Marijuana Cultivation / Grow Houses
It’s not a secret that marijuana is one of the top illicit drugs used in the state of Florida. Also known as cannabis, weed, pot, ganja, chronic, Mary Jane, reefer, and hydro, the demand for marijuana is on the rise. As a result, an increasing phenomenon in Florida is the presence of marijuana grow houses. Places like garages, abandoned trailers, old houses, and storage sheds are being used to grow and cultivated marijuana for sale and distribution.
In Florida, the consequences for growing marijuana are serious and remain with you throughout your future. People charged with growing cannabis face mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least three years, fines, and possibly a felony criminal record. Employers, apartment managers, and schools will have access to your criminal record.
Receiving a charge for marijuana cultivation and/or owning a grow house is a serious matter. An experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer can be proactive in your defense and work hard to reduce the consequences and penalties, or even get your Palm Beach County marijuana cultivation charges dismissed.
West Palm Beach Marijuana Cultivation Defense Attorney
A conviction for marijuana cultivation and/or for owning a marijuana grow house can affect you for the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for cultivating marijuana or owning a grow house anywhere in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. as soon as possible after your arrest.
Andrew Stine has over a decade of experience as a Palm Beach County criminal defense lawyer and has extensive experience representing clients like you faced with charges for growing marijuana. With a militant attention to detail from his days as an army medic an a passion for criminal defense stemming from his experience as a public defender, Andrew Stine is committed to representing those charged with marijuana offenses and knows what is takes to form an effective, comprehensive defense.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your marijuana cultivation or grow house offense in the West Palm Beach area, call 561-832-1170 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Important Legal Definitions for Florida Marijuana Cultivation and Grow House Terms
Cannabis Plant – includes the whole growing or already harvested marijuana plant as well as any seedlings, cuttings, or other parts that are classified as a plant due to the observable evidence of root hairs or root formation
Cultivate – to prepare any soil or other hydroponic medium for the planting, tending, care, and/or harvesting of cannabis
Manufacture – the direct or indirect production, propagation, compounding, cultivation, growth, conversion, or processing of marijuana by extraction from natural substances, chemical synthesis, or a combination of the two as well as any packaging , labeling, or relabeling of the marijuana and/or its container
Trafficking – to knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, or bring into or out of Florida in excess of 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 cannabis plants
Definition of Marijuana Cultivation in Florida and Penalties
Which marijuana charge you will face for marijuana cultivation depends on the amount and location of the cultivated marijuana. If the amount of the marijuana is less than 25 pounds or 300 plants, it is considered a drug manufacturing offense under Fla. Stat. § 893.13, which makes it illegal for a person to sell, manufacture, or deliver any controlled substance. This law also makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance like marijuana with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver it.
The legal definition of manufacture in Florida includes cultivation. As a drug manufacturing charge, marijuana cultivation is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. This offense is re-classed as a higher felony if it is found to have been committed near a school or other child-care facility. Marijuana cultivation is upgraded to a trafficking offense if the amount found is 25 pounds or more, or 300 plants or more. Additionally, if the plants are found in a grow house, the number of plants required to qualify for marijuana trafficking is reduced to 25.
Trafficking in cannabis is a first-degree felony with penalties that depend on the amount of marijuana found. Marijuana trafficking with 25 to 2,000 pounds or 300 to 2,000 plants carries three to 30 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine, and trafficking in 2,000 to 10,000 pounds of marijuana or cannabis plants comes with seven to 30 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
Trafficking in 10,000 or more pounds of marijuana or cannabis plants is punishable by 15-30 years in prison and a $200,000 maximum fine. No matter the circumstances of your case, the felony conviction you face for marijuana cultivation comes with serious penalties, and protecting your rights and future through the services of a qualified West Palm Beach marijuana defense attorney is important.
Marijuana Grow House Crimes and Penalties in Florida
Florida grow houses are discovered in many ways, including when there is an informant, when there is an undercover agent involved, and when the police notice a sharp increase in energy bills due to the large amount of light and heat needed by cannabis plants to thrive. A marijuana grow house is defined by Fla. Stat. § 893.1351 as any place, structure, trailer/conveyance, or part of such a place structure, or trailer/conveyance (such as a room or closet) that is used for the purpose of committing the sale, cultivation with intent to sell, or trafficking of marijuana.
Though the number of plants required to make a trafficking offense is usually 300, the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act of 2008 reduced that number to 25 for marijuana trafficking crimes involving a grow house. Any knowing involvement in the operations of a grow house is a crime in Florida. It is a third-degree felony to own, lease, or rent any place, structure, trailer/conveyance or section thereof when the owner or lessor knows or has reasonable cause to know that it will be used for marijuana cultivation. A third-degree felony marijuana grow house carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
When a person is living or operating in a grow house, it is upgraded to a second-degree felony through Fla. Stat. § 893.1351(2) which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. It is a first-degree felony if a minor resides or is present in a marijuana grow house. A first-degree felony marijuana offense in Florida is punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. All Florida felonies come with additional sanctions like the inability to own a firearm or pursue certain professional opportunities. Working with an experienced Palm Beach County marijuana crime defense lawyer could be the difference between facing the serious penalties and achieving a more favorable outcome like charge reduction or dismissal.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Marijuana Grow House Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County
If you have been arrested and charged with a marijuana cultivation or grow house offense in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or the surrounding areas, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. to begin protecting your rights immediately after your arrest.
Andrew Stine is an experienced Palm Beach County criminal defense lawyer who has a thorough understanding of how police discover grow houses and how to protect your rights in cases of illegal search and seizer or law enforcement trickery. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.