State To Appeal Ruling Striking Down Medical Marijuana Licensing Process

Oct 19, 2018

Florigrown sued the Florida Department of Health after it was denied a license to grow and dispense medical marijuana.
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Florida Department of Health is appealing a court ruling that could upend the state’s medical marijuana industry. 

Leon County circuit judge Charles Dodson ruled earlier this month the state has to provide a license to medical marijuana dispensary Florigrown. The decision overturned key provisions of Florida’s medical marijuana law, including a limit on the number of licensed growers allowed in the state.

The Florida Department of Health is appealing the ruling. Dodson gave the Department until Friday to grant a license to Florigrown, or risk being held in contempt of the court. But he issued a temporary injunction while the appeal is heard.

Dodson ruled the law is unconstitutional because it requires medical marijuana operations handle the entire process - growing, preparing and selling - instead of just one part of it.

He also ordered the Department to issue licenses to every operation currently up and running in the state.

Dodson scolded the state for treating the Constitution "like a recommendation" and for failing to adequately adress an amendment legalizing medical marijuana passed by over 70 percent of Floridians.

Should the state lose the appeal, it could drastically change the way medical marijuana is regulated in Florida.