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Marijuana Grow Houses

Marijuana lawyer in Tallahassee

Grow houses are considered any indoor property that is used to produce controlled substances, usually marijuana. According to statistics compiled by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Florida had the most indoor cannabis grow sites eradicated in the nation in 2010 and 2012, never ranking less than second most in the country between 2010 and 2014.

In 2008, then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed House Bill 173, otherwise known as the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act. The bill created severe penalties for alleged offenders accused of growing marijuana plants—regardless of whether or not the plants are fully grown.

This page will provide helpful information relating to the cultivation of marijuana and the penalties for renting, owning, or being in possession of a marijuana grow house in Florida.

Lawyer for Marijuana Grow House Defense in Tallahassee, Florida

If you believe you could be under investigation for an alleged grow house or if you have already been charged with owning, operating, or residing in a cannabis grow house in Florida: Do not say anything to law enforcement without legal representation. Drug offenses can be complicated and require the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned defense lawyer. While this is an extremely serious offense, there may be defense strategies that can help lessen or dismiss your charges completely.

The Tallahassee criminal defense attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm represent clients accused of marijuana crimes in Malone, Marianna, Perry, Port St. Joe, Wewahitchka, Blountstown, Graceville, and many other communities in Northern Florida. You can receive a thorough and honest evaluation of your case when you call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a completely free initial consultation.

Leon County Marijuana Grow Houses Information Center

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Marijuana Grow House Charges in Florida

The Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act was enacted in Florida on July 1, 2008 to prevent the cultivation and manufacturing of controlled substances.

Florida Statute Section 893.02 defines the following terms related to marijuana grow house charges:

Cultivating is “the preparation of any soil or hydroponic medium for the planting of a controlled substance or the tending and care or harvesting of a controlled substance.”  

To Manufacture is “the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, cultivating, growing, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly, by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis that includes packaging, labeling, or relabeling of the substance.”

The manufacturer is considered as any person who prepares, derives, produces, compounds, or repackages any drugs defined by the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Under Florida Statute Section 893.1351, the alleged ownership, lease, rental, or possession for trafficking in or manufacturing a controlled substance is punishable as follows:

Third-Degree Felony

If the defendant is accused of owning, leasing, or renting any place, structure, trailer, or other conveyance with the knowledge that such place or conveyance will be used for the purpose of trafficking in a controlled substance, the sale of a controlled substance, or the manufacture of a controlled substance intended for sale or distribution to another.

Second-Degree Felony

If the defendant is accused of knowingly being in actual or constructive possession of any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or other conveyance with the knowledge that such place or conveyance will be used for the purpose of trafficking in a controlled substance, the sale of a controlled substance, or the manufacture of a controlled substance intended for sale or distribution to another.

First-Degree Felony

If the defendant is accused of being in actual or constructive possession of a place, structure, trailer, or conveyance with the knowledge that such place or conveyance is being used to manufacture a controlled substance intended for sale or distribution to another and knew or should have known that a minor is present or resides in the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance.

Florida Statute Section 893.1351(4) establishes that a defendant found in the possession of 25 or more cannabis plants constitutes prima facie evidence that the cannabis was intended for sale or distribution. Evidence that marijuana was intended for personal use and/or medical purposes, however, can be used to overcome the presumption that the plants were intended for sale or distribution. Contac the defense team with Pumphrey Law if you have questions about the charges against you.

Required Proof for Marijuana Grow House Charges

Based on the Florida Criminal Jury Instructions, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a person of a cultivation/grow house charge:

  1. The defendant either owned, leased, rented, or was knowingly in the possession of a place, structure, trailer, or conveyance; and
  2. At the time, the defendant knew such a place, structure, or conveyance was being used for the purpose of manufacturing, selling, or trafficking in a controlled substance (marijuana) that was intended for sale or distribution; and (if applicable)
    1. At the time, the defendant knew or should have known a minor was present or resided in the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance where the alleged grow house was located.        

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Penalties for Marijuana Grow Houses in Tallahassee

All grow house-related crimes are charged as felony offenses. That means a conviction for any of the offenses above can result in serious penalties.

The potential fines and imprisonment periods depend on the degree of the felony offense:

  • Third-Degree Felony
    Fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to five years in prison;
  • Second-Degree Felony
    Fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 15 years in prison; or
  • First-Degree Felony
    Fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 30 years in prison.

Important: A person convicted of a grow house crime will face additional penalties such as a one-year driver’s license suspension, possible asset forfeiture, and the creation of a criminal record that can cause damaging consequences for a person’s employment and housing options. If the defendant is accused of operating grow houses where the distribution crossed state lines, they could face even more severe penalties as a federal offense.

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Florida Marijuana Grow House Resources

The following resources may be useful to a defendant accused of a grow house offense:

  • House Bill 173 | Florida House of Representatives— You can view the full text and legislative history of the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act. The website links to the specific statutes that were referenced in the bill, and the text in the enrolled version notes words that were added or stricken from the bill during the process. Representative Evan Jenne was the only state legislator to vote against the bill.
  • DEA | Cannabis Eradication— Learn more about the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) that targets cannabis cultivation. All 50 states participate in this program. You can review the cannabis eradication statistics for all 50 states for every year between 2010 and 2014.

Consider consulting the defense team with Pumphrey Law to represent your case. Our lawyers have years of experience representing those wrongfully accused of drug crimes.

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Find a Marijuana Grow House Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee, FL

If you have been arrested or suspect that you are being investigated for any connection to a cannabis grow house in Florida, you should know that marijuana cultivation and trafficking in cannabis carry very stiff penalties. Be sure to contact Pumphrey Law before speaking to any investigators about your role in an alleged grow house. There may be defense strategies available to you to fight off a conviction or to get the charges changed to a lower offense. Our attorneys aim to get you the best possible outcome for your case.

The Tallahassee criminal defense team with Pumphrey Law Firm aggressively defend clients all over Gulf County, Jackson County, Madison County, Taylor County, Leon County, and Calhoun County. Call (850) 681-7777 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Page Updated March 19, 2024

 

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