CBD in Florida – 2018 Complete Guide
Is CBD in Florida Legal?
Florida CBD Laws 
Is CBD oil legal in Florida? Historically, Florida has been one of the strictest states in the U.S. when it comes to both hemp and marijuana — both of which are sources for CBD-rich cannabis oils. However, in recent years, Florida has undergone a sea change in its acceptance of cannabis as a medicinal plant.
Recently instituted legislation has created a full-blown medical marijuana industry (sans smokables). This means that both CBD oil from marijuana and CBD oil from hemp are accessible to Floridians with a medical marijuana card. Other than that what about Floridians without a marijuana card? Because hemp CBD oil is not made from marijuana, can anyone in Florida buy it? What exactly are Florida’s laws when it comes to hemp CBD oil?
What are Florida's CBD Laws as of 2018?
Back in November of 2016, Florida approved a constitutional amendment which gave patients suffering from a list of serious medical conditions access to medical marijuana, including both high-THC cannabis oil, and low-THC CBD-oil. Passing by a landslide margin of 71 percent, Amendment 2 superseded an older law which made legal the use of only low-THC CBD oil, and only to treat some potentially life-threatening diseases.
While it was instrumental in setting up a statewide system for the regulation, cultivation, distribution, and sale of both THC-rich oils and CBD-rich oils, what Amendment 2 did not do is change Florida’s drug possession laws.
It’s still not legal to possess marijuana products without a medical card in Florida. And the penalties are steep. Possession of more than 20 grams is a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and fines up to $5,000. So, the question is, does hemp CBD oil qualify as a marijuana product under Florida law?
Unfortunately, you can’t get a medical card without a doctor verifying that you are suffering from one of the qualifying conditions and that no other traditional treatments are providing relief for your symptoms. But, fortunately, hemp does not qualify as marijuana under Florida law.
In order to not qualify as marijuana hemp must have less than 0.3% THC. CBD oil made from hemp is, for all intents and purposes, THC-free. You could drink a bottle of CBD oil and not get intoxicated.
Although there was some friction when shops in Florida first began selling CBD products — probably instigated by the large cannabis leaves on shop signs — The resistance has, for the most part, faded.
In September of 2018, scientists at the University of Florida began a UF pilot project to explore the potential of hemp cultivation in Florida. A Florida-based CBD company known as Green Roads Inc. is reported to have invested $1.3 million to sponsor the first phase of the UF/IFAS research program.
Low-THC, CBD Oil vs. Legal CBD Oil From Hemp
So, this begs the question of which would be better for you — the low-THC, CBD oil which is legal under Florida’s medical cannabis laws but requires pre-qualification and a card from the state? Or the easily accessible no-THC CBD oil that’s made from hemp and legal for all Floridians?
Many medical marijuana experts claim that full-spectrum CBD oil contains enough medicinal cannabinoids to successfully treat most conditions. But it’s also generally agreed upon that THC can provide added benefits in some cases. Some experts go so far as to claim that CBD oil is far less effective in treating most conditions without the THC. The truth is most likely somewhere in between the two extremes. The bottom line is that thousands of people get good results for conditions such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain using only the no-THC CBD oil. The only way to know for sure if no-THC CBD oil from hemp will work for you is to try it before you start the daunting process of getting a medical marijuana card in Florida.
On a side note, if you have a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card you can also legally purchase high-THC oils in Florida. Be aware that the 5% level of THC allowed in these oils is still far above the THC level found naturally in cannabis and use with caution.
How to buy Hemp CBD Oil legally in Florida
Although procuring low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil legally will require jumping through some hoops, fortunately, purchasing legal hemp CBD oil is easy. And there’s a pretty good chance that even without the THC, a full-spectrum hemp CBD oil might have much the same effect for the treatment of a variety of symptoms but without the high.
There are quite a few local shops in Florida that legally sell CBD oil and other CBD-infused products such as edibles, capsules, skin creams, and so on. A quick Google search should tell you whether or not there is a store in your area that carries CBD oil. If nothing comes up for a search with the term “CBD oil” you might have luck finding it at a local vape store if you call a few. Many of them do legally carry hemp CBD oil as well as CBD vape pens and liquids.
If you can’t find a local store that carries hemp CBD oil, don’t fret. There are quite a few websites that also legally sell high-quality hemp-derived CBD products online. You can order them online and have them shipped directly to your home in Florida.
Where to purchase Hemp CBD oil online:
How to legally buy low-THC High CBD Oil in Florida
In order to legally purchase CBD oil with THC via Florida’s medical marijuana program, you must have one of the medical issues on the list of qualifying conditions, show that you have tried other treatments that haven’t worked, and be approved by a certified physician.
Here’s a list of qualifying conditions:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification
Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above
Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition
To become a legal medical marijuana patient in Florida, you’ll need to obtain medical records from your primary care physician and make an appointment with a doctor that is certified by the state to determine your eligibility for a medical marijuana card. The cost for an examination by a certified physician is generally between $200 and $300.
Once you are approved for a medical marijuana card you’ll be registered with the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use and your application will be sent to the Florida Department of Health. The card itself will cost another $75.
Once the state of Florida has received your application and a check for $75 you’ll be issued a medical marijuana card and you’ll be able to legally purchase low-THC CBD oil — and high-THC cannabis oil for that matter. This process can take up to a month to complete. Although the card is good for a year, you need to be re-examined by a certified physician every 30 weeks, in order to renew.