Cannabis Law

South Florida Attorney Representing Stakeholders in the Marijuana and Hemp Industries

In Florida, businesses must obtain a license to dispense, transport, process, and grow medical marijuana. These businesses cultivate, process, sell, and deliver cannabis to patients. As a prospective cannabis business owner who wishes to engage in these activities in Florida, you will need to obtain a license, and you also will need various business plans, including financial, marketing, and real estate plans. You will need to be aware of local laws that may prohibit cannabis companies in certain areas. Different rules apply to hemp and CBD products. Cannabis law is new and complex, and it is important to seek out legal guidance to avoid running afoul of the complicated rules that govern this area. Miami cannabis law lawyer Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich has been a frontline educator and analyst of Florida’s campaign to legalize medical marijuana since February 2014. She is dedicated to promoting integrity and social responsibility regarding accessing cannabis as medicine.

Cannabis Laws

Article X Section 20 of the Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes section 381.986 govern medical marijuana. The latter prescribes conduct for the Florida Department of Health, doctors, medical marijuana treatment centers, patients, and their caregivers. For instance, under section 381.986, a qualified physician must determine that medical marijuana use would probably outweigh the potential health risks for a patient and document this finding in the patient’s medical record.

Under section 381.986(5), the Department must create and maintain an online medical marijuana use registry for doctors, patients, and caregivers. The Office of Medical Marijuana Use is responsible for writing and implementing the Florida Department of Health’s rules related to medical marijuana, and it licenses businesses to cultivate, process, and dispense medical marijuana. The Office oversees the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.

Requirements for a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center

The only businesses authorized to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and their caregivers are licensed medical marijuana treatment centers. To apply for a cannabis license in Florida, you need to pay $60,830, and you must have a minimum of $5 million in working capital. A cannabis law attorney in the Miami area can assist you with getting this license. A cannabis business must hire a medical director with a valid Florida M.D. or a D.O. license to oversee the medical marijuana treatment center. If edibles are going to be made and sold, you will need a permit to operate as a food establishment too.

Rule 64-4.002 provides the initial application requirements for dispensing organizations. Nurseries that meet the requirements of section 381.986(5) and want to be approved as dispensing organizations need to apply to the Department by using Form DH8006-OCU-2/2015, “Application for Low-THC Cannabis Dispensing Organization Approval.” They must submit written documentation showing how they meet the criteria set forth by the statute.

As an applicant, you will need to address a long list of items, such as your technological and technical capacity to dispense, process, or cultivate low-THC cannabis. You will need to disclose the names, positions, and resumes of the employees who provide the experience or knowledge for these items. Among other things, as a dispensary, you must have a training program for employees that addresses HIPAA, patient education, compliance, patient counseling, and data collection. Miami cannabis law attorney Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich can help you ensure your compliance with these requirements.

Rules for Medical Directors

The medical director for a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center needs to possess an active unrestricted license as a physician under Florida Statutes Chapter 458 or as an osteopathic physician under Chapter 459. They also need to complete a two-hour course and exam. Qualified physicians can issue a certification only if they conduct a physical exam, while they are physically present in the same room as the patient, and a full assessment of their medical history. Medical marijuana patients at a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center must be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry by a qualified physician.

Representation of Cultivators and Sellers of Hemp (CBD)

We also represent cultivators and sellers of hemp (CBD). Florida businesses must have the right licenses to grow, process, sell, or distribute CBD. The Hemp Farming Act legalized industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana, removing it from federal Schedule 1 drugs. Florida Senate Bill 1020 establishes regulations for the cultivation and sale of CBD. There is a state hemp program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and businesses must follow the rules promulgated there. If you are interested in selling or cultivating hemp, you will need to apply to the Department. For example, under the rules, a CBD product must contain less than 0.3% THC, and you will need to obtain a certificate to satisfy this requirement.

Retain a Cannabis Law Lawyer in the Miami Area

Cannabis law can be complex, and there are many rules that must be followed by stakeholders in the industry. If you are interested in licensing or starting a cannabis business in South Florida, you should consult Petkovich Law. Call us at 305-358-8003 or contact us via our online form.


My experience with attorney Ivette Petkovich has been excellent. She has been extremely helpful with my cases, resourceful & reliable. I would strongly recommend her for anyone who is looking for an attorney. She will always make the time and effort for a client no matter how difficult the...


I endorse this lawyer. Ivette and I have been co-counsels on several matters over the years. She has a unique approach to problem solving and is always available to bounce ideas off of. Ivette is a true advocate for her clients.

Sasha B.

Ivette was always available and did a great job. I would use her services again if needed and I will recommend her to anyone who needs an attorney.


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