In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has been recognized as an alternative to conventional medicine – helping patients manage pain, inflammation, and other debilitating conditions. Since this substance is extracted from cannabis, many states (including Florida) closely relate it to marijuana.
In Florida, CBD remains a grey area when it comes to cannabis laws. That’s why until the laws change, it’s important for Florida residents to practice caution and stay up-to-date on provisions of the law.
Legal federally, but still illegal in Florida
In 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill, which legalizes the transport of hemp across state lines and allows farmers to purchase crop insurance for hemp. In addition, the Farm Bill reclassifies hemp – which was historically considered a controlled substance under federal law – as an agricultural product. This includes the legalization of CBD products – which still remain illegal in Florida.
Last month, however, an elderly woman who suffered from arthritis was arrested at Disney World for carrying a bottle of CBD oil in her handbag. Luckily, her charges were dropped, but only after she spent 12 days in an Orange County jail.
Despite CBD being illegal in Florida, many stores and bars in Jacksonville sell products containing it. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD yields no psychoactive or euphoric effects.
According to Nikki Fried, State Agriculture Commissioner, CBD still remains illegal in the Sunshine State. That could soon change.
“We’re working with some of the lawmakers so they can change the definition so that we can, in fact, do a CBD program here in our state to make it very clear," she said.
In addition, lawmakers seek to legalize the production and sales of hemp, in order to align the state with federal laws.
Senator Rob Bradley (who represents Clay County) sponsored Senate Bill 1020 (also known as the State Hemp Program).
“The fundamental purpose of this bill is to modernize our state statutes to make sure that they are consistent with federal laws and to allow a hemp industry to begin in our state,” he said.
Medical marijuana was legalized in Florida in 2016. Only patients with approved medical conditions are able to legally obtain it after consulting with a physician.
Until the laws change, contact an experienced attorney if you’ve been arrested
In Florida, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana can result in a misdemeanor charge, which carries penalties of one year incarceration and a fine up to $1,000.
Anything more than 20 grams can result in a felony charge. Incarceration and fines vary depending on the amount of possession.
Residents of Florida can only possess hemp and CBD products with a medical card. In addition, these products cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC.
Cannabis-related laws can be confusing to the average person. Since certain cannabis products are legal in other states, good, law-abiding residents of Florida may purchase these products while unknowingly violating state law.
Should you find yourself in this situation, it’s critical that you speak to an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The legal team at Aguilar & Sieron P.A. can help you fight the charges and ensure that you receive fair treatment within the justice system. Don’t wait, contact us today.