Florida has a lot of marijuana grow houses, especially in rural areas. Because of this the Florida legislature has passed a law, Florida statute 893.1351, which specifically prohibits a person from owning, leasing or renting any place, structure, trailer or conveyance that will be used for the purpose of trafficking in a controlled substance, selling a controlled substance or manufacturing a controlled substance. This statute not only prohibits cannabis cultivation but also other drugs such as crystal meth and crack cocaine that are commonly prepared inside houses.
Under Florida statute 893.1351, there are three types of penalties for having a grow house:
Landlord: A landlord that knows about the grow house and yet allows a person to rent or lease the grow house will be facing a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in state prison.
Resident: Any person that resides inside the grow house, including the owner, renter or a visitor, and knows about the grow house or actively takes care of the operation, is facing a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in state prison.
When a Child is Present: If there is a child inside the grow house, even if the child does not live in the grow house, a landlord and any resident (who knew or should have known about the child) will be facing a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty (30) years in state prison.
Trafficking marijuana requires a showing of 300 or more plants whereas a grow house requires a showing of more than 25 marijuana plants. However, if the grow house contains 300 or more plants it will classified as trafficking since the trafficking laws are more strict and carry mandatory minimum sentences. Please see our page on drug trafficking for more information.
Florida statute 893.1351 states that “proof of the possession of 25 or more cannabis plants constitutes prima facie evidence that the cannabis is intended for sale or distribution."
Therefore, if we can establish that the marijuana was intended for personal consumption then a person will be facing a lesser charge of marijuana possession. Additionally, by hiring an expert we can sometimes prove that one or more of the plants was dead and thus reducing the number to under 25 plants and overcoming the presumption in the law that 25 or more plants is intended for sale or distribution.
Finally, a major defense to marijuana grow houses is to attack how the police uncovered the grow house and dispute their search and seizure procedure and any search warrants they obtained. Attorney Antonio Jimenez is an experienced criminal lawyer and a former prosecutor, He is very well versed in search and seizure law and is uniquely qualified to defend your case.
If you have been arrested or are under investigation for being the owner or resident of a marijuana grow house in Miami, please contact attorney Antonio Jimenez for a free confidential consultation.