NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm
What are the Laws on Medical Marijuana in Florida?
Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but the laws and regulations can still be confusing. Who qualifies for medical cannabis? Where can you legally use it? Can you be fired for using medical marijuana? I’ll try to break down the key laws in plain English so you know your rights as a Florida patient.
Legalization of Medical Marijuana
In 2016, Florida voters passed Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana for patients with certain debilitating conditions. The 2017 Medical Use of Marijuana Act then set up regulations for dispensaries and ID cards.
While marijuana is still illegal federally, Florida provides state-level protections for medical use. Possession of cannabis is legal for certified patients.
Qualifying Medical Conditions
To qualify for medical marijuana in Florida, you must be diagnosed with one of these conditions:
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic nonmalignant pain
Doctors can also certify other similar debilitating conditions. Your physician must determine marijuana will likely outweigh any health risks for you.
Possession and Purchase Limits
Once certified, patients can possess up to a 70-day supply of marijuana. Purchase limits per 35 days are:
- 2.5 oz smokable marijuana
- 24,500 mg THC in edibles/oils
Your doctor determines appropriate dosing but cannot exceed legal possession amounts.
Medical Marijuana ID Card
Once certified, apply to the state for your medical marijuana ID card. This identifies you as a legal patient so keep it with you when possessing cannabis.
The card must be renewed annually. Notify the state if your card is lost or stolen.
Where Can Medical Marijuana Be Used?
Florida prohibits marijuana use in public places like parks, schools, buses, etc. It can only be used privately in your own home or other private residence.
Smoking marijuana is restricted to private spaces only. Landlords can prohibit use or cultivation on their rental properties.
Medical Marijuana at Work
Employers in Florida are not required to allow medical marijuana use at work. They can enforce drug-free workplace policies prohibiting cannabis use or possession on premises.
However, you may request reasonable accommodations under the ADA if your qualifying condition rises to the level of a disability. An attorney can advise you on rights and risks regarding disclosure to an employer.
Driving and Medical Marijuana
It is illegal to use marijuana in vehicles or drive under the influence. Marijuana metabolites can remain in your system for weeks after use, so avoid driving for at least 24 hours after consuming cannabis to be cautious.
Visiting and New Patients
Full and part-time Florida residents can qualify for medical marijuana. Visiting patients can also receive temporary certification if diagnosed here.
Snowbirds need proof of residence like a lease agreement or utility bills. Contact the state to update your address if you move.
Patients can designate a caregiver to purchase and administer their medical marijuana. Caregivers must pass a background check and be registered with the state.
Reciprocity With Other States
Unfortunately Florida does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states at this time. Reciprocal agreements have not yet been enacted.
All marijuana purchases must be through state-licensed medical dispensaries. There are currently over 400 dispensaries operating in Florida.
Home cultivation is not allowed. Patients can’t legally grow their own cannabis plants.
Approved Forms of Medical Marijuana
Florida has approved dispensing of marijuana in forms including:
- Oils and tinctures
- Vape cartridges
- Flower for smoking
- Topical creams and gels
Florida also has a separate program for low-THC cannabis with 0.8% or less THC and over 10% CBD. This does not require a medical card but must be ordered by a physician.
Renewing Your Medical Marijuana Card
Patients must renew their medical marijuana ID card annually. Your doctor will need to re-certify your qualifying condition and provide updated medical records.
Start the renewal process 60 days before your current card expires to prevent a lapse in legal access.
Under Amendment 2, medical marijuana use and possession is protected from criminal penalties. Patients can’t be arrested solely for cannabis that complies with state law.
But marijuana remains illegal federally, so use caution and discretion to avoid federal charges.
Traveling With Medical Marijuana
It is risky to travel with cannabis across state lines since marijuana remains federally illegal. Check local laws carefully before traveling with any marijuana products.
Contact an Attorney if Arrested
If you are ever arrested for marijuana possession or use as a medical patient, immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can protect your rights.
Having your medical card or ID is not guaranteed protection – you need strong legal advocacy on your side.
I hope this overview gives you a better understanding of Florida’s evolving medical marijuana laws. Qualified patients have access but need to use caution and discretion.
Always consult an attorney if you have any concerns or questions about your rights as a medical marijuana patient. Stay safe and healthy!