Citing health and safety concerns, Sarasota Police have indicated that they plan to halt the sale products containing cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Although non-euphoric with only minuscule amounts of THC, the Sarasota Police Department and the Agriculture Commission say that CBD oils and creams are illegal under a state law that bans the sale of non-medical cannabis derivatives.

Although attitudes and laws concerning marijuana products continue to relax, people can still find themselves charged with a serious crime if they’re found with cannabis. Sarasota marijuana attorney Erika Valcarcel stays aware of the changes in the law and enforcement efforts, so that she can provide her clients with timely help. To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900.

The Debate over the Legality of CBD

The police and the Agriculture Commission have taken the position that CBD is not legal based on the fact that some products have detectable amounts of THC in them, and that state law prohibits the sale of cannabis derivatives. Cannabis is broadly defined under Florida law, and includes all marijuana-related products.

Business owners, however, note that CBD is derived from the hemp plant, which is related to marijuana, but a distinct plant on its own. They also point to the fact that hemp has been decriminalized under federal law, and Florida has a hemp law pilot program. Those in favor of enforcement respond by pointing out that federal law does not preempt state law, and the CBD products in question have not been produced under that program. Government officials also note that Florida allows the sale of medical marijuana, and that residents can legally obtain CBD oil and other products from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

It seems clear that the ambiguity will have to be resolved by Florida lawmakers. In the meantime, business owners who sell CBD oil and other products must wait to see if the police will follow through on their threatened crackdown.

Potential Charges and Consequences

This controversy may sound political, but the threatened enforcement action poses serious risks for anyone who sells or possesses CBD oil. Business owners who sell CBD oil are especially at risk, considering the quantities of the substance that they likely carry:

Possession of More than 20 Grams – Third-Degree Felony

  • Up to five years in prison
  • Fines of up to $5,000

Possession with Intent to Sell – First, Second, or Third-Degree Felony

  • Five to 25 years in prison
  • Fines between $5,000 and $10,000

Trafficking in More Than 25 Pounds (But Less than 2,000) of Marijuana

  • A minimum prison term of three years
  • Up to $25,000 in fines

As you can see, the potential penalties for business owners are quite serious. In addition to incarceration and heavy fines, you will also have a felony conviction on your permanent criminal record. This could make it difficult to find a job, secure housing, obtain federal financial aid, and more. Contact a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer today for help if you are facing any of the above potential penalties.

Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. for Help

Criminal defense attorney Erika Valcarcel understands the challenges you may be facing as a business owner or defendant when it comes to changing marijuana laws. People who are innocent or didn’t think they were doing anything wrong can be charged with very serious crimes that carry life-long consequences. You deserve an aggressive defense and a fair result. If you have questions about the law or the charges you are facing, call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900 today, or reach out through the online form.

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