Does a medical card affect my concealed weapons license?

MAYBE.      There is currently no Florida legislation specifically excluding qualified medical marijuana patients from holding a concealed carry permit. That said, the conflicting language between Federal and state law makes this a complicated issue to answer precisely. In addressing this question, two categories need to be considered:

1. Established Gun Ownership/Concealed Carry Status

Section 29(a)(1) of the Florida constitution states, “the medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or caregiver in compliance with this section is not subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law.”

2. New Gun Ownership/Concealed Carry Applications

Completion of federal form 4473 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) is required to purchase a firearm legally. Persons lying on this application is a felony and comes with a steep sentence if convicted. One question asks “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” with the following warning added in 2016: “The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.” Unfortunately, answering truthfully as a legal, medical marijuana patient may increase the chance of the ATF application being rejected. If you are an “Unlawful user or addicted to any controlled substance.” you are prohibited from firearm ownership in Florida.

Important Caveats:

  • Florida law is clear in its protection of the rights of a qualified patient or caregiver.
  • Patients appropriately qualified by a physician would not be considered “unlawful” users.
  • The Federal government has little authority over state legislated concealed carry programs.

In summary, while there is opaque legislative language at both the federal and state levels that could be interpreted as placing a Floridian’s concealed carry permit in jeopardy, there is no specific legislation prohibiting a qualified medical marijuana patient from having both licenses under normal circumstances. Neither is there a widespread practice of either federal or state law enforcement revoking the concealed carry permits of those who have both. A good attorney practiced in marijuana law is, of course, the better source for answers to the many important nuances this FAQ does not touch on.