Every legislative session seems to contain some kind of amendment or new measure pertaining to marijuana. As of 2022, 18 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use of cannabis, and 38 states offer a medical marijuana program. Although the common thread remains that cannabis is a federally illegal Schedule 1 drug, states have the authority to develop their cannabis policies. Possession limits, distribution guidelines, and the number of cannabis licenses are just some of the areas in which states have varying laws.
Read on to learn more about weed legality in the Sunshine State.
Is Weed Legal in Florida? Straight to the point.
- Recreational THC: No
- Medical THC: Yes
- CBD: Yes
- Delta-8: Yes
Medical Weed Laws
The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 allowed patients access to low-THC marijuana in non-smokable formats such as edibles and tinctures. An updated 2016 measure expanded the program to allow patients under 18 to receive medical marijuana treatments with parental consent and broadened the qualifying conditions.
Qualifying conditions include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Terminal illness
Medical marijuana laws were amended in 2018, allowing patients to consume inhalable forms of cannabis with possession limits of four ounces of herbal marijuana. However, you may only purchase two and a half ounces per 35 day period. To obtain a medical marijuana card, patients must visit their physician and go through an application process. See below for more information.
Recreational Weed Laws
Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized.
Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines.
See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Florida?
Several counties and cities in Florida have opted for the decriminalization of weed. Though not entirely legal, the penalties for use and possession are reduced to a monetary fee. For example, you may possess up to 20 grams in popular tourist destinations like Key West and Miami Beach and pay a fine of $100 if caught by authorities.
See the complete list of Florida cities and counties that have decriminalized here.
Cannabinoid Variants FAQ
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants with vastly different legal statuses in the United States. All cannabis plants contain dozens of cannabinoids that offer the plant’s unique effects. Regulations vary depending on the source material for the many cannabinoid products on the market.
Is CBD legal in Florida?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products.
The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution.
Is Delta-8 legal in Florida?
Delta-8 THC is similar in structure and effect to its sister cannabinoid, Delta-9. Delta-9 is the predominant cannabinoid in marijuana and is responsible for the feeling of being “high”. Delta-8 products are primarily sourced from hemp as opposed to marijuana. Delta-8 is naturally found in such small quantities, and tangible amounts must be produced artificially by converting CBD into Delta-8 through isomerization.
The resulting Delta-8 is protected under the Farm Bill when the CBD is derived from hemp. However, the same rules apply for Delta-8 as CBD—the final product must contain less than 0.3% THC. Because it has similar stoning effects to Delta-9, Delta-8 has become a popular cannabinoid and is legal for purchase and use in Florida by adults over 18.
Is Delta-10 legal in Florida?
Like Delta-8, Delta-10 is a minor cannabinoid found in minimal amounts in hemp and marijuana. However, it provides slightly different effects than Delta-8 and is often described as the sativa to Delta-8’s more indica-like effects. When produced from hemp-derived CBD, Delta-10 products are protected under the Farm Bill so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.
Consumers can try Delta-10 in vape pens, edibles, tinctures, and oils. Currently, it is legal in Florida for adults over the age of 18.
Are THC-O and Other THC Variants Legal in Florida?
In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers.
For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Is HHC legal in Florida?
HHC production follows a similar path as others on this list. This time, hemp-derived CBD is extracted and distilled into a powdered isolate. This isolated CBD is converted into HHC in a chemical reactor, which remains a proprietary process by the companies who produce it. The end result is a cannabinoid with similar effects to Delta-9 THC but with potency mirroring Delta-8.
So long as HHC is produced with CBD from hemp, Floridians over the age of 18 can purchase and enjoy it in vape pens, gummies, tinctures, and other products. Total THC potency must remain below 0.3%.
Is HHC-O legal in Florida?
HHC-O is synthesized in a lab from HHC but with one and half times the strength. It offers similar effects to Delta-9 but with slightly less psychotropic tendencies. Users claim that HHC-O products are as close as it gets to Delta-9 in terms of potency. HHC-O products are found throughout Florida and available for purchase online by Florida residents over 18 and contain less than 0.3% THC.
Growing marijuana for personal use is illegal in Florida, even if you are a medical marijuana patient or caregiver. However, if you are interested in cultivating marijuana to sell to dispensaries, you can apply online for a license.
Florida cannabis licenses are pretty expensive and difficult to obtain. In 2019, one cannabis license sold for $55 million, and allows the licensee to operate up to 35 medical marijuana dispensaries in addition to cultivating cannabis.
For more information, contain the Florida Department of Health.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida
Florida patients may apply online for a medical marijuana card. First, you must book an appointment with your physician to discuss your medical history and whether or not you qualify as a medical marijuana patient. Then, meet with a medical marijuana doctor to further evaluate whether or not you are a good candidate for marijuana treatment. During this time, you can ask any questions about marijuana and how best to use it for your needs.
If approved by the physician, they will enter your information into the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry, and you will receive your card in the mail within three weeks. Finally, you can shop at marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.
Medical marijuana cards are only valid in Florida for 210 days and must be reevaluated every 70 days. While there is no additional fee for the 70-day evaluation, you will incur charges for the new appointments at 210 days. The application fee is $75, and physician fees are roughly $400.
Where to Buy Weed in Florida
Floridians over the age of 21 can purchase weed from plenty of sources. Here’s where to begin the hunt for flower, extracts, edibles, topicals, and just about anything one might find infused with weed.
Dispensaries are state-licensed retail locations. In Florida, they are called medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs). With just under 400 dispensaries statewide, patients have plenty of choices for preferred retailers.
Weed delivery is legal in Florida, so long as a dispensary is approved. Even though you aren’t shopping in a physical location, you are still required to show proof of your medical marijuana card to make a purchase.
Direct to Consumer
Direct to consumer sales is a way to bypass the dispensary and allow patients to purchase directly from the producers and brands. Unfortunately, as of this writing, Florida does not offer direct-to-consumer sales.
Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.
Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in Florida
Florida cannabis crusaders are pushing for legalization in 2022. The proposed amendment would allow adults over the age of 21 to consume cannabis and grow up to nine plants for their own use. Proponents of this new measure are actively obtaining signatures to meet the requirements to qualify the measure for the ballot.
A recent poll showed that 59% of Florida voters are in favor of legalized adult-use cannabis. While promising, marijuana activists will have plenty of work to ensure voters turn up at the polls should their measure hit the ballot.
Is Drug Testing Legal in Florida?
Employers in Florida are permitted to conduct drug testing, including testing for THC, but must adhere to specific guidelines. Although medical marijuana is legal in Florida, employers must accommodate employees who hold medical marijuana cards, unless it would cause an undue hardship. The written drug testing policy should be communicated to all employees, and testing should be done fairly and in private, without unnecessary invasion of privacy.
Employees who test positive must be given an opportunity to explain or contest the result, and employers should provide support and resources to those who test positive. Appropriate disciplinary action, including termination, must be taken for employees who violate the drug testing policy. Additionally, some employees in safety-sensitive positions may be subject to additional drug testing requirements. A safety-sensitive position refers to any job that involves performing tasks that may affect the safety of the employee or others. These positions include jobs such as commercial drivers, heavy equipment operators, pilots, and healthcare workers who handle medication.
For employees in these positions, drug testing may be required by law, in addition to any employer-mandated testing. Employers are typically required to provide notice to employees about any safety-sensitive position that requires drug testing, and employees in these positions must comply with the testing requirements.
Where can you smoke weed in Florida?
You can legally smoke weed in the privacy of your own home in Florida. However, if you rent your house or apartment, your landlord may have specific rules and guidelines around marijuana use.
You cannot smoke weed in public in Florida. However, you may still possess weed in public, provided it is concealed from view. You may also medicate with low THC (CBD) products in public. It’s best to avoid any locations near federal buildings.
Can you smoke weed in public in Florida?
When was medical weed legalized in Florida?
When was weed legalized in Florida?
Florida first legalized medical marijuana in 2014, but the program was very limited. In 2016, new legislation expanded the program, and there are now over 658,000 patients in Florida.
Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ
What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?
Penalties vary depending on the quantity of weed. For example, selling 25 pounds or less will result in fines up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison. Selling 100 pounds or more may result in fines upwards of $200,000 and a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
For complete details on penalties in Florida, click here.
What is the penalty for selling to a minor?
Selling weed to a minor (under 18) is punishable by 15 years in federal prison, with fines up to $10,000.
What is possession with the intent to sell?
Possession with intent to distribute means that a person is in possession of more weed than one would personally consume. This is an indication that the person plans to sell this abundance of marijuana on the black market. It is a severe offense with legal consequences.
When is possession a crime?
Possession of marijuana is a crime if the amount is over legal limits, the person is underage, or is charged with possession with the intent to distribute.