5 Florida Medical Marijuana Laws You Must Know

FL Header

The Florida legislature passed the Compassionate Use Act in 2014, marking the beginning of Florida's medical marijuana program. However, this bill was very limited and allowed only low-THC medical marijuana for patients suffering from cancer and medical conditions that produce seizures or severe persistent muscle spasms like epilepsy.

In November of 2016, Florida voters passed Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that legalized full-strength medical marijuana for qualified patients suffering from a multitude of debilitating medical conditions and which designated Florida’s Department of Health to regulate marijuana production and sales.

In this post, we’re covering 5 important medical marijuana laws in Florida. You can find the Florida medical marijuana statute here.

Florida marijuana laws at a glance

  • Florida’s medical marijuana program is regulated by The Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use (the “OMMU”).
  • The OMMU is responsible for overseeing and regulating the medical marijuana treatment center licensees (“MMTCs”).
  • Florida requires MMTC licensees to utilize seed-to-sale tracking software.
  • Adult-use marijuana is not currently legal in Florida.

Law #1: Qualifying Medical Conditions

Law: F.S. 381.986(2) QUALIFYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS.—A patient must be diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions to qualify to receive marijuana or a marijuana delivery device: (a) Cancer. (b) Epilepsy. (c) Glaucoma. (d) Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus. (e) Acquired immune deficiency syndrome. (f) Post-traumatic stress disorder. (g) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (h) Crohn’s disease. (i) Parkinson’s disease. (j) Multiple sclerosis. (k) Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated in paragraphs (a)-(j). (l) A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification. (m) Chronic nonmalignant pain.

Explained:

  • Before medical marijuana patients may receive and legally use medical marijuana, a patient must meet with a qualified physician.

  • If the physician determines that the patient suffers from one of the qualifying medical conditions listed above, the physician will issue the patient a physician certification which may be used to apply for a patient card with the OMMU. A patient card is required to purchase medical marijuana from an MMTC dispensary facility.

Law #2: MMTC Fines, Suspension and Revocation

Law: F.A.C. 64-4.210 (1) Pursuant to Section 381.986, F.S., the department provides within this rule disciplinary guidelines that will be imposed upon licensed MMTCs. The purposes of discipline are to penalize MMTCs for violations; to deter them from future violations; to offer opportunities for correction, when appropriate; and to deter other applicants or licensees from committing violations. (2) The department may suspend or revoke an MMTC license, or refuse to renew an MMTC license, if the department finds that an MMTC committed a violation as provided in Section 381.986(10)(f), F.S. For any such violation, the department may revoke or suspend an MMTC’s license for a period of time based upon the seriousness of the violation. Factors to be considered in determining the seriousness of the violation include: (a) Frequency or number of occurrences; (b) Potential for rehabilitation;(c) Any prior violations; (d) Impact on the department; (e) Potential and/or actual harm to a qualified patient or a member of the public; (f) Willfulness and deliberateness of the violation;(g) Severity of noncompliance; (h) Length of noncompliance; (i) Any good faith effort made to prevent a violation; and (j) Any corrective action taken by the MMTC related to the current violation or prior violations. (3) The department may, in addition to or in lieu of suspension, revocation, and any other penalties imposed under this chapter, impose a fine of up to $10,000 per violation, as set forth in the schedule provided in subsection (9). The schedule of fines is meant to serve as a guideline. The department will use the factors set forth in subsection (2) to determine the amount of the fine to impose within the range outlined in the schedule. The maximum fines listed in the schedule reflect the maximum fines that the department may impose per violation. Where there are multiple incidents resulting in more than one violation of the same provision, the department may impose a fine, up to the maximum, for each violation. For violations that are ongoing and continuous in nature, each day a violation continues constitutes a distinct violation. (4) An MMTC must fully account for all marijuana and must safeguard marijuana in its possession or control during any period of license suspension. During the suspension, the MMTC must maintain its premises in compliance with all requirements set forth in Section 381.986, F.S., and department rule. Following a suspension, the department may allow the MMTC to resume operations after the MMTC has complied with any corrective action directives from the department. An MMTC may resume operations upon its receipt of written notice from the department authorizing the MMTC to resume operations. (5) During any period of license suspension, the department may require an MMTC to place on all of its dispensing facilities in the front window, or on the front door, a notice indicating the length of the suspension and the reasons therefor. The notice shall measure a minimum of 8.5 inches in height by 11 inches in width and the lettering shall be at least 14-point font. The department will create and furnish the notice to the MMTC. The department may require the MMTC to prominently display the notice on the homepage of the MMTC’s website. Such notice shall be maintained in place until the period of suspension ends. (6) The issuance of a suspension under this part does not relieve the MMTC of the obligation to timely comply with all license renewal requirements. A license suspension does not toll the MMTC’s license renewal deadline. (7) No MMTC whose license has been revoked may apply for licensure under Section 381.986, F.S., and this chapter for at least five years from the date of such revocation. However, if an MMTC’s violation of statute or rule is a contributing factor to the death of a patient, the MMTC will be permanently barred from applying for licensure. (8) If an MMTC’s license is suspended or revoked, no part of the application fee, supplemental licensure fee, or renewal fee will be returned. (9) The department will use the following schedule as a guideline for disciplinary fines. The complete statutory requirement may be found by referring to the statutory provision cited.

Explained:

Florida medical marijuana law states the OMMU can suspend or revoke an MMTC license or refuse to renew an MMTC license if violations are committed. Fines, suspension, and revocation will depend on the seriousness of the violation depending on the following factors:

  • Frequency or number of occurrences

  • Potential for rehabilitation

  • Any prior violations

  • Impact on the OMMU

  • Potential and/or actual harm to a qualified patient or a member of the public

  • Willfulness and deliberateness of the violation

  • Severity of noncompliance

  • Length of noncompliance

  • Any good faith effort made to prevent a violation

  • Any corrective action taken by the MMTC related to the current violation or prior violations

  • The OMMU can impose a fine of up to $10,000 per violation. Ongoing or continuous violations can result in a maximum penalty fine per day.

  • An MMTC must account for and safeguard all medical marijuana in its possession or control during a period of license suspension and must continue to maintain its premises to be compliant. Operations can continue upon written notice from the OMMU.

  • The OMMU can require an MMTC to place a notice on medical marijuana dispensing facilities in the front window or on the front door during a period of license suspension. The notice shall be at least 8.5 by 11 inches with 14-point font, and may also be required on the website’s homepage.

  • Suspended MMTCs must still comply with all license renewal requirements.

  • No MMTC whose license was revoked can apply for licensure for at least 5 years. If the violation contributes to the death of a patient, the MMTC will be permanently barred from applying.

  • Fees are non-refundable.

Law #3: MMTC Application Requirements

Law: F.S. 381.986(8)(b) An applicant for licensure as a medical marijuana treatment center must demonstrate: 1.That, for the 5 consecutive years before submitting the application, the applicant has been registered to do business in the state. 2. Possession of a valid certificate of registration issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to s. 581.131. 3. The technical and technological ability to cultivate and produce marijuana, including, but not limited to, low-THC cannabis. 4.The ability to secure the premises, resources, and personnel necessary to operate as a medical marijuana treatment center. 5. The ability to maintain accountability of all raw materials, finished products, and any byproducts to prevent diversion or unlawful access to or possession of these substances. 6. An infrastructure reasonably located to dispense marijuana to registered qualified patients statewide or regionally as determined by the department. 7. The financial ability to maintain operations for the duration of the 2-year approval cycle, including the provision of certified financial statements to the department. a. Upon approval, the applicant must post a $5 million performance bond issued by an authorized surety insurance company rated in one of the three highest rating categories by a nationally recognized rating service. However, a medical marijuana treatment center serving at least 1,000 qualified patients is only required to maintain a $2 million performance bond. b.In lieu of the performance bond required under sub-subparagraph a., the applicant may provide an irrevocable letter of credit payable to the department or provide cash to the department. If provided with cash under this sub-subparagraph, the department shall deposit the cash in the Grants and Donations Trust Fund within the Department of Health, subject to the same conditions as the bond regarding requirements for the applicant to forfeit ownership of the funds. If the funds deposited under this sub-subparagraph generate interest, the amount of that interest shall be used by the department for the administration of this section. 8. That all owners, officers, board members, and managers have passed a background screening pursuant to subsection (9). 9. The employment of a medical director to supervise the activities of the medical marijuana treatment center. 10. A diversity plan that promotes and ensures the involvement of minority persons and minority business enterprises, as defined in s. 288.703, or veteran business enterprises, as defined in s. 295.187, in ownership, management, and employment. An applicant for licensure renewal must show the effectiveness of the diversity plan by including the following with his or her application for renewal: a. Representation of minority persons and veterans in the medical marijuana treatment center’s workforce; b. Efforts to recruit minority persons and veterans for employment; and c. A record of contracts for services with minority business enterprises and veteran business enterprises.

    Explained:

    Initial applications must demonstrate the following:

    • For the 5 consecutive years before submitting the application, the applicant has been registered to do business in the state.

    • Possession of a valid certificate of registration.
    • The technology to cultivate low-thc marijuana.
    • Infrastructure to dispense cannabis.
    • Finances to maintain operations.
    • Pass a background check.
    • Employment of a medical director.
    • A diversity plan.

      Law #4: Inspection and authorization procedures

      Law: F.S. 381.986(8)(e)(9): Within 12 months after licensure, a medical marijuana treatment center must demonstrate to the department that all of its processing facilities have passed a Food Safety Good Manufacturing Practices, such as Global Food Safety Initiative or equivalent, inspection by a nationally accredited certifying body. A medical marijuana treatment center must immediately stop processing at any facility which fails to pass this inspection until it demonstrates to the department that such facility has met this requirement.

      F.S. 381.986(10)

      (a) The department shall conduct announced or unannounced inspections of medical marijuana treatment centers to determine compliance with this section or rules adopted pursuant to this section.

      (b) The department shall inspect a medical marijuana treatment center upon receiving a complaint or notice that the medical marijuana treatment center has dispensed marijuana containing mold, bacteria, or other contaminant that may cause or has caused an adverse effect to human health or the environment.

      (c) The department shall conduct at least a biennial inspection of each medical marijuana treatment center to evaluate the medical marijuana treatment center’s records, personnel, equipment, processes, security measures, sanitation practices, and quality assurance practices.

      Explained:

      Within 12 months of licensure, a Florida medical marijuana treatment center must pass a Food Safety Good Manufacturing Practices.

      Law #5: Packaging and labeling

      Law: F.S. 381.986(8)(e)11.f. and 12; Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64-4 rules, and the MMTC Emergency Rules for packaging and labeling in 64ER-20-32.

      Explained: Packaging Requirements

      • All usable products must be placed inside of a receptacle at the MMTC’s department-approved processing facility.
      • Receptacles must be placed inside of a package with a patient package insert before the usable product is dispensed by a MMTC.
      • Before dispensing usable product in any receptacle and packaging, a MMTC must obtain department approval of the use of the receptacle, label, and package.
      • The receptacle must be child resistant.
      • In the case of multiple-use usable products and multi-serving edibles, the receptacle must be resealable such that it continues to be child resistant after each use or serving.
      • All required information on the label(s) must be prominently and conspicuously placed on the receptacle.
      • The receptacle must not include depictions of the product or any graphics or images other than one image of the MMTC’s department-approved logo and the universal symbol.
      • The receptacle may include instructions, health information, or warnings and precautions. A MMTC cannot include unsubstantiated claims that the usable product cures any medical condition.
      • Receptacles for derivative products that are not edibles must be a single solid color or clear and must not be neon.
      • Where applicable, the lid of a receptacle must be the same single solid color or white.
      • Receptacles and wrapping for edibles must be plain, opaque, and white.
      • Receptacles for usable products in a form for smoking must be plain, opaque, and white.

      Labeling Requirements

      • Each receptacle must have a firmly affixed and readable label(s) that includes only the information required or permitted by law.
      • A MMTC may affix multiple labels to the receptacle as needed to convey the required or permissible information.
      • Labels may be accordion, expandable, extendable, or layered to permit labeling of small receptacles as long as none of the required information is obstructed.
      • The package for every usable product must include a patient package insert intended for the patient or caregiver that provides all required information.
      • The patient insert as well as the package for every usable product may include the following permissive information:
      • The MMTC’s department-approved logo.
      • A Quick Response (QR) code, or similar bar code or smart code that allows a patient to access the usable product’s certificate of analysis and information related to the usable product being dispensed, provided that the information conveyed is information that is permitted to appear on the receptacle label, package, or patient package insert. Upon request of a patient or caregiver, a MMTC must be able to provide paper copies of the information available.
      • Product Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU), barcode, or other similar product identifier.
      • Cultivar name in black or white, print lettering, in a sans-serif font which must not be larger than 12-point font.
      • Instructions, health information, or warnings and precautions.
      • A MMTC must not include unsubstantiated claims that the usable product cures any medical condition.
      • Labels on all usable products are required to include the following:
      • That the marijuana or low-THC cannabis meets the requirements of 381.986(8)(e)10d.
      • The name of the MMTC from which the marijuana originates.
      • The batch number and harvest number from which the marijuana originates and the date dispensed.
      • The name of the physician who issued the physician certification.
      • The name of the patient.
      • The product name, if applicable, and dosage form, including concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.
      • The product name may not contain wording commonly associated with products marketed by or to children.
      • The recommended dose.
      • A warning that it is illegal to transfer medical marijuana to another person
      • The universal symbol.
      • The universal symbol must be at a size no less than 10 percent of the overall surface area of the package.

      Additional Packaging and Labeling Specifications for Edible Products

      • Each edible must be individually sealed in plain, opaque, and white wrapping marked only with the marijuana universal symbol (in size no less than 10 percent of the overall surface area of the package).
      • Any edible dispensed as a single serving portion must be individually wrapped and placed inside of the receptacle.
      • Multi-serving lozenges, gelatins, and chocolates may be wrapped as single serving portions or together as a multi-serving edible and placed inside of the receptacle.
      • Each single serving portion of a multi-serving baked good must be individually wrapped and placed inside of the receptacle.
      • Each single serving portion of a multi-serving drink powder must be individually wrapped and placed inside of the receptacle.
      • In addition to the requirements above, each edible must have a firmly affixed and readable label that includes the following:
      • A list of all the edible’s ingredients in order of prominence which uses the common or usual name of food ingredients and identifies major allergens in accordance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.
      • Storage instructions.
      • An expiration date.
      • A legible and prominent warning to keep away from children and pets.
      • A warning stating that the edible has not been produced or inspected pursuant to federal food safety laws.

      Additional Packaging and Labeling Specifications for Usable Products in a Form for Smoking

      • The receptacle must be plain, opaque, and white.
      • In addition to the requirements above, the receptable must have a firmly affixed and readable label that includes the following :
      • A legible and prominent warning to keep the product away from children.
      • A warning stating that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and may negatively affect health.
      • The universal symbol in size no less than 10 percent of the overall surface area of the package.

      Labeling for Derivative Products that are not Edibles

      • The receptacle must be one single solid color and may have one additional accent color.
      • This does not include the department-approved logo, universal symbol, and text.
      • The single solid color and the additional accent color must not be neon.
      • The text on a package must be a single solid color but must not be neon.
      • The universal symbol must be printed on the package and must be no less than 10 percent of the overall surface area of the package.
      • The package must identify every ingredient, in order of prominence, unless the ingredients are identified on the receptacle label or patient package insert.

      Florida cannabis laws FAQs

      Is adult use marijuana legal in Florida?

      Adult use marijuana is currently illegal in Florida.

      How is marijuana taxed in Florida?

      Retail sales of medical marijuana are not subject to any sales tax in Florida. It is listed as a nontaxable medical item under Rule 12A-1.097, F.A.C.

      How much weed can I buy in Florida?

      A MMTC may not dispense more than a 70-day supply of marijuana within any 70-day period to a qualified patient or caregiver and may not dispense more than one 35-day supply of marijuana in a form for smoking within any 35-day period to a qualified patient or caregiver. A 35-day supply of marijuana in a form for smoking may not exceed 2.5 ounces unless an exception to this amount is approved by the OMMU.

      Is Flowhub compliant with Florida's cannabis regulations?

      Yes! Flowhub was the first integrator with Metrc, so we have a deep understanding of how to keep your dispensary compliant. We also are compliant with Florida's medical marijuana laws.

      Disclaimer: The material contained on this website and any attached or referenced pages has been compiled by Flowhub for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. This post is current as of 10/1/2021. Medical Marijuana regulations are rapidly changing, and legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.

      Taylor

      Learn more

      Can your dispensary POS system handle all the unique Florida regulations? Watch a demo to see how Flowhub helps you stay compliant.

      Watch demo