Is Weed Legal in Florida? FL Cannabis Laws (2022 Update)

Illustration for Marijuana Legality in Florida
Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: November 11, 2022

Marijuana is still illegal in Florida as we speak. However, recent changes in state law have legalized the use and possession of medical marijuana by qualifying patients.

Some Florida cities have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana which will result in a fine rather than an arrest.

Growing marijuana in Florida is illegal, even for medical patients. When you’re caught growing marijuana, you’ll be charged with possession, and your penalty will depend on the number of plants in your house.

Traveling with marijuana is only available for patients in Florida. However, you can’t take your medicine across state lines because that will be considered drug trafficking.

Does that mean you need to be ill to legally enjoy marijuana in Florida?

Not exactly.

Ever heard of delta 8 THC?

This newly discovered cannabinoid is making big headlines in the industry. It’s milder than delta 9 THC, doesn’t get you as anxious in high doses, and the best part — it’s federally legal.

Join us as we uncover marijuana laws in Florida.

Is Marijuana Legal in Florida?

Florida follows federal law with regard to marijuana. While medical marijuana is legal in the sunshine state, recreational users are having a hard time enjoying high-THC cannabis.

Related: States Where Weed is Legal

Here’s the breakdown of marijuana laws in Florida.

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Florida?

Marijuana in Florida is illegal for recreational use. The penalties for possession vary by the amount, from financial fines to jail time.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Florida?

Image of doctor holding Cannabis product

Florida has a medical marijuana program for qualifying patients. If you want to use medical marijuana, you’ll need to obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Authorization, as provided by Chapter 381 of Florida Statuses.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Florida

Most of the time, the possession of fewer than 20 grams is a misdemeanor punishable with a monetary fine to be determined by a judge and less than a year of jail time.

However, if you’re caught with more than 20 grams, it’s classified as a felony and may lead to probation, a jail sentence, and fines, depending on the amount.

Possession of very large amounts of marijuana falls under Trafficking laws, which involve mandatory state prison sentences and hefty fines.

Is Marijuana Decriminalized in Florida?

Individual cities in Florida have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, so you need to look up your local laws if you want to make sure you’re in the clear.

What’s the Future of Cannabis Legalization in Florida?

A new bill introduced by the industry-led campaign in Florida was filed for the 2024 voting ballot.

Previous attempts to regulate marijuana for adult use have been blocked by the state Supreme Court. But the new initiative is backed by the state’s largest medical cannabis company Trulieve, in cooperation with the country band The Bellamy Brothers.

Under the proposal, adults 21 and older would be allowed to buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis or five grams of marijuana concentrate products.

The new measure also omits equity provisions that would provide expungement to people with prior cannabis convictions.

Delta 8 THC: A Better and Legal Alternative to Marijuana in Florida

Since marijuana in Florida remains illegal for recreational use, cannabis aficionados have been looking for a legal alternative to enjoy psychoactive cannabinoids.

Marijuana is also banned at the federal level, so you can’t order it from one state and have it delivered to your doors.

But, thanks to the recent breakthroughs in extraction methods, a new cannabinoid has emerged on the market. It’s about half as strong as delta 9 from marijuana, and what’s better — it’s legal in Florida.

It’s called delta 8 THC.

Delta-8 THC vs. Delta-9 THC

Delta 8 is a less intoxicating version of delta 9 THC.

At first glance, they have a similar molecular makeup, but there’s a subtle difference in the way their atomic bonds are arranged.

For delta 9 THC, the atomic bond occurs at the 9th carbon chain, while for delta 8, it’s at the 8th chain.

This small difference makes delta 8 THC about half as potent as delta 9.

Cons of Delta 9 THC from Marijuana

Most cannabis users enjoy the high from marijuana. The psychoactive effects of delta 9 are dose-dependent. In low and moderate doses, it acts as a relaxant, pain reliever, and demonstrates nootropic properties, enhancing brain function.

High doses can get you high, altering your thinking patterns, attention, and perception of time. During that buzz, you may experience episodes of laughter, sleepiness, euphoria, and a creativity boost.

However, sensitive individuals can experience the opposite effects. When they reach a certain dose of delta 9, they may feel uncomfortable due to the following side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Problems with coordination
  • Short-term memory impairment

That’s why delta 8 THC is making big headlines in the cannabis space.

Effects and Benefits of Delta 8 THC

Since delta-8 THC is about 50% less potent than regular weed, the psychoactive buzz is less anxious and more mellow. In fact, anxiety is extremely rare among delta 8 users.

That’s why the cannabinoid is dubbed “diet weed” or “cannabis light.”

People use delta 8 THC for the following health benefit effects:

  • Anti-nausea
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain relief
  • Increased appetite
  • Feelings of calmness and relaxation
  • Neuroprotection

While delta 9 THC can be sourced only from marijuana, delta 8 can be extracted by converting CBD with acids and heavy metal reagents.

Wondering where to get the best delta 8 products in Florida?

Here’s a concise guide.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Florida?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp derivatives, including the isomers of THC other than delta 9.

This means that hemp-derived delta 7, delta 8, and delta 10 products are legal at the federal level.

The loophole created by the Farm Bill wasn’t met with enthusiasm by several states. 14 states banned delta 8 THC, but Florida laws align with the provisions of the Farm Bill. You can still legally buy, sell, produce, and possess delta 8 products if they meet the federal criteria.

Benefits of Buying Delta 8 THC Online in Florida

Image of small package boxes on top of laptop computer

Delta 8 THC is a booming space, with no regulations in terms of quality and purity standards. This, in turn, creates room for scammy companies that offer uncertified delta 8 THC products.

While there are plenty of great companies out there, you need to keep a watchful eye on fly-by-night businesses to avoid being cheated.

You can easily check the quality of delta 8 products by:

  • Reading lab reports
  • Scanning through the company’s “About Us” section
  • Reading customer reviews
  • Reaching out to other users on social media and forums

However, it’s difficult to do these things locally. That’s why we recommend finding a trustworthy online store if you’re looking for the best deals on high-quality delta 8 products.

Here’s why it’s better to shop for delta 8 THC online.

Best Online Delta 8 Vendors

There’s a large discrepancy between the quality of different delta 8 THC products. If you don’t want to fall victim to scam vendors, you need to know what makes a decent delta 8 extract — and how to distinguish it from a substandard product.

If you don’t have time to do your own digging, here are our two top favorite online delta 8 brands that make premium-quality delta 8 THC at reasonable prices.

They test their products for heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and microbiological impurities.

1. Area 52

image of Area 52 Delta8 Products

Area 52 is a manufacturer from California that makes premium cannabinoid extracts. Recently, the brand has shifted its focus to delta 8 distillate, which they source from organic hemp farms in Colorado and Kentucky.

These products are made without the use of dangerous solvents and harsh acids. The conversion process from CBD is run by highly skilled lab workers to ensure the top-shelf quality and safety of the end formula.

You can choose from traditional forms of delta 8 THC, such as tinctures, gummies, and vape carts. The entire line-up offers high concentrations of delta 8 THC, delivering strong psychoactive effects modulated with natural terpenes that leverage the entourage effect in cannabis.

2. Finest Labs

image of Finest Labs Delta 8 THC Products

Finest Labs is the favored pick of beginners and occasional delta 8 users who use lower doses in their routine. The company offers the same product range as Area 52 — but in lower potencies.

Lower strength means a lower cost per product, making FInest Labs a considerable option for those shopping on a lower budget.

And if you want to create your own blends of cannabinoids, Finest Labs boasts a broad selection of botanical terpenes (both single terpenes and special mixes).

FAQs

Who Can Use Medical Marijuana in Florida?

To qualify for a medical marijuana card, you must have one of the following debilitating conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by a doctor other than the qualified physician issuing the certification
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Medical conditions of the same type or class or comparable to those listed above

Once you receive your medical marijuana card, you may purchase it in smokable, vape, edible, or oil/concentrate forms from licensed dispensaries.

Can You Grow Marijuana in Florida?

No, growing marijuana is illegal in Florida. The state even prohibits patients from growing their plants at home. If you’re caught growing marijuana in your house, you’ll be charged for possession, and the punishment will vary depending on the number of plants and the amount of dried cannabis you possess.

Can You Smoke Weed in Public?

No, even if you’re a medical marijuana patient, consumption is limited to private properties. Smoking marijuana in public remains illegal in Florida.

Traveling with Marijuana in Florida

It’s prohibited to travel with marijuana in Florida as a recreational user. If a police officer pulls you over and finds marijuana in your car, you’ll be charged with possession, and if you’re caught driving with weed between state lines, it’s considered drug trafficking.

Can You Buy Weed Online in Florida?

CBD hemp oil is legal in Florida as long as it contains 0.3% (or less) delta 9 THC.

In 2018, President Trump signed the amended Farm Bill, removing hemp from the list of controlled substances.

Hemp plants have become, once again, an agricultural commodity that can be grown and sold for any purpose — including health supplements such as CBD oil.

You can find CBD oil products all over the state in local hemp stores, vape shops, wellness centers, gas stations, and grocery stores.

However, since the market is unregulated by the FDA, your best bet for finding high-quality CBD oils is from a reputable online store.

Is CBD Oil from Hemp Legal in Florida?

Yes, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in Florida. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, making it an agricultural commodity once again.

Hemp can be grown and sold for any use, from clothes to ropes to paper, biofuel, construction materials, food, and health supplements like CBD oil.

You don’t need a prescription for hemp-derived CBD oil. You can find it in nearby hemp stores and vape shops, although if you’re looking for the best deals on high-quality CBD products, we recommend finding a reputable online retailer — for the same reasons we recommend doing so with delta 8 extracts.

Key Takeaways on Marijuana Legal Status in Florida

Marijuana in Florida is illegal for recreational use. The penalties for possession vary by the amount. Most of the time, the possession of fewer than 20 grams is a misdemeanor punishable with a monetary fine to be determined by a judge and less than a year of jail time.

However, if you’re caught with more than 20 grams, it’s classified as a felony and may lead to probation, a jail sentence, and fines, depending on the amount.

Possession of very large amounts of marijuana falls under Trafficking laws, which involve mandatory state prison sentences and hefty fines.

As mentioned earlier in the article, individual cities in Florida have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, so you need to look up your local laws if you want to make sure you’re in the clear.

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.