Is Marijuana Legal in Florida? Technically — With a Lot of Caveats

Smoking may not seem like big deal to may people but the laws around the issue can be rather strict. In Florida, things have changed over time.

Kori Williams - Author

Jun. 10 2024, Published 11:43 a.m. ET

Someone sitting outside in a city with a joint.
Source: iStock

With legalizing marijuana a hot-button topic all over the U.S., each state is dealing with the issue in its own way. Some states are more liberal about it than others, while others say that any amount of weed is too much within its borders.

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In the Sunshine State, smoking continues to be a topic of discussion. Is weed legal in Florida or is the law still bringing down the hammer on this issue? It turns out that it is more complicated than you might realize. Over the years, things have changed a lot — and now, Florida's marijuana laws are drastically different than they were even 10 years ago.

A person about to light a joint outside.
Source: iStock
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Is weed legal in Florida?

According to Florida Today, marijuana is technically legal in Florida — but there is a catch. Recreational weed is illegal in Florida — statewide, weed is only legally available to those who have a medical marijuana ID.

These ID cards are only issued to people who have certain medical conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, and various terminal illnesses.

How to get a medical marijuana ID in Florida:

If you are a Florida resident and have one of the above medical conditions (or believe you might have one), you have to get diagnosed by a qualified doctor. They will enter you into a system called the Medical Marijuana Use Registry where you can log in to apply for a medical marijuana ID card. You'll also need $75 for the registration fee.

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Without this medical marijuana ID card, if you are caught with marijuana in Florida, you can still face fines and even jail time. And again, this means that recreational weed is still illegal in the Sunshine State.

Someone pouring weed into their hand.
Source: iStock
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Is CBD legal in Florida?

Tallahassee Democrat states that cannabidiol aka CBD is legal in Florida, with some restrictions. But it's had an interesting history in the state.

CBD with low levels of THC (under 0.3 percent) has been legal in the state since 2014 for people 12 years old or older with certain medical conditions. Over the years, that list of conditions has been expanded multiple times.

Weed in three glass jars.
Source: iStock
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In 2018, the federal Farm Bill was passed, legalizing hemp-derived CBD all across the U.S. The following year, Florida wrote these updates in the state's CBD laws.

As of July 2023, regulations state that products made from hemp extracts can only contain a small amount of THC per serving. If you live in Florida and want something with a larger amount of THC, you will have to get it via a medical marijuana ID.

Plus, hemp can only be grown by those with the proper licensing, and there are several restrictions on who is qualified to apply. There are also limits on how it can be advertised and how it's sold. Luckily for you, if you are looking to buy CBD in Florida — or anywhere across the U.S. — it's readily available in stores and online.

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