Driving With Medical Marijuana In Florida
What Patients Should Know
It's an all-too-common scenario — you've just visited a local medical marijuana dispensary in Florida and purchased two-ounces of incredibly pungent cannabis flowers. As you get into your car, you instantly become paranoid.
Thoughts of red and blue lights flashing behind you increase your fear. Is it legal to drive with medical marijuana in Florida?
Read along to understand everything you need to know about driving with medical marijuana in Florida. You'll learn what's allowed — and what isn't.
Can You Drive With Medical Marijuana in Florida?
We italicized "yes" because there are multiple requirements to allow you to drive with medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Let's look at each condition to ensure you never find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Don't Drive Under The Influence of Medical Marijuana
First, you can't be high while driving with medical marijuana in your possession. Whether you smoked a joint an hour ago or dabbed some shatter 3-hours ago — you cannot be high at all.
Consuming any form of medical marijuana, such as flowers, extracts, or edibles, will impair your judgment — even at small doses.
Furthermore, you cannot consume cannabis while sitting in a car — even if you don't intend to drive. Similar to alcohol, it's illegal to be inside a vehicle while consuming medical marijuana. Overall, the officer at the scene can only assume that you intend to drive.
Driving under the influence of medical marijuana is the same as a DUI in Florida. This means that you will receive a steep fine and a possible jail sentence.
Here are the penalties for driving under the influence of medical marijuana in Florida:
● First Offense: $500-1,000 fine; 50-hours of community service; up-to 6-months in jail; license suspension for 6-12-months; or vehicle impoundment.
● Second Offense: $1,000-2,000 fine; up-to 9-months in jail; license suspension for 6-12-months and mandatory ignition interlock; mandatory probation for 1-year; 50-hours community service.
● Third Offense: Similar to Second Offense, however, a 90-day vehicle impound is possible. If the Third Offense occurs within 10-years of the Second Offense, a felony charge will occur.
● Fourth Offense: 3rd-degree felony that requires a minimum of 5-years in jail.
As you can see, driving under the influence of cannabis results in significant penalties and fees.
Always Carry A Valid Medical Marijuana License
The second stipulation is you must carry a valid medical marijuana license that you legally received with your medical marijuana doctor. You should have been mailed a physical patient ID Card from the OMMU.
It is illegal to transport any amount of medical marijuana without a valid license. Once you receive your license from the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, you must always carry it with you. If you're pulled over, you can present your valid medical marijuana card as proof to the officer.
Never Exceed Your Medical Marijuana Limit
Last but not least, never travel with more medical marijuana than you're allowed to possess.
Florida's medical marijuana program allows license holders to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of whole flower cannabis per 35-days. Overall, medical marijuana patients in Florida are entitled to six 35-day supply orders between marijuana doctor visits. For non-flower MMJ products, orders are for 70-days with three supply limits.
The possession limit for marijuana in the form of smoking also referred to as whole flower, is 4 ounces. Never possess or travel with more medical marijuana then this.
An officer in Florida cannot punish you if you transport a legal amount, carry a valid medical marijuana license, and are not driving under the influence of cannabis.
Keep All Medical Marijuana In The Original MMTC Container
With all the cool cannabis gear available today it may be tempting to keep your medicine in an odor-free stash bag or small pollen box so you can catch those amazing trichomes; however, all patients should keep products in the original dispensary packaging.
Patients are free to use a bag to hold the pre-roll tubes or whole flower containers, but the product themselves should always ultimately remain in the container they were dispensed in.
Can I Drive To Another State From Florida With Medical Marijuana?
It is illegal to cross state lines with cannabis because marijuana is prohibited on the federal level. Even if you possess a valid medical marijuana license, you will be prosecuted if caught driving across state lines with medical marijuana.
Remember, your medical marijuana license allows you to transport the legal limit within Florida.
Some states are currently looking at legislation to legalize interstate cannabis commerce and transport; however, nothing to date has been passed between consenting legal markets.
Where Should I Store My Medical Marijuana While Driving in Florida?
If you need to transport your medical marijuana, you must do so in a specific way.
First, medical marijuana produces a pungent aroma, which may attract the public or law enforcement. Although you have a medical marijuana license, it's always best to avoid the attention.
Therefore, you should always stash your medical marijuana in an airtight jar or resealable package.
Next, place the medical marijuana package inside the glove box, trunk, or inside a secured bag. Never leave your medical marijuana out in the open for others to see as this will attract unwanted attention.
Enjoy Your Medical Marijuana At Home — Not in Your Car
Ultimately, you are allowed to transport medical marijuana if you follow the three rules discussed above.
You must plan your days accordingly if you intend to indulge in medical marijuana. Remember, the effects of cannabis can last anywhere from 2-6-hours. Depending on your tolerance, you must ensure that you are sober before getting into a vehicle.
Once you arrive at your destination, you may consume cannabis products in a private residence.
The penalties and fees are too high of a price to pay, which is why you must follow the guidelines and avoid driving under the influence of cannabis.
Now that you understand everything you need to know about driving with medical marijuana, you can safely transport medicine from the dispensary to your private residence without the feeling of paranoia.
Know Your Order Limit
Lastly, it's a good idea to talk to your medical marijuana doctor about your order limits as not all doctors put in for maximum orders and all methods of use, making it impractical for some patients to have the same MMJ product volume as others. At Compassionate Healthcare of Florida, we're always ready to discuss everything you need to know about your supply limit.
Whether you need to apply for a medical marijuana license or need to clarify your order limits, contact CHF today.