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Miami-Dade to no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases

Felony cases will require lab tests for suspected marijuana

MIAMI, Fla. – The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office will no longer prosecute minor cases involving marijuana, and police there will now be required to confirm suspected marijuana in felony cases with lab testing.

Our sister station, Local10.com, reports the decision was announced Thursday in a memo sent to law enforcement agencies. Smelling or observing what officers suspect is cannabis will no longer be sufficient to establish probable cause of actually being cannabis, according to the memo.

Hemp, which is similar to marijuana but does not contain THC, became legal in Florida in July.

"Because hemp and cannabis both come from the same plant, they look, smell and feel the same," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "There is no way to visually or microscopically distinguish hemp from marijuana."

As there is currently no police crime lab in South Florida to test for THC, all marijuana prosecutions, both misdemeanor and felony, will be stopped until a lab is built within the next six months.

Read more or view the complete memo on Local10.com.