Personal use and cultivation

Possession and consumption

What rules and restrictions govern the personal possession and consumption of cannabis in your jurisdiction?

Florida allows its citizens to possess and consume cannabis for medical use if they have received a physician certification from a qualified physician (Florida Statute 381.986(1)(j)). To be eligible for a certification, the patient must be diagnosed with one of the medical conditions listed in Florida Statute 381.986(2). Before issuing the certification, the physician must:

  • conduct a physical exam of the patient;
  • review the patient’s medical history; and
  • determine that “the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for the patient” (Florida Statute 381.986(4), Id.).

If the patient is pregnant, the physician can prescribe only low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis (Id.). A physician may not issue a certification for more than three 70-day supplies of cannabis (Florida Statute 381.986(c)).

The following restrictions apply to patients prescribed medical cannabis:

  • A qualified patient can purchase the cannabis prescribed in the physician certification from only the dispensing facility of a state-licensed medical marijuana treatment center (Florida Statute 381.986(1)(j)(1)).
  • A patient can purchase and possess only one 70-day supply of cannabis at a time, and must keep the cannabis in its original packaging at all times (Florida Statute 381.986(14)(a)).
  • A patient cannot transfer cannabis to any other individual, and cannot consume cannabis—other than low-THC cannabis—in any public place, school, vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat (Florida Statute 381.986(1)(j)(5)).

Cultivation

What rules and restrictions govern cultivation of cannabis for personal use?

Personal cultivation is not permitted in Florida. Only cannabis cultivated by a medical marijuana treatment center is exempted from the state’s Controlled Substances Act (Florida Statute 381.986(14)(a)).

Use in and outside the workplace

What statutory and case law (if any) governs employers’ ability to restrict cannabis use both in and outside the workplace? Can cannabis use (even medical use) serve as legal grounds for termination?

Florida’s cannabis laws do “not limit the ability of an employer to establish, continue, or enforce a drug-free workplace program or policy” (Florida Statute 381.986(15)). Employees cannot use cannabis at their workplace unless permitted to do so by their employer (Florida Statute 381.986(1)(j)(5)(c)). Therefore, cannabis use by an employee, whether in or outside the workplace, can provide grounds for termination.