In a case that could have important implications for the medical-marijuana industry, Florida Supreme Court justices Wednesday waded into a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized marijuana for patients.
The Florida Department of Health appealed to the Supreme Court after lower courts sided with Florigrown, a Tampa-based company that argues a 2017 state law conflicts with the constitutional amendment. Florigrown has unsuccessfully sought department approval to become a licensed medical-marijuana operator.
The case primarily centers on a requirement that the Legislature put in the 2017 law about marijuana firms allowed to operate in the state. That requirement says the companies must be able to handle all aspects of the business, including growing, processing and distributing products — a concept known as a “vertical integration” system.
But Florigrown contends that was not the intent of the constitutional amendment and that a vertical integration system limits the number of companies that can take part in the industry. The alternative would be a system where firms could perform different aspects of the business, known as a “horizontal” structure. [Read more at Tampa Bay Times]