Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in Florida. The state criminalizes the use of marijuana depending on how an individual in possession has used or intends to use the drug. In today’s blog, we will discuss the specific penalties and sentencing for different types of marijuana charges, from possession to sale and manufacture to trafficking.
Types of Marijuana-Related Offenses
Marijuana possession is a crime in Florida. The penalties will depend on the specific amount possessed. Possession for personal use (20 grams or fewer) is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Purchase or possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is charged as a third degree felony that carries up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Sale and Manufacture
It is also illegal in Florida to manufacture (cultivate) or sell marijuana, or to possess marijuana with the intent to do those things or knowingly maintain a property on which these activities will take place. The penalties will depend on the amount manufactured or sold, and whether the crime was committed in a prohibited area, such as a school or church.
Manufacture and sales (or possession with intent to manufacture or sell) is considered a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. This offense will be charged as a second degree felony with 15 years of prison and up to $10,000 in fines if such activity occurred within 1,000 feet of:
- a school;
- public recreation area;
- place of worship;
- public housing facility; or
- assisted living facility.
An individual who delivers or gives away up to 20 grams of marijuana without being paid is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor that carries up to 1 year in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000. Selling to a person younger than 18 or who hires a minor to sell marijuana to other people is guilty of a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
It is also illegal to keep or maintain a store, warehouse, vehicle, or other structure in Florida to cultivate, manufacture, or store marijuana, or to use such a structure as a point from which to distribute marijuana or other drugs. A violation of this is a first degree misdemeanor that could warrant up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Trafficking marijuana involves knowingly selling, buying, or manufacturing more than 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 or more cannabis plants. Violators can be guilty of a first degree felony (known as “trafficking in cannabis”) which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. More specific penalties will vary with the amount involved:
- 25-2,000 pounds, or 300-2,000 cannabis plants – mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine of $25,000
- 2,000-10,000 pounds, or 2,000-10,000 plants – mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison and a fine of $50,000
- 10,000 pounds or more, or 10,000 plants or more – mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $200,000
Note that it is also illegal to bring any amount of marijuana into Florida from out of state, even if the amount is less than that required by the definition of illegal trafficking. A violation is a third degree felony that carries up to 5 years in prison and a fine of as much as $5,000.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is indicative of the intent to traffic drugs, so individuals possessing such paraphernalia can face significant penalties even if marijuana has not been found along with it. Florida criminalizes the possession, use, manufacture, sale, or delivery of drug paraphernalia, which could include objects used to grow, harvest, manufacture, store, or use marijuana. The penalties vary according to the activity involving the object(s):
- Possession and use – first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1,000
- Manufacture and sale – third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of as much as up to $5,000
- Delivery to a minor – second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of as much as $15,000
- Transporting paraphernalia – third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
- Advertising – first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
Let an Attorney Fight for Your Defense
If you are facing marijuana-related accusations, whether for possession of the substance or of related paraphernalia, speak with an attorney immediately to get started on your defense as soon as possible. There are various types of charges depending on how you allegedly used or intended to use the drug, so it is important that you work with an attorney to identify what exactly you have been accused of and why.
Let Hubbs Law, P.A. take on your case. Schedule a confidential consultation about your case today.
Please note that by reading this blog you are not entering into an attorney-client relationship with Hubbs Law, P.A. This blog only provides general legal information. Every case is unique and you should request a consultation to ensure that you are getting the correct legal advice for your specific case.