Navigating the Legal Landscape of Medical Marijuana and Gun Ownership: Conceal and Carry Laws in Florida

July 1, 2024

Navigating the intersection of medical marijuana use and gun ownership can be tricky, especially when it comes to conceal and carry laws in Florida. Many patients wonder if having a medical marijuana card affects their right to own or carry a firearm. If you’re one of them, this guide will help you understand the current legal landscape and what you need to know to stay compliant.

Medical Marijuana and Federal Law

First, it’s important to understand the overarching legal framework. While Florida has legalized medical marijuana, it remains illegal under federal law. The Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, which puts it in the same category as drugs like heroin. This federal classification creates significant complications for medical marijuana patients who also want to own firearms.

Federal Firearm Laws

Under federal law, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) prohibits anyone who uses or is addicted to a controlled substance from owning or purchasing firearms. This includes medical marijuana patients, regardless of state law. When you purchase a firearm, you must complete ATF Form 4473, which specifically asks if you are an unlawful user of marijuana or any other controlled substance. Answering “yes” will result in the denial of the firearm purchase, and answering “no” while being a medical marijuana user is considered perjury.

Florida’s Conceal and Carry Laws

Florida law adds another layer of complexity. While the state permits medical marijuana use and has its own set of firearm regulations, it must still comply with federal laws. Florida law does not specifically address the issue of medical marijuana users and firearm ownership, which means the federal prohibitions apply.


Key Considerations for Medical Marijuana Patients

  1. Obtaining a Firearm

If you’re a medical marijuana patient, purchasing a new firearm from a licensed dealer will be problematic. As mentioned, the ATF Form 4473 requires disclosure of your medical marijuana use. Lying on this form is a federal offense, and being truthful will likely result in a denial.

  1. Existing Firearm Ownership

Many patients already own firearms before obtaining their medical marijuana card. While there is no legal requirement to surrender your firearms upon becoming a medical marijuana patient, possessing both can still pose legal risks, especially if your marijuana use is discovered in connection with any legal matters.

  1. Concealed Carry Permits

Florida issues concealed carry permits to qualified applicants. However, federal law complicates this for medical marijuana patients. Even if Florida doesn’t specifically prohibit medical marijuana patients from obtaining a concealed carry permit, the federal restrictions remain in place. This means your concealed carry permit could be considered invalid under federal law if you are also a medical marijuana user.


Pain Points and Practical Advice

Many patients find themselves caught in a legal grey area, worrying about potential conflicts between their medical needs and their rights as gun owners. Here are some practical tips to help navigate this tricky landscape:

Consult an Attorney: If you’re concerned about how your medical marijuana use affects your gun rights, seek advice from an attorney who specializes in firearm law and understands both federal and state regulations.

Stay Informed: Laws and regulations can change. Keep yourself updated on any changes to federal and state laws regarding medical marijuana and firearm ownership.

Evaluate Your Priorities: If firearm ownership is crucial to you, consider discussing alternative treatments with your healthcare provider. Conversely, if medical marijuana is essential for your health, be aware of the potential legal risks regarding firearm ownership.



Navigating the legal landscape of medical marijuana and gun ownership in Florida is complex and fraught with potential pitfalls. Federal law presents significant barriers that state laws can’t easily overcome. If you’re a medical marijuana patient and a gun owner, it’s crucial to understand the legal risks and seek professional guidance. While the current legal framework may feel restrictive, staying informed and making careful decisions can help you manage your rights and responsibilities effectively. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re here to help you navigate these challenging issues.