While possessing cannabis and even growing marijuana has become legal in many states, it is still very much illegal in Florida. In fact, while medical marijuana has become legal in Florida, growing your own medicine is not permitted at all by the statute.
Definition: Section 893.13(1)(a) of the Florida Statutes defines the crime of cultivation or manufacture of marijuana. The statute provides that it is unlawful for any person to manufacture or possess with intent to manufacture a controlled substance.
What does it mean to manufacture cannabis? The statute defines manufacturing cannabis as the “production, preparation, packaging, labeling or re-labeling, propagation, compounding, cultivating, growing, conversion or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly.” Under Florida law, manufacturing marijuana or other drugs also includes manufacturing “by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis.” Manufacturing can also include a combination of chemical synthesis and extraction. Additionally, being in possession of more than 25 plants is prima facie evidence that the cannabis is intended for sale or distribution. (Florida Statute 893.1351).
All of the complicated statutory language aside, cultivation of cannabis charges are brought against someone for illegally growing marijuana.
Penalties for Marijuana Cultivation or Grow House Charges
Cultivating or manufacturing marijuana is a third degree felony in Florida. Those convicted will receive up to 5 years in prison or probation and up to a $5,000 fine. Cultivation of cannabis is a level 3 offense under Florida’s criminal punishment code. Additionally, if a defendant is convicted of cultivation of cannabis you are subject to a six month driver’s license suspension. (Florida Statute 322.055) If caught with more than 300 plants then a defendant could be charged with trafficking in marijuana 893.135(1)(a)(1).
Defenses to Marijuana Cultivation or Grow House Charges
- Law enforcement had a defective or illegal warrant
- Law enforcement did not have a warrant at all when they searched the house
- Law enforcement did not have probable cause to obtain their warrant
- The search exceeded the scope of a consensual search
- The search was overly broad
- The marijuana or other controlled substances were not in plain view
- Law enforcement used unlawful tactics for a search.
- Mere proximity to the cannabis plants
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
Florida prosecutors have been strictly enforcing Florida’s anti-cultivation laws. They are aggressive when it comes to finding marijuana grow houses and sentence defendants to lengthy prison sentences. Hiring an attorney is necessary to help you fight the charges against you. You can face serious jail time if you are convicted of cultivating marijuana or having a grow house. You need lawyers who are aggressive and experienced.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
The criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth will thoroughly investigate your case and ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule your free case evaluation. Time is of the essence when it comes to criminal trials.
Resources for Cultivation of Cannabis Cases
Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a)– Possession of Controlled Substance
Florida Statute 322.055– driver’s license suspension for drug conviction
Florida Statute 893.135– trafficking in marijuana
Florida Statute 893.1351– presumption of intent to sell or deliver