Can you legally grow marijuana in Florida?
Over 300,000 Florida residents have medical marijuana cards. Yet certain activities related to marijuana remain illegal. Selling it outside the medical market can come with stiff legal consequences. And recreational use may still result in a fine or jail time.
But you may be curious whether you can grow marijuana in Florida without breaking the law. You may want to start a business that contributes to the state’s medical supply. Or you could be a card holder wanting easier access to marijuana in case of an emergency. A recent case illustrates the difficulty in doing so.
The growing case
In 2018, a Leon County judge ruled that a medical marijuana patient could grow his own plants, so long as he doesn’t share their contents with anyone. The Florida Department of Health filed a prompt appeal. They did so because the ruling went against the state’s statutes. By Florida law, residents cannot grow marijuana for personal or medical use. Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal overturned the Leon County Circuit’s ruling in April 2019. And so far, the state has refused to consider the plaintiff’s appeals. Nor will the Florida Supreme Court hear the case as of right now.
What this means for you
The initial ruling could have shifted Florida’s laws on marijuana growth. But the Court of Appeal’s reversal upheld the law which criminalizes growing marijuana for medical or personal purposes. Thus, growing your own supply is illegal.
You’ll also face challenges if you want to start a commercial growing operation in Florida. While commercial licenses are available, the state has granted few. Florida licensed new marijuana businesses in 2015 and 2019. But the state has not announced any forthcoming rounds since then.
Growing marijuana legally in Florida is near impossible. But as state laws evolve, there will likely be more cases that challenge the current statutes. If you’re caught growing marijuana now, consulting a criminal defense attorney can help you work through your charges.
Over 300,000 Florida residents have medical marijuana cards. Yet certain activities related to marijuana remain illegal. Selling it outside the medical market
Is it Legal to Grow Marijuana in Florida?
The cultivation of marijuana plants and owning, leasing or operating a grow house is illegal in Florida. This is regardless of whether you were growing the plants for commercial or personal purposes. Furthermore, being involved with the cultivation of marijuana on any level is a felony offense and carries heavy sanctions under the law. The charges you may face will depend on the amount of marijuana being grown and the location of the grow house.
Tactics Used By Law Enforcement
The state of Florida expends an enormous amount of money and resources to seek out marijuana growing operations. Law enforcement often relies on information gathered from confidential informants. These informants could be relatives, friends or just a neighbor who suspects you are growing the plant illegally. Additional tactics include:
- Wire-tapping your phone
- Looking at your financial records
- Using undercover officers
- Once law enforcement feels that they have enough information, they will then seek a warrant to search your property.
Preparing Your Defense
As former prosecutors, we know that law enforcement must follow set guidelines while conducting an investigation. We use that knowledge to examine every aspect of your case and determine whether your Fourth Amendment rights were violated. This includes questioning the officers involved and looking at the evidence used to obtain the search warrant. Other defenses we can present in regards to Fourth Amendment violations include:
- Controlled substances not in plain view
- Coercive “knock and talk”
- Implementation of unlawful police tactics leading to “search”
- Defective warrant
- Absence of exigent circumstances
- Exceeding the scope of search authorized by the warrant
- Invalid consent to search
- Overly broad protective sweep
- Absence of warrant
- Exceeding the scope of a consensual search
- Miranda violations
- Outdated information used to get obtain the warrant
- … and many more
We then prepare an aggressive defense strategy that reflects the goals you have for your case as well as aiming at the best possible solution for your situation. As seasoned drug defense lawyers , we are not afraid to defend your rights in a court of law if we feel that it is in your best interests to do so.
Experienced Trial Lawyers Available Any Time
Our attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm are passionate and effective negotiators who will review the facts of your case, and work to reduce your charges or mitigate sentences whenever possible. We have offices in Orlando and Kissimmee, and we are available at any time, day or night. With over 25 years of assisting Central Floridians with their cases, The Umansky Law Firm is prepared to hear out any situation. Our attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience involving drug offenses. Call us today at 407-228-3838 to schedule a free case review or live chat with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Marijuana cultivation laws in Florida have become more complex with the changes to medicinal use. However, growing cannabis in Florida without a license can result is serious penalties.