As of June 1, 2020, this is where In Florida stands in regard to cannabis, which is legal for certain medical purposes:
– Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. However, bear in mind that payment of the citation could still result in a criminal record, and some police departments will continue to arrest everyone in possession of marijuana, so patients should proceed with caution.
– Permanent or seasonal residents of Florida may register as a medical marijuana patient if his or her doctor certifies that the individual suffers from one or more of the following conditions: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (or medical conditions of the same kind or class as, or comparable to, these conditions); post-traumatic stress disorder; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); a terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification; or chronic nonmalignant pain caused by, or originating from, a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.
– Currently, operators of medical marijuana treatment centers are required to handle all aspects of the cannabis trade, including growing, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana. This means that an operator either needs have expertise in all of these areas, or very quickly go into business with someone who does and create a business structure that would be acceptable to all included parties and the state.
In May, the Florida Supreme Court ordered attorneys to file additional briefs in Florida Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use, et al. v. Florigrown, LLC and Voice of Freedom, Inc. (Case No. SC19-1464). The crux of the issue is whether the Florida Department of Health has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment. To date, the lower courts have agreed with the assertion by Florigrown that the state law requiring cannabis companies to be vertically integrated runs counter to a voter-approved constitutional amendment in 2016. I think it is beneficial to the businesses, and even more so the patients, that medical marijuana treatment centers focus strictly on patient care, rehabilitation and addressing issues treatable with medical marijuana, while other reputable businesses focus on their areas of expertise.
Dionne Kellier | Hoban Law Group
Dionne Kellier has been a licensed attorney in Florida since 2006. In 2018, she received her LLM in taxation from Villanova University, and she currently is in private practice in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Dionne’s practice consists of Tax Resolution, Tax Planning and Business Planning.