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Growing Marijuana in Florida

As marijuana becomes more acceptable across the country, both recreationally and medically, we will begin to see more regulation of cultivation, sale, and distribution.

Many individuals across North Central Florida have been criminally charged with growing marijuana in their homes.

Unauthorized cultivation of marijuana in a home, also known by the street term "trap house," can subject not only the owner of the property to criminal liability, but the individuals that live in the home as well.

Attorney for Marijuana Grow Houses in Gainesville, FL

Being charged with felony cultivation of a controlled substance can be terrifying and life changing. Being labeled "defendant" does not mean that an individual is guilty. The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm are skilled litigators dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals charged with crimes.

Fair and effective legal representation is essential to the criminal justice system and our attorneys firmly believe that. With offices located on 317 NE 1st St, just minutes from the University of Florida campus, we represent clients throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area including the surrounding counties like Putnam County, Levy County, Marion County, Bradford County, Union County, Gilchrist County, and Columbia County, Florida.

Submit a free evaluation form or call (352) 375-0812 to speak one-on-one with an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Marijuana Grow Houses under Fla. Stat. § 893.1351

Florida Statute § 893.1351, also known as the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act, was passed in 2008, to enact new legislation that enhanced the penalties for marijuana grow house charges.

According to § 893.1351, a person may not:

  • own
  • lease or
  • rent

a place, structure, part of a place or structure, trailer, or other conveyance, with the knowledge that such place will be used for the purpose of trafficking marijuana, selling marijuana, or manufacturing marijuana intended for sale or distribution.

Under the Florida Statute, a grow house may include any place or structure where more than twenty-five (25) plants are being cultivated. The Statute says that proof of possession of twenty-five (25) or more cannabis plants constitutes prima facie evidence that the cannabis is intended for sale or distribution.

The prima facie evidence of cultivation for sale or distribution is considered a rebuttable presumption, meaning that such evidence might be overcome by showing that the cannabis plants were not intended for sale or distribution.

In Florida, an example would be showing that an individual is professionally licensed to cultivate, transport, and sell marijuana, or that an individual owns a retail license to purchase, receive, posses, store, dispense, or transport marijuana.

Residents of Trap Houses in Florida

Individuals charged with growing marijuana in a Florida grow house are not the only individuals who could be subject to criminal charges for marijuana manufacture. Any owner or resident of the house who has knowledge of the illegal growing activities may be subject to criminal prosecution as well.


Residents of a Florida Grow House

Subjection Two (2) of the Florida Statute applies to owner residents, renters, and even visitors, if the resident lives in the grow house, is found in the grow house, or exercises control over the grow house where the marijuana is grown for sale or distribution.

The Statute makes it punishable for an individual to knowingly be in actual or constructive possession of any house or other place with knowledge that the place will be used for any of the following purposes:

  • for the manufacturing of a controlled substance intended for sale or distribution; or
  • for trafficking in a controlled substance (as provided in § 893.135); or
  • for the sale of a controlled substance (as provided in § 893.135).

If an individual is found to be a resident of a Florida grow house with knowledge, then he or she can be charged with a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in Florida State Prison and up to $10,000 fines.

Grow Houses with Minor Children

Having a minor child in a home where the owner, residents, renters, or visitors who are found to be present in the grow house or exercising control over the grow house with knowledge that marijuana is grown in the house may be subject to a first-degree felony charge. The individuals must have known or should have known that a minor lived or was present in the home.

Thus, Subsection (3) makes it a first-degree felony for any person who is in actual or constructive possession of a house or other place with the knowledge of the following:

  • that the place was being used to manufacture a controlled substance that was intended for sale or distribution; and
  • that he or she knew or should have known that a minor child was present in or lived in the home.

Knowingly growing marijuana in a home where a minor child resides is charged as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

Important Definitions for Florida Marijuana Grow House Offenses

When reading the Florida Statute, it will be important to keep the following terms in mind:

  • Actual Possession – having actual, physical control of the marijuana on your person;
  • Constructive Possession – having control over the marijuana or the home where the marijuana is being grown;
  • Delivery – the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of cannabis from one entity to another;
  • Manufacture – the direct or indirect production, preparation, compounding, cultivation, or growing of marijuana, or the process of marijuana extraction from its natural substances, chemical synthesis, or a combination, as well as any packaging, labeling, or relabeling, of marijuana.
  • Trafficking – knowingly selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, or brining more than twenty-five (25) or 300 plants of marijuana in or out of the State of Florida.

Additional Resources

History of Medical Marijuana Legalization – Visit the Medical Marijuana Policy website for more information on the history of medical marijuana legalization in Florida. The information provided dates from the 2014 introduction of low-THC cannabis to the 2016 full legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.

Fla. Stat. § 893.1351 – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full statutory language of Ownership, lease, rental, or possession for trafficking in or manufacturing a controlled substance law otherwise known as the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act. The Statute outlines the law regarding cultivation of marijuana in trap houses and the penalties associated with being charged.

Find an Attorney for Grow House Crimes in Alachua County, FL&

Contact an attorney at Galigani Law Firm if you or someone you know has been arrested or are subject to investigation for being the owner or resident of a marijuana grow house. With offices located on 317 NE 1st St, just minutes from the University of Florida campus, we represent clients throughout the Gainesville Metropolitan Area including the surrounding counties like Bradford County, Union County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, Columbia County, and Marion County, Florida.

In the past, we have represented clients charged with THC concentrate possession, marijuana trafficking, and other serious criminal marijuana charges throughout the North Central Florida, in cities like Starke, Lake Butler, Oscala, Bronson, Trenton, and Lake City, Florida.

Submit a free evaluation form or call (352) 375-0812 to speak one-on-one with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

This Article Was Last Updated on Monday, May 26, 2017.