Possession of Cannabis Sativa Resin
If you thought marijuana crimes had been decriminalized in the City of Tampa, think again. Only about half of marijuana cases investigated by the Tampa Police Department (TPD) are resulting in civil citations for possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia. The other half of those cases are resulting in criminal charges for a misdemeanor under state law.
The stakes are even higher if you get caught with any type of marijuana concentrate which can include edibles or THC oil in a vape pen. People are surprised to learn that having a dab will result in a felony arrest and the possible seizure of your vehicle for forfeiture.
In Hillsborough County, this charge is coded into the system as “POSSESSION OF CANNABIS SATIVA RESIN (DRUG2104),” a third-degree felony charge that comes with a standard bond of $2,000. The offense is typically written up as “possession of sativa resin vaporizer with THC oil (DRUG2104)” on the criminal report affidavit.
In Pasco County, this charge is coded into the system as “Possession of Tetrahydrocannabinol,” a third-degree felony. The criminal report affidavit will list the offense as “marijuana – possess cannabis oil, wax, resin (893.13.6A WAX).” In Pinellas County, the charge is listed as possession of “cannabis resin extract.”
No mater how they word it, even a trace amount of marijuana in its concentrated form, such as THC oil in a vape pen or edibles, will result in a third-degree felony charge. The good news is that an experienced criminal defense attorney might be able to convince the prosecutor not to formally file any felony charge.
But you must act quickly because the prosecuting attorney with the State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County, FL will typically make that decision within the first 21 days after the arrest. If any felony charge is actually filed within the first 21 days after the arrest, then a felony judge in circuit court will be assigned and the case will be scheduled for an arraignment.
Many of these cases for possession of cannabis resin involve college students at area colleges and universities including the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Tampa (UF).
Attorney for Concentrated Forms of Marijuana in Tampa, FL
If you were arrested for any type of felony marijuana charge, including possession of cannabis sativa resin or more than 20 grams of green leafy marijuana, then contact an experienced attorney at Sammis Law Firm, P.A.
We often represent professionals who are college students at local colleges and universities including the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida.
We also represent many professionals with licensure issues including teachers and certified educators, nurses and health care professionals, attorneys and law school students, and members of law enforcement agencies or the military.
With offices in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County and in New Port Richey in Pasco County, we fight criminal cannabis cases through the greater Tampa Bay area.
One of the attorneys in the office, Jason D. Sammis is a lifetime member of the NORML National Legal Committee. The NORML NLC fights for the reform of marijuana laws in Florida and throughout the United States. He often attends legal seminars hosted by NORML NLC in Aspen and Key West.
All of the marijuana defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm, P.A., aggressively fight charges for cannabis, including possession of less than or more than 20 grams, possession of marijuana concentrates, possession with intent to sell, delivery, cultivation, and trafficking.
We can contact the prosecuting attorney with the State Attorney’s Office to give them all the reasons that no formal charges should be filed. If formal charges have already been filed, we can help you understand the best ways to fight the charges for an outright dismissal so that the criminal record can be sealed or expunged.
Let us put our training and experience to work for you. Call (813) 250-0500 today.
What is Cannabis Concentrate?
A concentrated form of cannabis is a highly potent form of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) concentrated into a mass that might look like oil, honey, or butter. All forms of marijuana, despite their colorful strain names, are made up of either a Sativa, an Indica, or a Hybrid of both Sative and Indica.
Concentrated forms of marijuana include different types of edibles, wax dabs, oil, 710 (“OIL” backward), honey oil, butane hash oil (bho) concentrates, shatter wax, co2 oil, black glass, errl, budder, and resin.
Many cannabis users are switching from rolling papers to vaporizers because it is considered to be less conspicuous. Since vaporizers deliver almost pure cannabinoids, with almost no tar, many people see the vape pens as a much safer delivery method than cannabis cigarettes or water pipes.
For these reasons, the number of felony charges for possession of “Cannabis Sativa Resin” is up in Hillsborough County, FL.
Why is Concentrated Cannabis a Felony under Florida Law?
Cannabis is a flowering plant that creates a high because of the presence of a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The green leafy form of cannabis is often called marijuana, pot or weed. In Florida, possessing any amount of marijuana for recreational use is illegal.
Cannabis is classified as Schedule I controlled substances under Florida law. Although the possession of most Schedule I controlled substances is a felony, Florida law specifically carves out the possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana for Class A misdemeanor penalties. But that distinction does not apply to concentrated forms of marijuana which are charged as a third-degree felony, much like heroin or cocaine.
In fact, under Florida Statute Section 893.13(3), the term “cannabis” does not include the resin extracted from the plants of the genus Cannabis or any compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such resin. Case law is clear that hash or resin can be charged as a felony.
Florida law is less clear when it comes to whether THC oils in a vape pen should be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
The standard jury instructions in Florida define cannabis to mean all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, and the seeds thereof [but does not include any resin extracted from the plant].
The Most Popular Types of Concentrated Cannabis
The different types of concentrated forms of cannabis can include hash, hash oil, oil, or tincture.
- Hash or hashish is made by scraping the resin from the surface of the plant and rolling it into balls or sheets using a cold water and ice extraction method. The end produce can be ingested raw, although it is usually smoked, vaporized, or used in cooking.
- Hash Oil is a resinous mix of plant properties using solvents such as Co2, OX or butane and formed into hardened or viscous masses. The solvents are removed through a process involving heat evaporative or cold extraction.
- THC Oil is often created from a cold extraction process involving soaking the plant material in coconut or olive oil.
- Tincture is created when cannabis is bathed in alcohol. The alcohol is then filtered from the rest of the plant material and used in food or drink.
- THC Butter is made by infusing cannabis-infused with butter over-heat and then extracting the plant materials.
Florida Statute Section 893.13 – Visit the website of the Florida Senate to find the statutory language for Florida Statute Section 893.13 regarding the prohibited acts and penalties for possession of cannabis including the cannabis and resin.
Finding a Lawyer for THC Oil Crimes in Hillsborough County, FL
After an arrest for any type of THC oil crime in Hillsborough County, the offense is often being coded into the computer as “possession of CANNABIS SATIVA RESIN” with a $2,000 standard fine.
The charge is written up as “possession of cannabis sativa resin vaporizer with THC oil (Drug 2104)” on the criminal report affidavit filled out by the arresting officer.
Related charges including possession of drug paraphernalia vaporizer with THC oil, marijuana pipe, herb grinder with residue (Drug8102)” on the criminal report affidavit.
If you were arrested for any type of felony or misdemeanor cannabis crime, including possession of cannabis sativa resin in Tampa or Hillsborough County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm, P.A.
Call (813) 250-0500 today.
This article was last updated on Friday, March 1, 2019.