Gun Rights for Medical Cannabis Patients in Florida
A constitutional amendment allowed the use of medical marijuana in Florida in 2016. The Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative — also known as Amendment 2 — was put on the ballot and received 71% of the vote. Florida already had a medical marijuana statute in place, but it only applied to those who had less than a year to live and were terminally ill. Amendment 2 aims to help people with the following illnesses:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Other disabling medical conditions that are comparable to those listed
In accordance with Amendment 2, a patient will get medicinal marijuana if their doctor determines that the benefits of doing so will likely outweigh any potential hazards to their health.
The Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) is in charge of maintaining the medical marijuana use registry and creating and enforcing medical marijuana laws. OMMU also handles issuing licenses to Florida businesses to cultivate, process, and dispense medical marijuana to eligible patients, and accrediting marijuana testing labs.
As of March 2019, a bill was passed allowing smokable medical marijuana to be sold in medical marijuana treatment centers to patients with a medical marijuana card. To determine if medicinal marijuana products are appropriate for you or a loved one, OMMU suggests speaking with a healthcare professional.
Does Having a Medical Cannabis Card Mean Not Being Eligible for a Gun License in Florida?
According to Federal Law, medical marijuana patients are not allowed to purchase new guns while their medical marijuana card is valid. Federal statutes, not Florida laws, are the actual cause of this. Potential gun owners must complete an ATF Form 4478 that inquires about candidates’ status as “illegal drug users.” Since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic under 21 U.S.C. 802, almost any way a person consumes marijuana, whether for medical purposes or not, is technically an “illegal user”.
Therefore, potential medical marijuana patients might wish to get a gun license and gun before they acquire a medical marijuana card.
Florida is attempting to legalize the possession of both a medicinal marijuana license and a firearm. Two factors make it simpler for Floridians to acquire both: First, it is assumed that buying a gun at a gun show means getting it from a private seller. This indicates that the transaction can be completed without completing ATF Form 4473. Although illegal under federal law, it is a means to purchase a firearm without having to worry that a 4473 form may prevent medical marijuana users from doing so. Secondly, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services for Florida, Nikki Fried, is in charge of the state agency that awards Concealed Weapons Licences (CWLs) to locals. She claimed, “I have both (a concealed weapon license and therapeutic marijuana card). So I want to make that very clear, that I will not be taking anybody’s concealed weapons permit or not renewing them. I see no conflict between the two.”
Can You Take Your Gun to a Dispensary in Florida?
According to Florida Statute 790.053, open carry when on foot in a public space is typically prohibited, but is permitted under certain conditions. Instances where open carry is allowed include going to and from such activities as hunting, fishing, camping, gun shows, and target shooting at a range.
Florida is a “shall issue” state, which indicates that the issuing authority (county sheriff, police department, state police, etc.) is required to provide a permit as long as the applicant meets the basic requirements outlined by state law. The following locations are off-limits to concealed carry:
- any police station
- polling place
- government meeting location
- airport (within the passenger terminal and sterile area)
- any school, except for trained security personnel, armed marshals, and school employees and teachers.
As a dispensary is not on that list, you can conceal carry your gun in a dispensary, as long as you have a permit.
Can You Consume CBD and Own a Gun in Florida?
Florida allows the use of CBD under specific circumstances. It must adhere to federal regulations, meaning that it must be made of hemp and contain no more than 0.3 % THC. Florida’s medicinal marijuana program, however, enables qualifying individuals with a medical marijuana license to utilize CBD that contains more THC.
You have the choice to buy CBD products online or from a store with a state license to meet your needs. To ensure that your CBD has a suitable THC content, it is advised that you only purchase products that have a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
So long as you consume CBD according to these rules, you won’t have any problems owning a firearm.