Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s not psychoactive and has an excellent safety profile. In clinical trials, this compound was effective in the treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, psychosis, and nerve pain.
Despite these potential benefits, there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the legal status of CBD and other cannabis products. While hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level, each state has its own regulations.
If you live in the Sunshine State, you may be wondering, “Is CBD legal in Florida?” The answer is yes, but only under certain conditions. Note that hemp is not the same as marijuana, which falls under different rules.
Feeling confused? Don’t fret, we’re here to help. Below we’ll discuss the differences between hemp and marijuana—and their impact on the legal status of CBD in Florida.
Let’s dive in!
Is CBD Legal in Florida?
Cannabidiol occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, or Cannabis sativa. The Cannabis genus includes several species and subspecies with varying amounts of CBD and THC. Some plants are high in CBD and low in THC, while others contain mostly THC.
In the U.S., it’s legal to grow, sell, and purchase hemp products containing no more than 0.3% THC, explains the Brookings Institution. Non-hemp cannabis, which contains more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, is classified as marijuana, a recreational drug.
Hemp and its derivatives, including CBD, were legalized at the federal level in 2018. But even so, its legal status is confusing at the local and state levels.
The 2018 Farm Bill allowed for a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana, removing the former from the DEA’s Schedule I drug list. While medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016, only people with epilepsy, cancer, and other severe conditions had access to it.
Prior to the Farm Bill, there was no distinction between marijuana and hemp from a legal standpoint. But even today, it’s hard to tell whether or not CBD is legal in Florida — here’s a concrete example:
In 2019, Hester Burkhalter was arrested for carrying a bottle of CBD oil in her purse while visiting Disney World. The product was prescribed by her doctor in North Carolina, reports NBC Miami. The 69-year-old woman used CBD oil for arthritis pain.
The takeaway is that not all states have brought their laws in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. Even those that did it are still working on creating a legal framework for cannabis use.
Can You Buy CBD Oil in Florida?
Florida law allows the possession of CBD oil under certain circumstances. Simply put, this product is conditionally legal.
According to the 2020 Florida Statutes, it’s legal to use medical marijuana containing more than 10% CBD and 0.8% or less THC. You may purchase marijuana edibles, such as CBD oil and gummies, from medical marijuana treatment centers.
Only individuals with certain medical conditions are legally allowed to use marijuana. These include but are not limited to:
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illnesses
- Chronic pain
Medical marijuana treatment centers are required to list the product composition, dosage recommendations, warnings, and other relevant information on each package. They may not dispense marijuana to patients under the age of 18.
To sum up, only permanent or seasonal residents of Florida can legally use medical marijuana, including CBD oil and edibles. With a few exceptions, they are not allowed to use these products in public places.
Consumers also need to obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card and purchase their prescription drugs from state-approved dispensaries. On top of that, they must enroll in the state’s medical cannabis program.
Note that Florida law does not recognize patients from other states, points out the National Conference of State Legislatures.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana ID Card in Florida
If you’re over 18 years old and meet the above criteria, you may apply for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card online or by mail. Simply follow these steps, as recommended by the Office of Medical Marijuana Use:
Apply for a Medical Marijuana ID Card Online
- Sign up for a Medical Marijuana Use Registry account.
- Follow the instructions received by email to log into the Registry.
- Click Your Card and fill in the required fields. If you live in Florida, provide a copy of your ID card or driver’s license. Seasonal residents must submit a lease agreement, utility bill, bank account statement, or other proof of residency.
- Sign the form electronically.
- Pay the $75 processing fee and submit your application.
Online applications are processed within 10 days.
Apply by Mail
- Download, print, and complete the application form.
- Pay the $75 processing fee by check or money order.
- Send your application along with a copy of your ID card, driver’s license, or other proof of residency and a passport-type photo to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.
Paper applications can take up to 15 days to be processed. Access your Medical Marijuana Use Registry account to check the status of your application.
What about Online Orders?
As discussed earlier, cannabis products with less than 0.3% THC are legal at the federal level.
But, under Florida law, you may only buy them from a licensed medical marijuana treatment center. Plus, you must get a prescription from a licensed physician and hold a medical marijuana ID card.
Theoretically, you’re not breaking the federal law if you buy hemp-derived CBD oil from physical stores or online. Industrial hemp CBD is not the same as marijuana. Even so, you should still proceed with caution, as the state laws are unclear.
Florida Marijuana Laws
Recreational marijuana, or weed, is banned in Florida.
If you’re caught carrying up to 20 grams, you can face one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. The possession of more than 20 grams is a felony and can get you sentenced to five to 30 years of jail time and huge fines.
Note that other states allow recreational marijuana, according to U.S. News. Colorado, Michigan, Illinois, and California are just a few to mention. However, this market is strictly regulated.
- Colorado law, for example, allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana at a time, but they may not use it in public places.
- If you live in Oregon, you can have up to 1 ounce of weed in public and up to 8 ounces at home. Oregon residents can also possess up to 16 ounces of marijuana in solid form, such as CBD edibles, or up to 72 ounces in liquid form.
- Maine law allows the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use. This regulation also applies in Michigan.
- Illinois residents can have up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana at once. They may also possess no more than 5 grams of cannabis concentrates and other cannabis products with up to 500 milligrams of THC.
None of these rules apply in Florida, though. Your best bet is to get a prescription for medical marijuana.
Stay on the Right Side of the Law
The health benefits of CBD are backed up by science. Even the FDA acknowledges them. However, cannabidiol products are still in a gray area.
So, is CBD legal in Florida? The answer depends on several factors, including your health needs and where you get your CBD from. Discuss your options with a qualified physician to see if it’s possible to get a prescription.
Meanwhile, check out our guide on how to use CBD oil. Take the time to read the reviews on our blog or contact us to help you choose the right product for your needs.