Former State Prosecutor
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Despite the changing opinions, and in some cases, laws, involving marijuana as an acceptable and legal recreational substance – or at least a controlled substance with accepted medical use – cannabis and all its forms remains an illegal Schedule I substance in the state of Florida. The cultivation of marijuana and/or the leasing, owning, or operation of a marijuana grow house in Florida is therefore also illegal, no matter the purpose of the cannabis or its owner’s intent.
In all cases, cultivating marijuana or being involved with a marijuana grow house in Florida is a felony, which comes with sanctions like a driver’s license suspension and a loss of certain civil liberties in addition to the traditional prison time and fines. Contact an experienced St. Petersburg marijuana crime defense lawyer immediately if you have been arrested on charges involving marijuana cultivation or a grow house in Pinellas County, and start fighting for your rights and future today.
A marijuana cultivation charge or other marijuana grow house charge may seem like a death sentence for your freedom and your future. However, every citizen is innocent until proven guilty and has certain unalienable rights that must be honored. Melinda Morris of Morris Law Firm, P.A. is a firm believer in this fact. With experience on both sides of the courtroom, she knows what it takes to shed light on weaknesses in the prosecution’s case – including any rights violations concerning the obtaining of evidence – while keeping the most favorable outcome for you in mind.
If you have been charged with marijuana cultivation or a marijuana grow house offense in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Pinellas Park, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Largo, High Point, Seminole, Belleair, Bradenton, or the surrounding areas, contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. today to begin constructing your defense. Your first consultation is free, so call (727) 388-4736 today to schedule yours.
Actual Possession – Having actual, physical control of the marijuana, generally (but not always) on your person, such as having the substance in your hands, purse, or pockets
Cannabis – Also known as chronic, weed, pot, marijuana, ganja, chronic, and bud, all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, including the seeds and resin, as well as every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, and preparation thereof.
Cannabis plant – Includes the whole marijuana plant, harvested or growing, as well as any seedlings, cuttings, or other parts that may be considered a plant due to the observable evidence of root hairs or other evidence of root formation.
Constructive Possession – Having the knowledge that the substance is marijuana, and therefore illegal, as well as the ability and the intent to obtain actual possession of the marijuana
Cultivating – The preparation of any soil or other hydroponic medium for the planting of marijuana, or the tending, care, and/or harvesting of marijuana
Deliver or Delivery – The actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of cannabis from one person to another, whether or not there is an agency relationship
Distribute – To deliver marijuana, specifically with the exclusion of administering or dispensing it as one would find in a medical setting
Manufacture – The direct or indirect production, preparation, propagation, compounding, cultivation, growing, conversion, or processing of marijuana by extraction from natural substances, chemical synthesis, or a combination as well as any packaging of the marijuana or labeling or relabeling of the marijuana container
Trafficking – Knowingly selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, or bringing into or out of Florida more than 25 pounds or 300 plants of marijuana
Under Fla. Stat. § 893.13 of the Florida Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, it is illegal for any person to sell, manufacture, deliver a controlled substance, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance. Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance according to Fla. Stat. § 893.03(1)(c), and the cultivation and growth of marijuana is included in the definition of “manufacture” in this statute. Marijuana cultivation is therefore considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The felony of marijuana cultivation will be upgraded to a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if the offense is found to have occurred near a school or other childcare facility. In addition to prison time, Florida felonies come with a number of other sanctions and the social stigma that comes with being a felon. An experienced marijuana crime defense attorney serving Tampa and the surrounding areas will fight to protect your future and your freedom from a felony marijuana cultivation conviction in Florida.
According to Fla. Stat. § 893.1351, a marijuana grow house is any place, structure, trailer, part thereof (such as a room or closet), or other conveyance used for the purpose of committing the following offenses according to their specific definitions in the Florida statutes: marijuana trafficking, the sale of marijuana, or the cultivation of marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute to another. The exception to these traditional Florida legal definitions is that the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act of 2008 reduced the number of plants required to qualify as marijuana trafficking with regard to grow houses from 300 to 25.
To have any involvement in a grow house or other base of operations intended for the cultivation and/or distribution of marijuana in the State of Florida is a felony. Factors such as the level of involvement of the person or the presence of minors determine what degree. To own, lease, or rent any such place, structure, trailer, or part thereof – like in the case of a landlord – knowing that it will be used for the cultivation of marijuana with the intent to sell, the sale of marijuana or marijuana trafficking is a third-degree felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and five years in Florida state prison.
Fla. Stat. § 893.1351(2) upgrades the offense to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years of state prison and a $10,000 fine, if a person is in actual or constructive possession of any such grow house or distribution structure – that is, living or operating in it – for the purpose of cultivating and/or distributing marijuana. If a minor is present or resides in such a place, it is considered a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. These Florida marijuana felonies are serious offenses that call for an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Pinellas County area to defend your rights and your future against them.
If you have been arrested for marijuana cultivation or grow house charges in Pinellas County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Hillsborough County, or Sarasota County contact experienced marijuana crime defense attorney Melinda Morris of Morris Law Firm, P.A. in St. Petersburg. She will work with you to build a customized, comprehensive defense solution in order to fight for the most favorable outcome in your case. Cal Morris Law Firm, P.A. today at (727) 388-4736 to schedule your free initial consultation and begin fighting to protect your rights.
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