sell any controlled substance, including marijuana, to a child under the age of 18. It is also illegal to ask them to manufacture, sell or deliver any controlled substance for you. If you do, you can be charged with a second degree felony and face up to 15 years in prison. If you are sentenced to prison time, the prison term may not be suspended, reduced, or replaced with probation time. This means any sentence is served day for day.
How do they prove the enhancement of involving a person under 18 years of age in a drug charge?
To prove the enhancement of involving a person under 18 years of age in the sale, manufacture, or delivery of a controlled substance, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
1. a. You delivered a certain substance to a person under the age of 18 years of age; or
b. You used or hired a person under the age of 18 years of age as an agent or employee in the sale or delivery of a certain substance; or
c. You used a person under the age of 18 years to assist in avoiding detection or apprehension for any drug charge.
2. The substance was a controlled substance.
3. You were 18 years of age or older at the time you involved the person under 18 in the act.
If the State is able to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
What is the crime of “Maintaining a Drug Property”?
Florida Statute. § 893.13(7)(a) makes it a crime to keep or maintain a store, warehouse, vehicle, or other structure in Florida for the purposes of growing or storing marijuana. It is also illegal to use such a structure as a point from which to distribute or sell marijuana or other drugs. Violations are a first degree misdemeanor, punishable with up to one year in jail.
This type of charge can also lead to civil forfeiture actions as well as the criminal charge. A forfeiture action is a civil suit filed by the State to try to take away the property that is involved. This is separate from any criminal actions and can lead to large legal fees in addition to any criminal penalties.
When this type of charge is initiated by the State, the investigating agency often causes extensive damage to the property. In the case of houses they may break doors and take apart carpet, molding or cabinets looking for hidden places. In the case of vehicles the authorities may strip the car down taking out seats and tearing out dashes. In these cases it is almost impossible to recover any money to repair the damages.
What if I rent the home out to others?
If you rent the home and you know that the person you are renting to is using the property for this illegal purpose, the State may take action against you as well.
For any of the manufacturing, sale or delivery charges, you can also face a two year driver’s license suspension. If you are convicted of a felony, you can lose rights to vote, possess a firearm, and it may cost you a job. If you are a student it can cut off your financial aid, and if you are receiving public benefits such as assisted housing you can lose that as well. Some housing and community associations may also take action to have you evicted from the neighborhood.
These are all stiff penalties. If you have been accused of selling, manufacturing or delivering drugs, contact an aggressive and experienced attorney to discuss your defense strategy immediately!!
Florida Statute § 893.135(1)(a) defines the penalties for trafficking as one who “knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis, or 300 or more cannabis plants…” Trafficking in marijuana is a first degree felony known as “trafficking in cannabis,” which is punishable with up to thirty years in prison, and depending on the specific amounts involved, may include additional penalties such as large fines.
The amount of jail time and the fine you will receive depends on the amount of marijuana that you have (or the amount the State can prove). The basic schedule is as follows:
- If you are convicted of having between 25 and 2,000 pounds of marijuana, or between 300 and 2,000 marijuana plants. Florida Statute 893.135(a)(1) provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
- If you are convicted of having between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds of marijuana, or between 2,000 and 10,000 plants Florida Statute 893.135(a)(2) provides for a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years in prison, and a fine of $50,000.
- If you are convicted of having between 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana, or 10,000 plants or more Florida Statute 893.135(a)(3) provides for a mandatory minimum of fifteen years in prison, and a fine of $200,000.
- As you can see, these are very, very severe penalties. Mandatory jail sentences are served day for day. In addition you lose the rights associated with becoming a convicted felon. You will also lose your driver’s license for a period of two years.
What does the State have to prove to convict me of trafficking charges?
Just like other criminal offenses, the State has to prove its case by showing each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. To prove the crime of Trafficking in Cannabis, by law, the State must prove the following three elements:
That you knowingly:
- brought into Florida; or
- possessed a certain substance.
That the substance you sold, purchased, manufactured, delivered, brought into Florida or possessed was marijuana; and that
The marijuana weighed more than 25 pounds or constituted 300 or more cannabis plants.
If the State is able to prove those three elements beyond a reasonable doubt you can be convicted of trafficking and face the mandatory time in prison as well as the mandatory fines. If you are charged with trafficking you MUST consult an experienced attorney at once! Trafficking charges are serious matters and should not be handled by an attorney without the proper knowledge and experience.
Importing Marijuana into Florida
Florida Statute 893.13(5) makes it illegal to bring any amount of marijuana into Florida from out of state, even if he amount is less than the definition for trafficking. If you do, you can be found guilty of a third degree felony, punishable with up to five years in prison. In addition you will become a convicted felon and lose your driving privilege for two years.
No matter what classification of drug charge you face, you will need quality representation. Receiving a conviction for any type of drug charge is extremely serious! You can become a convicted felon and lose many constitutional rights. You can lose your driving privilege. You can receive monumental fines. You may possibly lose your property!! Don’t let this happen to you! Protect your rights! Call the law offices of Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins today!! Our professional and dedicated staff has over 20 years of combined experience in criminal defense. We can explore every option for you. We will discuss all of the available defenses and custom create a strategy unique to your situation. Call us now at (888) 424-7777. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to protect your rights. Call us now and fight your case today!