Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, THC products (and their derivatives) are legal nationwide, provided they are sourced from hemp and contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC per dry weight. When it comes to individual states, however, the rules may vary, and some consumers may wonder whether THCa is legal in Florida or any other state.
Put simply, THCa is legal in Florida if products are sourced from hemp plants and contain less than 0.3% THC per dry weight. Otherwise, only Individuals with a qualifying medical condition participating in the state’s medical marijuana program can access higher-potency THCa and THC products sourced from marijuana plants at legalized dispensaries.
Read on to learn the details of Florida’s marijuana laws and what the latest regulations say about THCa.
- THCa is federally legal and legal in Florida if the product comes from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC per dry weight.
- Hemp-derived THCa and weed-derived THCa are the same chemical.
- Florida’s medical marijuana program allows qualifying patients to purchase legal THC from authorized dispensaries.
What is THCa?
The nonpsychoactive THCa is a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. It’s best known as the chemical precursor of the intoxicating delta-9 THC, responsible for producing marijuana’s signature high.
THCa burns off the acidic component and transforms into THC when exposed to intense light or high temperatures. THCa can also convert to the psychoactive delta-9 THC via:
- Prolonged room temperature exposure
- Heat exposure via flame or vaporization
- Direct sunlight exposure
Early research suggests that THCa may have many benefits despite its relatively unknown status next to THC.
A 2017 study exploring the potential medical uses of THCa indicated a potential to soothe seizures and address chronic pain. While this research is still early and requires further evidence, scientists are interested in the other hidden benefits THCa might carry.
Hemp-derived THCa vs. cannabis-derived THCa
The hemp plant is a variety of cannabis that contains very low levels of THCa compared to the marijuana plant, per legal definitions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations state that hemp may be cultivated for agricultural or industrial use and contain no more than 0.3% THCa.
Chemically speaking, all THCa is the same chemical. THCa from hemp, when converted to delta-9 THC, will produce the same intoxication many consumers seek in high enough concentrations. Products with THCa can include:
- Flower, for smoking
- Portable vapes and cartridges
- Concentrates such as live rosin or resin
- Edibles, such as infused brownies or gummies
Regardless of where the THCa is sourced, it’s the same chemical. The key differences between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived THCa lie in a product’s source materials and the extraction process. The USDA permits the cultivation of hemp plants, while the DEA still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. As such, manufacturers can source THCa from hemp plants — but not marijuana — for national distribution.
However, the only THCa permissible in cannabis products in Florida is less than 0.3% per dry weight unless you are part of the medical marijuana program. The “per dry weight” phrase is crucial, as the Farm Bill and Florida guidelines lack guidelines for THCa products like oils or gummies. This enables some manufacturers to “legally” create higher-potency products that produce highs similar to products in a cannabis dispensary.
Is THCa Legal in Florida?
Per the Florida Hemp Farming Act, hemp-derived THCa products are legal in Florida under SB 1020 as long as they meet federal guidelines and contain less than 0.3% THC per dry weight. Some manufacturers may exploit creative loopholes such as those described above to get around this limit, so you must use your best discretion when purchasing these products in Florida.
For those seeking legal, higher-potency THCa or THC options, Florida offers a medical marijuana program. Those with a qualifying medical condition and a recommendation from their physician can purchase a 35-day supply of THC-derived medicine with up to 10% potency.
Patients must be legal residents of Florida and apply through the medical marijuana registry to buy products at a dispensary.
Florida Marijuana Laws
In Florida, approximately 3/4ths of residents voted to pass Amendment 2 in 2016, which legalized medical marijuana for patients in need and created the Florida medical marijuana program. These new rules allowed those with a valid MMJ card to purchase medical cannabis with no higher than 10% THC potency. Before Amendment 2 passed, Florida only allowed patients with certain terminal conditions to use low-THC products to ease end-of-life suffering.
Patients and individuals possessing hemp-derived delta-9 products cannot consume cannabis in public places or transportation. Driving a motor vehicle or operating heavy machinery while using cannabis is prohibited, regardless of whether it’s marijuana or hemp-derived.
It’s against the law to cultivate hemp or cannabis plants at home. Only entities legally licensed to grow cannabis or hemp by the state of Florida or the USDA are permitted to cultivate marijuana or hemp plants, respectively.
Where to Buy THCa in Florida
Those seeking hemp-derived THCa products can often find good options at health food stores or pharmacies, such as Whole Foods or CVS. Hemp-derived delta-9 THC products can help relieve stress, assist those struggling with insomnia, and relieve unpleasant muscle soreness.
Conversely, those seeking higher potency products can only purchase from licensed medical marijuana treatment centers in Florida with a medical marijuana card. Qualifying conditions in Florida that medical cannabis may help include chronic pain, PTSD, and cancer, among many others.
Our Evn store features a wide selection of high-quality hemp-derived THCa products and offerings CBD collection, able to ship straight to your door.
Disclaimer: This article was last updated in September 2023 and reflects federal and state legal information as of this date. Cannabis laws in the U.S. are continually shifting; therefore, the information in this article is subject to change. The information in this article does not constitute legal advice, and no entity at EVN-CBD is claiming to provide legal advice. Please visit your official state website for more information on your state’s cannabis laws and regulations.