Florida lawmakers recently implemented Florida Statute § 381.986 in response to the passage of the medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the November, 2016 ballot.  This statute sets forth the legalities of medical marijuana in the state of Florida.  Subsection (1)(j)(2) of the statute prohibits the possession or use of the common flower/plant form of marijuana.  The statute does allow for the medical consumption of marijuana by way of vaping and/or through marijuana edibles.  Note that it does appear that the Florida legislature is soon to address the prohibition on the smokable marijuana flower, but for the time being, it remains illegal.

Despite the inevitable influx of marijuana oil and edibles pursuant to the medical marijuana statute’s prohibition on smoking flower marijuana (possession of which is a misdemeanor offense), the Florida legislature did not reclassify the possession of marijuana oils as a misdemeanor.  For those without a prescription, possession of marijuana in the form of a vape cartridge and/or edibles remains a felony offense pursuant to Florida Statute § 893.13(6)(a) and §893.03(1)(b)(190), which prohibits the possession of the any tetrahydrocannabinols naturally contained in a plant of the genus Cannabis, the synthetic equivalents of the substance contained in the plant or in the resinous extracts of the genus cannabis (without a prescription).

The combination of the influx of medical marijuana oils and edibles pursuant to the medical marijuana laws, combined with the legislature’s refusal to reclassify the possession of oils and edibles as a misdemeanor offense for those without a prescription has resulted in a significant number of felony charges for the possession of marijuana oils and edibles without a prescription.

The penalties for a felony offense in the state of Florida are significant.  A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years incarceration and/or probation.  If you find yourself charged with felony possession of marijuana oils/edibles, it is extremely important that you contact a qualified attorney to assist you in your case.  There are many defenses to the possession of marijuana oils and edibles, including, but not limited to, seizure issues and/or a lack of dominion or control.  Even in the event that there are not defenses to the possession of the marijuana oil/edible, it is possible to achieve a negotiated resolution that does not involve a felony conviction.  If you need legal assistance with a possession of marijuana oil and or marijuana edible offense in the Florida Keys and Key West, contact the Key West criminal defense attorneys at Robertson & Hunter for a free consultation.