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A Quick Guide to Medical Cannabis Laws in Florida

Florida medical cannabis laws have been in effect since the legalization of medical marijuana on November 8, 2016. Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative effectively enables qualified patients who are diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions to use medical cannabis for medical purposes, upon the recommendation of a certified and licensed Florida physician. The debilitating medical conditions covered by the initiative include ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Parkinson’s disease, and terminal illnesses or conditions o the same severity according to a physician’s determination medical use of marijuana would be beneficial to the patient.

The Florida medical cannabis laws also state that medical cannabis patients are allowed to nominate caregivers to cultivate their cannabis. The law also requires the health department to manage the regulation and registration of centers cultivating and dispensing medical cannabis. DOH is also tasked with the issuance of state-registered medical marijuana IDs to qualifying patients and caregivers.

Medical use of marijuana, according to the Florida medical cannabis laws refers to the acquisition, possession, deliver, transfer, use, or administration of any amount of marijuana that isn’t in conflict with the department rules and/or related supplies by the qualifying patient or caregiver.

Having a clear understanding of laws pertaining to the use and possession of cannabis in the State of Florida is important so as to avoid the legal implications of its misuse. Essentially, possession of 20 grams or less of dried cannabis is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment (1 year maximum), and a fine no greater than $1000. Possession of more than 20 grams of dried cannabis is considered a felony, punishable by no more than 5 years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Possession of 25 or more cannabis plans is considered a felony, punishable by 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

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