Trafficking in marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a first-degree felony punishable by up t0 30 years in prison under Florida law. Like all trafficking cases in Florida, trafficking in marijuana has mandatory minimum sentences, such as prison time and fines.
For being in possession of 25 pounds up to 2,000 pounds, or in the case of a marijuana grow house, being in possession of 300 plants up to 2,000 plants, there is a 3-year mandatory prison term and a $25,000 fine.
For 2,000 pounds up to 10,000 pounds, or 2,000 plants up to 10,000 plants, there is a 7-year mandatory prison term and a $50,000 fine,
For over 10,000 pounds or 10,000 plants, there is a 15-year mandatory prison term and a $200,000 fine.
Trafficking in marijuana can be proven by showing that the accused either knowingly possessed, knowingly sold, purchased, manufactured (cultivated), delivered, or brought into the State of Florida the requisite amount of marijuana.
Your intent is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the marijuana was for personal use or for sale. If you possess the amounts set forth by Florida law, you can be arrested and charged with marijuana trafficking.
As a Miami marijuana trafficking attorney and Broward marijuana trafficking attorney, I most often see cases of marijuana trafficking when marijuana grow house operations are intercepted by police.
Marijuana trafficking encompasses all of the marijuana plant, not just the smokeable material. If you have less than 300 plants, the cops can still cut the plants and weigh the material. If the plant material - stalks, stems, and leaves included - weighs over 25 pounds, you can be charged with trafficking.
It’s a good idea to have your criminal attorney have the evidence reweighed, as a recently-watered plant will weigh more than one that has had time to dry out. Sometimes, if the weight was just over 25 pounds when the plant material was fresh, a reweighed plant may weigh less, which could result in a reduction of the charge or a waiver of the mandatory minimum sentence.
Eric Matheny is a criminal lawyer representing clients charged with trafficking in marijuana in Miami-Dade and Broward.