In a ruling that could have a revolutionary impact if it stands, a Tallahassee judge has found a law limiting the number of medical marijuana operators in Florida runs afoul of a constitutional amendment approved by voters two years ago.
The cap on the number of “medical marijuana treatment centers,” as they are known in Florida law, “directly contradicts the amendment,” Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled in an eight-page order last week.
“Such limits directly undermine the clear intent of the amendment, which by its language seeks to prevent arbitrary restriction on the number of MMTCs authorized to conduct business in the state. The amendment mandates the availability and safe use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients,” Dodson wrote.
Dodson also ruled that the 2017 law is unconstitutional because it requires marijuana operators licensed by the state to cultivate, process, and dispense medical marijuana — something known as “vertical integration” — as opposed to breaking the activities into separate parts for licensure.
And the judge decided that the law — aimed at implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment, which broadly legalized medical marijuana — improperly restricted who could get licenses. [Read more at Sun Sentinel]