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Marijuana Grow House Crimes

Growing even one plant can be charged as a third degree felony for cultivating marijuana. The penalties were increased with the Florida Legislature passed the "Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act" (HB 173 / SB 390) which became Florida Statute Section 893.1351.

Under this statute, a grow house can include any place where more than 25 plants are being cultivated because the statute provides that

"[f]or the purposes of this section, proof of the possession of 25 or more cannabis plants constitutes prima facie evidence that the cannabis is intended for sale or distribution."

The trafficking in marijuana statute still requires a showing of 300 or more plants.

The rebuttable presumption that applies to marijuana grow houses might be overcome with evidence that the cannabis was not intended for sale or distribution. That presumption can be overcome if it can be shown that the marijuana was intended for personal consumption and/or "medical" marijuana purposes.

In some cases, a person who grows marijuana for personal use and medical purposes might be able to assert the medical necessity defense to avoid prosecution entirely. An experienced attorney can help you decide the best way to aggressively fight the charges.

Attorney for Marijuana Grow House Crimes in Tampa, FL

Contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm if you have been arrested or are under investigation for being the owner or resident of a marijuana grow house. We represent clients on these felony charges throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough County, Polk County, Pasco County, and Hernando County, FL.

We are experienced in fighting search warrant cases involving the Marijuana Grow House Unit (MGHU) of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement agencies throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. Never talk with a Florida law enforcement officer without first consulting with an experienced attorney.

Call us to discuss your case at 813-250-0500.


Florida Statute Section 893.1351

Florida Statute Section 893.1351 provides for the following provisions and penalties:

  • Landlord of Cannabis Grow House - This charge can apply to a landlord if the landlord knows about the grow house, and the landlord owns, rents or leases the grow house. Subsection (1) makes it a third degree felony (punishable by 5 years in Florida State Prison) to own, lease or rent any house or other place with knowledge that the place will be used for one of the following purposes:
    • Trafficking in a controlled substance as provided in section 893.135 -
      • For the sale of a controlled substance, as provided in Section 893.13; or
      • For the manufacture of a controlled substance intended for sale or distribution to another.
  • Resident of Marijuana Grow House - This charge applies to owner residents, renters or even visitors if the resident lives in the grow house, is found in the grow house, or exercises control over the grow house, and the marijuana is being grown with the intention to sale or distribute to another (which is presumed if 25 plants or more are in the house).
  • Resident of Grow House when Minor Child is Present - This charge applies to owner residents, renters, or even visitors that live in the grow house, are found to be present in the grow house, or exercise control over the grow house, and the cannabis is being grown with the intention to sale or distribute to another (which is presumed if 25 plants or more are in the house) and the resident knows or should have known that a minor lives in the house or is even present in the house.
    • Subsection (3) makes it a first-degree felony (punishable by 30 years in Florida State Prison) for any person who is in actual or constructive possession of a house or other place with the knowledge of the following:
      • That the place is being used to manufacture a controlled substance intended for sale or distribution to another; and
      • Who knew or should have known that a minor is present or resides in the place.

The Marijuana Grow House Task Force (MGHTF) in Hillsborough County, FL

The Marijuana Grow House Task Force (MGHTF) in Hillsborough County, FL, has identified multiple individuals in the community accused of cultivating marijuana, which allegedly led to the identification of a drug trafficking organization (DTO).

Many of these drug trafficking organizations in Hillsborough County, FL, involve individuals purchasing and renting homes for the sole purpose of converting the homes to cultivate marijuana.

The MGHTF officers with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office were able to gather information that led to the execution of search warrants within Hillsborough County and many of the surrounding areas including Polk County, and Hernando County. In these cases,

In these cases, officers might bring Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) violations. The investigations often result in the seizure of vehicles and U.S. currency. In addition, these operations lead to marijuana plants being eradicated and thousands of pounds of marijuana being confiscated.

The Marijuana Grow House Unit (MGHU) of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was established full-time on September 12, 2016, to investigate all marijuana grow houses and related drug trafficking organizations. The Unit was responsible for eradicating 43 indoor marijuana grow houses, seizing approximately 2,176 marijuana plants which weighed approximately 4,566 pounds, as well as arresting 53 individuals who were involved in the illegal cultivation of marijuana.


Choosing an Attorney for a Grow House Bust in Tampa, FL

Contact an experienced cannabis defense lawyer at the Sammis Law Firm if you have been arrested or are under investigation for owning or residing in a Florida marijuana grow house for the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Pasco County, or Hernando County, FL.

Most of the time, cannabis cultivation investigations involve a few plants, sometimes grown because of a medical necessity.

We are experienced in fighting a variety of serious drug crimes and focus on marijuana crimes throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Call 813-250-0500.

Pot Plants from Cannabis Grow House in Tampa, FL


This article was last updated on Thursday, May 24, 2018.