Florida’s law requiring to grow, process and distribute cannabis and related products created an “oligopoly” and runs afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, an appellate court has ruled.
The 1st District Court of Appeal’s decision sent shockwaves through the state’s rapidly growing medical marijuana industry, in which licenses are routinely selling for upwards of $50 million.
The three-judge panel’s ruling upheld in part a decision issued last year by Leon Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who sided with Tampa-based Florigrown in a lawsuit alleging a state law, passed during a 2017 special legislative session, did not properly carry out the amendment.
Tuesday’s ruling is “a good thing for the state of Florida,” said Joe Redner, a Tampa strip-club operator and one of Florigrown’s owners.
“If the Legislature can create oligarchies in any field, it’s crony capitalism. They’re picking winners and losers. And that’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not constitutional,” Redner said.
Florigrown CEO Adam Elend called the ruling a “game-changer.”
“It drops a bomb on the current licensing scheme. It’s just changing the whole regime,” Elend said. [Read more at Orlando Sentinel]