St. Petersburg Cannabis Wax Possession Attorneys
Marijuana use has become more prevalent throughout the United States. As the business grows, cannabis users have started to get creative. One of these new innovations is called “cannabis wax,” made from THC concentrates. Wax is a form of concentrated hash oil made with butane.
Cannabis wax has a high potency of THC. This is because the butane separates the cannabinoid THC from the actual plant. What is left behind is a sticky wax-like substance that creates a light hallucinogenic feeling when consumed. A common way to ingest cannabis wax is to heat it until the THC concentrates dissolve, otherwise known as “dabbing.”
Possessing, selling, or manufacturing THC concentrates is illegal in the state of Florida. THC concentrates are not considered a part of the marijuana plant according to Florida law. Consequently, this means that THC concentrates such as cannabis wax carry much heavier penalties than the traditional marijuana plant.
The attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. have a strong focus in criminal defense. Our attorneys excel at suppressing evidence, filing motions, and creating durable defense plans for our clients. Do what’s best for your future now.
What is Cannabis Wax?
Cannabis wax is a type of hash oil concentrate created through butane hash oil extraction. It looks similar to ear wax in both texture and color. Marijuana wax is a concentrate, which means that it has a high potency of THC. Most wax contains 60% or more of THC than traditional marijuana.
The cannabinoid THC is responsible for the hallucinogenic feeling marijuana users get. The more THC there is in cannabis, the stronger the high is. Marijuana wax is commonly smoked through e-cigarettes or water pipes called oil rigs. It can also be added topically to food.
How is Marijuana Wax Made?
Wax can be made in two ways: With butane hash oil or isopropyl alcohol. If you are using butane hash oil, the dried cannabis is put into an open-ended tube. One end is covered with a filter and the other is closed. Butane hash oil is forced through the filter to separate THC molecules from the plant. After the butane is filtered through, you’re left with cannabis wax.
Another method is to use isopropyl alcohol. The dried marijuana must be submersed in alcohol for a set period of time. After that, the alcohol is then heated to an extremely high temperature. The alcohol will evaporate and leave behind the sticky substance known as cannabis wax. It’s much rarer to manufacture wax with isopropyl alcohol than butane hash oil.
The process of extracting THC from marijuana can be dangerous. Local newspapers have reported incidents of explosions in Florida during the BHO manufacturing process. A manufacturing accident could cause increased sentence in a criminal prosecution. Considering that Florida recently began the process to legalize medical marijuana, it is important to understand your rights as these new regulations begin to take effect.
Actual and Constructive Possession in Florida
You’re not required to have cannabis wax on your body to be arrested for possession. Florida law states a person can be arrested for “constructive” or “actual” possession. “Actual” possession is when a person has THC concentrates on them. For example, if you have marijuana concentrates in your pocket, you are in “actual” possession.
“Constructive” possession is a little more complicated. The prosecution must prove the following to show a person was in “constructive” possession of marijuana wax.
- They have knowledge of the cannabis wax; and
- Had dominion and control over the wax.
This means you’re not required to physically hold cannabis wax to be considered in constructive possession. Instead, you must have complete authority over the place in which the drug was found. For example, if cannabis wax is found in a locked box and you had the key, then you would be in constructive possession.
Types of Marijuana Concentrates
Over the years, marijuana has gone by many different names. At this point in time, seven states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Seventeen states have decriminalized marijuana, and 28 states, including D.C., have legalized medical marijuana. With marijuana being legalized across the country and with new uses emerging, even more names are popping up.
- Honey oil
- Butane Hash Oil
- Hash oil
- 710 (7/10), also known as the “Day of the Dab” because when flipped upside down 710 spells “OIL”
- Solvent Hash
- Keef (different from hash or marijuana)
- THC –Tetrahydrocannabinol
- THCV –Tetrahydrocannabivarin
- THCa – THC acid
- CBD –Cannabidiol –has medical potential
- CBDa –Cannabidiol acid
- CBN –Cannabinoil –mildly psychoactive cannabinoid
- CBG –Cannabigerol –Nonpsychoactive antibacterial anti-inflammatory.
- CBC –Cannabichromene
Penalties for Possessing Cannabis Wax in Florida
Florida handles possession of THC concentrates differently than possession of traditional marijuana buds. In Florida, cannabis concentrates are not considered a part of the marijuana plant. This means that you won’t face the same penalties as possessing the dried cannabis plant.
Possessing any amounts of THC concentrates is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to five years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $5,000.
It’s also illegal to sell, deliver, or manufacture cannabis wax. If you possess more than three grams of the concentrates with intent to sell, you’ll likely face a third-degree felony. Your charges can also be elevated based on where the offense happened.
If you were arrested for using or selling cannabis wax in one of these places, your charges will be enhanced to a second-degree felony.
Within 1,000 feet of:
- A childcare facility between the hours of 6 AM and 12 AM;
- A community center or park;
- A church or house of worship;
- A sect of public housing;
- An assisted living facility;
- A convenience business; or
- A college, university, or other educational institution.
The penalties for a second-degree felony include:
- Up to 15 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Some states that have legalized marijuana have also legalized butane hash oil (BHO). Those states, however, have not legalized BHO manufacturing. In states where honey oil is legal, lawmakers have found that unlicensed and unregulated individuals are making BHO in their homes and causing serious property damage and harm to others.
Refined butane, the substance used to make BHO, is odorless and fairly easy to get. Lawmakers in states like California have already pushed for stricter regulation on purchasing refined butane across the country to prevent illegal manufacturing.
In states like Michigan, which have also legalized medical marijuana, licensed caregivers see the effects of BHO manufacturing on their insurance as well. In Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. McDermott, a caregiver who was manufacturing BHO in his home was held liable for a resulting fire under his homeowners’ insurance policy.
The District Court held that the fire was not an accident, and McDermott could not recover because his actions—namely BHO manufacturing—increased the risk of a fire. McDermott was required to repay $139,841 to Nationwide Insurance.
While a small amount of marijuana may be exempt from being defined as a Schedule I substance, other concentrated forms of marijuana are not.
A Schedule I substance describes a drug that has not been approved for medical use and has a high risk of abuse. The classification of marijuana concentrates as a Schedule I substance causes an interesting variation in the criminal penalties associated with possessing a small amount of marijuana and possessing hash oil.
The penalties for marijuana possession are as follows:
A person is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor if they possess 20 grams or less of marijuana. First-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
A person is guilty of a third-degree felony if they possess more than 20 grams and less than 25 pounds of marijuana, or any amount of hash or concentrate.
A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Office of Medical Marijuana Use – Visit the official website for the Department of Health to learn more about their Office of Medical Marijuana Use. You may qualify for a medical marijuana card and legally obtain cannabis wax.
What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates – Visit the official website for Get Smart About Drugs, a resource created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Access the site to learn more about THC concentrates, what they look like, and their long-term effects.
Florida Medical Marijuana Policy -Visit the Marijuana Policy Project, an overview of Florida’s Laws on low-THC use for terminal and select illness. The law allows certain patients to use “low-THC cannabis,” which is defined as containing “0.8% or less of THC and more than 10% of cannabidiol.”
Marijuana for Terminal Illnesses –Visit the United for Care website for some very interesting facts about the benefits of medical marijuana and how it is treating terminal illnesses.
Medical Marijuana Dispensary Information – Visit the Florida marijuana website for more information about dispensaries in Florida and in other places across the United States.
Contact Our Lawyers
If you were charged with marijuana or concentrated marijuana possession, talk to an attorney who has experience in fighting different types of drug charges.
Call (727) 592-5885 to speak with an experienced attorney about the defense of drug crimes.
FORMER STATE PROSECUTOR
Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.
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Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.
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