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Is Marijuana Illegal In Florida?

Is Marijuana Illegal In Florida?

Yes Marijuana is illegal in Florida. In some Florida counties, small amounts have been decriminalized, meaning the penalty is less severe depending on the amount, type, and what county. But decriminalization does not mean legal and recreational marijuana is illegal in Florida.

marijuana legality in florida

Despite other states’ laws allowing recreational use of marijuana legal, Florida has so far resisted legalizing anything beyond medical marijuana. Let’s discuss what this means.


Florida’s laws and punishment for marijuana are straightforward:

  • For possession of 20 grams or less, a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year in prison
  • For possession of more than 20 grams and up to 25 pounds, a maximum fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years imprisonment

Despite being illegal, Florida’s climate is ideal for growing marijuana, so people do. Even possession of one marijuana plant is a felony, whether for personal use or a first offense. Penalties become harsher with more plants:

  • Growing up to 25 plants is a third-degree felony with fines up to $5,000 and up to five years imprisonment
  • Growing 25 or more plants is a second-degree felony, (especially for the property owner) with fines of up to $15,000 and up to 15 years of imprisonment
  • Growing 300 or more plants carries mandatory minimum penalties including higher fines and longer jail times

Selling marijuana in Florida also carries severe consequences. Possessing over 25 pounds of marijuana can also lead to drug trafficking charges.

For quantities exceeding 25 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds (or 300 to 2,000 plants), individuals will face a first-degree felony, accompanied by a $25,000 fine. Additionally, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years.

If the quantity falls between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds (or 2,000 to 10,000 plants), it is a first-degree felony. The penalties include a $50,000 fine and a mandatory minimum prison term of seven years.

Possessing over 10,000 pounds of marijuana or plants results in a mandatory minimum fine of $200,000 and a prison sentence of fifteen years. These penalties reflect the seriousness of the offense and aim to deter the illegal sale of marijuana in the state of Florida.

Medical Marijuana

Florida permits medical marijuana but has very strict laws around its use. Residents of Florida who have specific medical conditions can use medical marijuana:

  • AIDS or an HIV+ status
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Nonmalignant Pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Physician-diagnosed terminal medical condition
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

In order to purchase and use medical marijuana, the individual must also have a Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) identification card. The card is used to purchase their prescription from a state Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) in Florida.

Having one of these conditions does not automatically qualify someone for a card or to purchase medical marijuana. Like any condition, the patient must be evaluated by a licensed physician who then writes them a script to purchase medical marijuana as they would with any other prescription.

Also having a medical marijuana card does not allow you to freely use marijuana. There are guidelines on when and where you can administer your treatment. For example, you cannot smoke while in or driving your vehicle. Florida driving laws prohibit smoking or ingesting medical marijuana in public places or in a vehicle.

Decriminalized—In Some Areas

Since 2015, some counties and municipalities in Florida allow possession of small amounts of marijuana up to 20 grams. While not legal, it means that a person receives a civil citation versus being arrested and taken in, if they are caught with possession in the amount described in these areas:

  • Alachua County
  • Broward County
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Hallandale Beach
  • Key West
  • Miami Beach
  • Miami-Dade County
  • Orlando
  • Osceola County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Port Richey
  • Sarasota
  • Tampa
  • Volusia County
  • West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)

These citations include fines of:

  • First offense: $75-$100
  • Second offense: $150-$250
  • Third offense: $300-$500

Penalties may also require community service and/or a drug education program as an option.

Another Attempt At Legalization

Marijuana is still illegal both in the state of Florida and at the federal level.

Efforts to make marijuana legal in Florida have been unsuccessful. A renewed effort earlier this year introduced into the Florida Senate by Senator Victor Torres seeks to:

  • Make recreational marijuana legal for users over 21
  • Create and establish a “Division of Cannabis Management” under the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
  • Provide licensing for establishments interested in marketing and selling cannabis.

This bill only allows adults to purchase small amounts for recreational use but has not been signed by Governor DeSantis. For the time being marijuana is illegal in Florida and nationally(federal).

Call Farkas & Crowley if Arrested for Drug Crimes

If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana or more serious Drug Related crimes in the West Palm Beach area, call criminal defense attorneys Adam R. Farkas and Jacqueline D. Crowley. They have the background and experience to provide you with a strong defense.

We offer assertive criminal defense when you are facing serious charges and have successfully defended hundreds of marijuana cases. We are ready to put our expertise to work and help you with your case. Call us today at (561)-444-9529 or online to schedule your free consultation appointment.

Why Choose Us?

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Experience in both defense & prosecution

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Aggressive, committed attorneys & legal staff ready to defend your rights

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