Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Florida 2020 Update
Marijuana is still illegal in the state of Florida; however, enforcement has decreased. Marijuana is not prosecuted as rigorously as before for two reasons: medical marijuana and legal hemp. With the introduction of medical marijuana and legal hemp to the state, prosecutors and law enforcement have largely decided to devote their resources to other crimes and away from simple possession. Cultivation, trafficking, and sale of marijuana are still being prosecuted.
Medical Marijuana in Florida 2020
Law enforcement spends less time enforcing simple possession of marijuana charges since medical marijuana was legalized in 2016. Florida has fairly relaxed requirements to qualify for medical marijuana, and many citizens have enrolled in the state sponsored program. Law enforcement officers frequently encounter medical marijuana on the street and decline to arrest. In other instances, police officers use their discretion when they encounter illicit marijuana on the street and issue a civil citation, as opposed to making an arrest.
Legal Hemp Statewide
In 2019, hemp, also known as low THC cannabis, became legal in the state of Florida. Without sophisticated laboratory testing, legal hemp is indistinguishable from high THC cannabis, creating a problem for law enforcement agencies and a loophole for criminal defense lawyers. Many police officers simply decline to make arrests for simple marijuana possession because they acknowledge the difficulty in deciphering between hemp and high THC cannabis.
Cultivation, Trafficking, and Sale of Marijuana
Possession of over 20 grams of marijuana in the state of Florida is still a third degree felony. When possession gets to amounts over 25 pounds, Florida’s trafficking laws come into play. Possession of more than 25 pounds is a first degree felony and comes with a minimum mandatory sentence.
25 – 2,000 pounds or 300 – 2,000 plants: a first degree felony with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of three years and a fine of $25,000.
2,000 – 10,000 pounds or 2,000 – 10,000 plants: a first-degree felony with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $50,000.
10,000 pounds or more or 10,000 plants or more: a first degree felony with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of fifteen years and a fine of $200,000.
If you have been arrested for a marijuana crime in Florida, contact our Miami criminal defense attorney for an immediate consultation. Our office has passionately advocated for the reform of Florida’s marijuana laws and we want to help you with your case. Call our office at (305) 440-5160 for your free consultation now.