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penalty for growing weed in florida

If the cannabis was found in a place where more than one person had access, the prosecutor would have to comply with the law of constructive possession, which requires the prosecutor to prove the following two elements to convict a person of Cultivation of Cannabis: [1]

It is an affirmative defense to the crime of Cultivation of Cannabis if you can prove that you did not know the plants you were growing were cannabis plants. Because knowledge is an affirmative defense, you would be required to testify a lack of knowledge of the substance’s illegal nature. [3]

Pursuant to Florida Statute 322.055, any person convicted of Cultivation of Cannabis will have their driver’s license or driving privilege suspended for six months by the Florida DHSMV .

Constructive Possession

Pursuant to Florida Statute 893.1351(4), possession of less than 25 cannabis plants is assumed to be for personal use absent additional evidence to suggest it was intended for sale or distribution.

The defense of medical necessity can be used when a person suffers from a physical illness or ailment for which there was no lawful medication available to properly treat the illness or ailment and cannabis was the only substance that could relieve the pain or suffering of the person. [4]

Lack of Knowledge

More often than not, law enforcement exceed the scope of their authority and require people to submit to a vehicle, home, or body search; or they may coerce a person into agreeing to a search. If we can prove that either instance occurred, the courts will suppress the resulting evidence as having been illegally obtained.

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, common defenses to the crime of Cultivation of Cannabis are:

Proposed measures are reviewed by the state attorney general and state supreme court after proponents collect 25% of the required signatures across the state in each of one-half of the state’s congressional districts (222,898 signatures for 2022 ballot measures). After these preliminary signatures have been collected, the secretary of state must submit the proposal to the Florida Attorney General and the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC). The attorney general is required to petition the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the measure’s compliance with the single-subject rule, the appropriateness of the title and summary, and whether or not the measure “is facially valid under the United States Constitution.” [12]

(11) “Marijuana plant” means a plant, including, but not limited to, a seedling or cutting. To determine if a piece or part of a marijuana plant severed from the marijuana plant is itself a marijuana plant, the severed piece or part must have some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. Callous tissue is not readily observable evidence of root formation. [3]

South Dakota: In 2019, the South Dakota State Legislature passed a bill amending one section of law by adding Epidiolex to its list of controlled substances. The bill also exempted CBD from the state’s definition of marijuana in that section. [7] Elsewhere in state law, CBD was not exempted from the definition of marijuana. This discrepancy led to confusion that left the legal status of CBD in the state unclear for a year. [8]

Peaceful Minds for Medical Marijuana is leading the campaign in support of the initiative. [2]

Unique instances

The measure would amend Amendment 2 (2016), which legalized medical marijuana in Florida, to redefine “medical use” under the measure to include growing up to nine marijuana plants. The measure would also add a definition for “marijuana plant.” [1]

After the 2019 changes, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) issued a statement, wherein he argued all forms of CBD oil, apart from Epidiolex, were illegal under state law. [9] Several state’s attorneys expressed disagreement with the Attorney General’s statements. Aaron McGown and Tom Wollman, state’s attorneys for Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, respectively, issued a joint statement where they said the discrepancy left legality open to differing interpretations. Mark Vargo, the Pennington County state’s attorney, said his office would not prosecute CBD cases based on his interpretation of the state law. [8]

On March 27, 2020, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed House Bill 1008 into law, which legalized industrial hemp and CBD oil in the state. [10]

Constitutional changes

ARTICLE X, SECTION 29.– Medical marijuana production, possession and use.

As of May 2021, 36 states and Washington, D.C., had passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana. Additionally, 10 states had legalized the use of cannabis oil, or cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana—for medical purposes. [4] In one state—Idaho—medical marijuana was illegal, but the use of a specific brand of FDA-approved CDB, Epidiolex, was legal. [5] Based on 2019 population estimates, 67.5 percent of Americans lived in a jurisdiction with access to medical marijuana.

In addition, Cultivation of Cannabis is a charge that cannot be sealed or expunged. While possession of Cannabis and even sale of Cannabis can be sealed or expunged in many circumstances, cultivation cannot.

While some states have legalized personal growing of marijuana, Florida has not. It may seem like growing weed in Florida may not be that big of a deal, but it is still a serious charge.

Cultivating Marijuana is a felony and can carry a lengthy prison sentence. Florida law views cultivation as a 3rd-degree felony, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 5 years as well as a $5000 maximum fine. If you are found in actual or constructive possession of a grow house and found in possession of more than 25 cannabis plants, your charge can become a 2nd-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. However, if minors are residing where as the plants are being cultivated, the cultivation offense may be classed as a 1st-degree felony.

The attorneys at Friedman & Abrahamsen Law are well versed in Florida Cultivation Laws. If you have been charged or have legal concern about growing marijuana, contact our legal team immediately so we can start defending you immediately to try to ensure that the cultivation charge is modified , reduced , or dismissed . Request a free consult with our legal team below.