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Experienced Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney for Growing Marijuana

Florida drug laws are strict, especially when it comes to manufacturing or cultivating controlled substances like cannabis. If you have been accused of cultivating marijuana in Tampa, FL or the surrounding area, having skilled legal representation on your side can make a world of difference in your criminal case. 

Tampa drug crime attorney Andrew Buda is experienced in handling a variety of drug crime charges, including drug manufacturing and drug distribution charges. With a deep understanding of Florida’s marijuana laws, he knows how to build a strong defense against marijuana cultivation charges.

At Buda Law, we understand the serious nature of these charges and the potential consequences they can have on your future. That’s why we work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients, whether that means getting their charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

andrew buda law

Protect your future–call Buda Law today at (813) 322-2832 to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer regarding your case.

Can You Grow Weed in Florida?

No, unless you are licensed as a medicinal marijuana treatment center, you cannot grow marijuana in Florida. If you are not licensed to grow medical marijuana, you may be charged with drug possession, drug possession with intent to sell, or trafficking in cannabis, depending on the amount of marijuana being grown. 

Marijuana Cultivation Laws in Florida

F.S. § 893.13 outlaws the possession of controlled substances as well as the making of any controlled substances. Under Florida law, it is illegal to manufacture, or possess with intent to manufacture, a controlled substance like cannabis. 

Someone found growing or possessing marijuana with intent to grow it could be charged with possession with intent to distribute, which is a third-degree felony. However, if someone has 25 or more marijuana plants, they could be charged with having a “grow house,” which is a second-degree felony.

If someone is caught growing about 300 or more marijuana plants, they could be charged with drug trafficking in cannabis, which is outlined in F.S. § 893.135. According to this Florida cannabis law, drug trafficking in cannabis is a first-degree felony. 

Florida Marijuana Cultivation Lawyer

What is a Grow House?

A “grow house” refers to a property, usually a residential building, that is used to illegally cultivate marijuana on a large scale. These operations often involve modifying the interior of the house to create an ideal environment for growing cannabis plants, including installing specialized lighting, ventilation systems, and irrigation setups. 

Grow houses are usually operated covertly with the goal of producing large quantities of marijuana to sell and distribute. Florida law outlaws these kinds of operations in F.S. § 893.1351. Under this statute, it is illegal to own, lease, rent, or possess any place, structure, portion of a structure, trailer, or other conveyance that they know is being used for manufacturing or cultivating a controlled substance. 

If someone owns, leases, or rents one of these places for the cultivation of marijuana, they can be charged with a third-degree felony. If someone has actual or constructive possession of one of these places, they can be charged with a second-degree felony. If they have possession of the location, and a minor lives there, they can be charged with a first-degree felony. 

What is Marijuana Trafficking?

Under F.S. § 893.135 Florida law outlaws “trafficking in cannabis,” which is any act of selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, possessing, or bringing into the state more than 25 pounds of marijuana. 25 pounds of marijuana is equivalent to about 300 individual marijuana plants.

In Florida, trafficking in cannabis is a first-degree felony, and carries additional punishments depending on the amount of cannabis a person is cultivating or in possession of. 

can you grow weed in florida

What is the Penalty for Growing Weed in Florida?

The penalties for growing weed in Florida depend on the amount of weed being grown and the circumstances surrounding the growing operation. Below are the punishments for various charges related to growing weed in Florida:

  • Third-Degree Felony: Up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
    • Growing fewer than 25 marijuana plants
    • Knowingly owning, leasing, or renting a grow house
  • Second-Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
    • Growing 25 to 300 marijuana plants
    • Knowingly possessing a grow house
  • First-Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
    • Growing 300 or more marijuana plants
    • Knowingly possessing a grow house with a minor present

Marijuana Trafficking Penalties

In addition to being a first-degree felony, trafficking in cannabis carries minimum mandatory prison sentences, depending on the amount of cannabis a person was cultivating or distributing. Below are the additional penalties related to marijuana trafficking in Florida:

  • 25 to 2,000 Pounds of Cannabis: A minimum of 3 years in prison and a minimum fine of $25,000
  • 2,000 to 10,000 Pounds of Cannabis: A minimum of 7 years in prison and a minimum fine of $50,000
  • 10,000 Pounds of Cannabis or More: A minimum of 15 years in prison and a minimum fine of $200,000
marijuana grow house

Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing marijuana cultivation charges in Florida, one of the most important things you can do is hire a criminal defense lawyer to help in your case. With their experience in handling criminal matters and their knowledge of the criminal justice system, they can provide you with the support and legal insights you need to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

In Florida, marijuana cultivation charges can carry severe legal consequences, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. Additionally, marijuana laws across the country are changing and evolving constantly, making it hard to fully understand the current nature of the state’s marijuana laws. 

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be well-versed in current legal statutes surrounding marijuana in Florida, and can help you fully understand the nature of your marijuana charges. Additionally, they can thoroughly evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case to identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence.

A Florida criminal defense attorney will also be able to negotiate with the prosecution to help secure a favorable plea deal on your behalf. If the prosecution won’t offer a fair plea deal, they can gather evidence and build a strong defense to help you in your criminal trial.

If you have been accused of growing weed in Florida, Tampa criminal lawyer Andrew Buda can provide you with the help and support you need to see justice. He will be able to help you understand the charges against you, explain every step of the legal process, answer your questions, and provide you with compassionate support in this difficult time. 

Tampa Marijuana Cultivation Lawyer

Common Marijuana Cultivation Defenses

If you have been charged with cultivating marijuana in Florida, you could be facing serious Florida felony charges. Luckily, there are a number of defense strategies that can help you avoid conviction or receive a reduced penalty. Below are some of the most common marijuana cultivation defenses: 

  • Illegal Search and Seizure: If law enforcement officers found evidence of marijuana cultivation through an illegal search or seizure, the evidence they found may be inadmissible in court.
  • Lack of Knowledge or Intent: If someone accused of marijuana cultivation can demonstrate that they were unaware of the presence of marijuana plants on their property or prove that they did not intend to cultivate them, it could serve as a defense.
  • Entrapment: If law enforcement officers caused a person to commit the offense, such as through coercion or deception, they may be able to use entrapment as a defense.
  • Violation of Rights During Arrest or Interrogation: If the accused person’s rights were violated during the arrest or interrogation process, any evidence obtained as a result may be deemed inadmissible in court.
  • Insufficient Evidence: If the prosecuting attorney fails to provide enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person was involved in marijuana cultivation, their charges may be dismissed.
  • Duress or Coercion: If the person accused of marijuana cultivation can prove that they were forced or coerced into cultivating marijuana against their will, it may serve as a defense.
  • Mistaken Identity: If there is any reasonable doubt regarding the identity of someone involved in the cultivation, they could use mistaken identity as a defense.
  • Lawful Cultivation: If the marijuana was cultivated legally, individuals may be able to assert that they were in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Police Misconduct or Bias: If there is proof of police misconduct or bias during the investigation or prosecution of the case, it could undermine the credibility of their evidence.

If you have been charged with a crime related to marijuana cultivation, a criminal defense attorney like Andrew Buda can develop a unique defense strategy against the prosecution’s case. He will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and use the facts of the case to help develop a strong defense against these criminal charges.

growing weed plants in florida

Trust Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer Andrew Buda of Buda Law for Your Marijuana Cultivation Defense

If you’re facing cannabis cultivation charges in Tampa, Florida or another part of South Florida, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can help protect your rights. Florida marijuana cultivation lawyer Andrew Buda of Buda Law is here to provide you with the aggressive representation and personalized attention your case deserves.

As a former prosecutor, Attorney Buda has extensive experience on both sides of the criminal courtroom, giving him unique insights into the strategies and tactics used by prosecuting attorneys. He also has an in-depth understanding of Florida drug laws and can build a strong defense against your drug charges.

Call (813) 322-2832 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney at our law firm today.


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