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Personal Use vs. Intent to Sell – Marijuana Laws in Florida

By September 2, 2016Drug Crimes
personal use vs intent to sell

While many states have legalized marijuana for sale and personal use, Florida has not yet taken this step – and some are doubtful that it will ever happen. While some legal precedent has been established for medicinal use, possession of cannabis in the state of Florida can earn you at least a year in prison.
While many people think of ‘pot’ as being harmless and /or medically necessary, in Florida it is treated as a serious matter. This is a zero tolerance state, and possession can result in jail time, prison sentences, costly fines, probation and other inconvenient penalties. If you are facing marijuana charges, you need the services of skilled criminal attorney with experience in defending individuals against drug charges.

Are you confused about the difference between the amount of marijuana that is classified as being for ‘personal use’ versus the amount an individual would have to have to possess for charges of ‘intent to sell’? You are not alone. Read ahead for more information about convictions of possession of marijuana vs. ‘intent to sell.’

How is Marijuana defined in Florida?

Under Florida state law, marijuana refers to any or all parts of the cannabis plant that have not had the resin extracted. This excludes hemp seeds (used for nutritional purposes), hempen clothing and all other hemp products (as they will have had resin extracted, and retain only trace amounts of THC). The definition includes any plant that is growing, dead or dried, and also encompasses unsterilized seeds that are capable of germination.

When Does Possession of Marijuana Become Intent to Sell?

Under Section 893.13(1)(a), Florida Statutes, it is unlawful for a person “to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance,” such as cannabis. That said, what factors turn simple possession unto “intent to sell?” The statute lays this out with three standards, each building on the previous:

  • You knowingly possessed marijuana
  • The substance is confirmed as marijuana
  • The possession is for the purpose of sale

While these three standards seem straightforward, the criminal justice system must use their judgement and the evidence at hand in order to determine if the marijuana was for sale. Note that the above standards do not include the physical amount of the drug found on the suspect; some of these other factors must be present.

These factors and possessions include:

  • Small baggies (the ones that are often used for packaging individual amounts for sale)
  • Phone records or text messages that include incriminating evidence
  • A physical ledger
  • Large sums of cash or currency
  • A scale (used to weigh product for sale)

If you have been charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession or possession with intent to sell, you must ensure that you hire the services of a skilled and experienced attorney. Contact Whitney S. Boan today for a free consultation – she will work on getting your case dismissed or securing a ‘not guilty’ verdict.