2014: The “Charlotte’s Web Bill”, so named after a unique strain of marijuana that’s high in cannabidiol but low in THC, was passed.
2016: Amendment 2, a revised version of the Charlotte’s Web bill known as the “Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative”, successfully passed, making certain strains of medical marijuana accessible to those with qualifying medical conditions, as well as lifting some of the restrictions that were previously enacted.
2017: Amendment 2 goes into effect.
Following a quiet history with marijuana, with lawmakers previously believing that it played a role in a brutal crime in the 1930s, medical marijuana was approved as a treatment to a select group of qualifying patients under strict guidelines in 2014. These restrictions included who qualified for a medical prescription, where marijuana could be purchased, limitations on medical professionals and even the strain of plant that was legal for consumption (Charlotte’s Web). Shortly thereafter in 2016, Amendment 2 was passed; this broadened availability, allowing not simply a select group of patients but those suffering from terminal and chronic illnesses access to any marijuana strain for medical purposes.
As of January 2018, debates wage on as legislators attempt to come to an agreement on who should ultimately oversee the state’s regulations on prescriptions: the Florida Board of Medicine or individual physicians. As it stands, physicians can use discretion, but are cautioned as rules could change.
Can I possess, buy or grow marijuana in Florida?
In a recreational capacity, it remains illegal to possess, buy or grow marijuana in the State of Florida. Convoluting matters, varying Sunshine State municipalities have adopted their own rules and regulations on decriminalization. For example, according to the Orlando Weekly, possession of small amounts within city limits have been decriminalized. In this instance, a first-time offence might only result in a $100 fine or $200 for a second offense. However, it should be noted and taken into careful consideration that even these penalties are left to the discretion of the law enforcement official.
With regard to medical possession and use, those who have qualifying and physician-documented conditions can legally obtain, possess and consume medical marijuana. As of January, 2018, medical marijuana in Florida is prescribed by a specific amount of time, not by amount. This means that a patient might get a prescription for a certain number of days with X number of grams recommended per day. Currently, qualifying conditions include but aren’t limited to:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chron’s Disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Can I operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in Florida?
Despite the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any marijuana product in Florida. Impaired drivers under the influence of marijuana will face the same charges as would someone who is under the influence of alcohol.
How do I get a medical marijuana card in Florida?
After consulting with a qualified ordering physician who must first recommend and prescribe marijuana as an appropriate treatment, patients with qualifying conditions may apply for a medical marijuana card with the Florida Department of Health under the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.
Can I use marijuana in public in Florida?
It is illegal to use marijuana, medicinal or otherwise, in public in Florida.
Can I sell marijuana in Florida?
Only licensed and registered dispensaries in the State of Florida can sell marijuana to card-carrying patients. The process of licensing dispensaries is currently in flux; please see the Florida Department of Health website for more information.
The information presented here should not be construed as legal advice. State and Federal laws are always subject to change. We aim to keep this page as updated as possible; however, for additional information regarding Florida marijuana laws, please see the Florida Department of Health website, Find Law and the National Conference of State Legislatures.