Marijuana Cultivation / Grow Houses

Florida Statute § 893.02(15)(a) defines manufacture as “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, and includes any packaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container.” Cultivating is defined under Florida Statute § 893.02(5) as “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.”

Cultivation typically applies to marijuana, and cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a felony offense in Florida. The state has also enacted laws that impose steep penalties for alleged offenders who are accused of owning, leasing, renting, or being in possession of “grow houses”—the indoor locations where cannabis is cultivated.

Lawyer for Marijuana Cultivation / Grow House Arrests in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for alleged cultivation of cannabis or grow house operation in Broward County? You should not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. right now.

Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale who represent clients accused of marijuana crimes in numerous communities throughout South Florida, including Margate, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, and many others. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (954) 716-8538 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.


Broward County Marijuana Cultivation / Grow Houses Information Center


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Florida Penalties for Marijuana Cultivation

Cannabis is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under Florida Statute § 893.03(1)(c), meaning that any offense involving the alleged manufacture or cultivation of marijuana is a third-degree felony. Convictions are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Marijuana cultivation becomes a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offense occurs in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising any of the following:

  • A child care facility between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight;
  • A public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight;
  • A state, county, or municipal park;
  • A community center (meaning “a facility operated by a nonprofit community-based organization for the provision of recreational, social, or educational services to the public”);
  • A publicly owned recreational facility;
  • A public or private college, university, or other postsecondary educational institution;
  • A physical place for worship at which a church or religious organization regularly conducts religious services;
  • A convenience business (meaning “any place of business that is primarily engaged in the retail sale of groceries, or both groceries and gasoline, and that is open for business at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.”);
  • A public housing facility; or
  • An assisted living facility (meaning “any building or buildings, section or distinct part of a building, private home, boarding home, home for the aged, or other residential facility, whether operated for profit or not, which undertakes through its ownership or management to provide housing, meals, and one or more personal services for a period exceeding 24 hours to one or more adults who are not relatives of the owner or administrator”).

If an alleged cannabis cultivation offense involves more than 25 pounds or marijuana or 300 or more cannabis plants, an alleged offender can face first-degree felony trafficking in cannabis charges.


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Marijuana Grow House Penalties in Broward County

In 2008, Florida enacted the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act which amended Florida Statute § 893.1351 to prohibit people from owning or actually or constructively possessing a place, structure, trailer, or other described place with knowledge that the place will be used to manufacture, sell, or traffic in marijuana. Florida Statute § 893.1351(4) provided that possession of 25 or more cannabis plants—regardless of their stage of growth—constitutes prima facie evidence of intent to sell or distribute.

Alleged offenders accused of trafficking in, manufacturing, or cultivating marijuana in grow houses can face the following criminal charges under this law:

  • Owning, leasing, or renting any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or other conveyance with the knowledge that the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance will be used for the purpose of trafficking in, the sale of, or the manufacture of cannabis intended for sale or distribution to another is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000;
  • Knowingly being in actual or constructive possession of any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or other conveyance with the knowledge that the place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or conveyance will be used for the purpose of trafficking in, the sale of, or the manufacture of marijuana intended for sale or distribution to another is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000; or
  • Being in actual or constructive possession of a place, structure, trailer, or conveyance with the knowledge that the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance is being used to manufacture cannabis intended for sale or distribution to another and knowing or having should have known that a minor is present or resides in the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

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Florida Marijuana Cultivation / Grow Houses Resources

2015 Annual Report | Florida’s Domestic Marijuana Eradication (DME) Program — Florida’s DME program is a voluntary program offered to local agencies through the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE). You can view the full text of this 2015 annual report which found that “seizures of marijuana from indoor grow sites continued to outpace seizures from outdoor grow sites” in 2015. You can review statistics relating to the number of grow sites, plants eradicated, and people arrested for each year since 1981.

Florida’s Silver Bullet: The Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act — The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is a nonprofit organization advocating for marijuana decriminalization and legalization. Read this 2009 column from a member of the NORML Board of Directors that discusses how Florida’s Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act was “just another excuse to lock decent people up for longer times.” The article mentions many different isolated cases of individuals who began growing their own marijuana to avoid criminal penalties but ended up facing even more serious ones because of the new law.


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Meltzer & Bell, P.A. | Fort Lauderdale Marijuana Cultivation / Grow House Defense Attorney

If you were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation in South Florida for an alleged marijuana cultivation or any type of grow house offense, it is in your best interest to not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal representation. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. aggressively defends individuals in Wilton Manors, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston, and many surrounding areas of Broward County.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell can conduct an independent investigation to determine whether any illegal search and seizure or other violations by law enforcement could possibly lead to criminal charges being reduced or dismissed. Call (954) 716-8538 or complete an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.


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