Florida Courts Rule Medical Marijuana Scheme Unconstitutional. What’s Next?

July 13th, 2019 by admin Leave a reply »

Florida courts have spoken. They say the state’s medical marijuana distribution system is unconstitutional, and that could soon force the legislature and the industry to make changes.

In the case of Florigrown vs. the Florida Department of Health the First District Court of Appeal said the legislature’s rules to get a license conflict with the constitutional amendment, specifically, the portion that defines a medical marijuana treatment center or MMTC.

“The amendment said an MMTC would grow, dispense or process or educate. The word ‘or’ means they can do any one of those items. In the law that was promulgated by the state, they said the word ‘and’, and they created a vertical system,” said Dr. Mark Moore,  a certified medical cannabis physician for MEDCAN in Tallahassee.

“We’re at Year Three. Three years have gone by and this was just declared unconstitutional. [The court] recognized what all the patients and the public recognized two and a half years ago — that this was not acceptable.”

By requiring treatment centers to also produce and and distrubute their product, the appeals court ruled  the state has created a system that favors large businesses. According to the Florida Department of Health, there are 142 dispensaries in Florida backed by 22 businesses. Out of those, only 13 are operating to serve  some 240,000 Floridians with medical marijuana licenses. That number continues to grow.

“There are no other states that have done it this way,” said Moore. “Oregon has thousands

Article source: https://news.wjct.org/post/florida-courts-rule-medical-marijuana-scheme-unconstitutional-whats-next