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Florida Supreme Court asks for a rare second round of arguments on medical marijuana

In a highly unusual move, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a second round of arguments in a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Justices heard arguments in May in a lawsuit filed by Florigrown, a Tampa-based firm that has challenged the constitutionality of a 2017 law that was designed to carry out the constitutional amendment. The case centers on parts of the law related to the licensing of companies to operate in the medical-marijuana industry.

But the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order scheduling another round of arguments Oct. 7 on an issue that was not a focus of the first hearing — whether the 2017 law is what is known as an unconstitutional “special” law.

Justices signaled after the first hearing that they were interested in the “special” law issue, asking Florigrown and the Florida Department of Health to file additional briefs on the issue. But the court rarely brings back parties for a second round of arguments in cases.

The Florida Constitution bars “special” laws that, generally, are intended to benefit specific entities. Florigrown, which has unsuccessfully sought a medical-marijuana license, contends that parts of the 2017 law improperly limited the firms that could take part in the industry. [Read More @ Miami Herald]

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