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Florida Supreme Court Upholds State's Medical Marijuana Business Scheme

Several marijuana plants growing in a greenhouse.
Ryland Zweifel
Adobe Stock
Florida Supreme Court Upholds State's Medical Marijuana Business Scheme

The Florida Supreme Court has found the state’s medical marijuana vertical integration system is constitutional. This comes after a years-long effort by Florigrown to open the state’s medical marijuana market to more businesses. The company was denied a treatment center license in 2017.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) has been working to break up what he says is an oligopoly created by the legislature. He says the ruling is a move in the wrong direction.

“Today was a win for the legislature but a loss for the small businesses and minorities in Florida," Brandes said. "This continues the monopoly system that’s bad for patients, bad for small businesses, and bad for minorities.”

The current system only allows companies into the medical marijuana business if they can cultivate, process, transport, and dispense medical marijuana. Currently, only 22 businesses have licenses. Florigrown co-owner Jeff Marks calls the ruling a quote: “A sad day for those who think the free market is what works best.”

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.