A Tampa-based company is challenging Florida’s decision to deny it a medical cannabis license, shining a light on an aspect of Florida’s medical marijuana law that critics contend unfairly precludes companies that should be able to get a license.
The company, Florigrown, had its application for a medical marijuana license rejected in 2017, not long after the constitutional amendment legalizing the treatment went in effect. The amendment legalizing medical marijuana was approved by more than 70 percent of Florida voters in 2016.
The reason why the company was stymied in its bid for a license: “vertical integration.” That’s a system established by the state’s medical marijuana law requiring operators to grow, process and sell its cannabis products.
From there, Florigrown took the matter to a county circuit court judge, who last year ordered the state to register the company as a medical marijuana business. Last year, the 1st District Court of Appeals upheld part of that order, saying that the vertical integration requirement conflicts with the inherently broad nature of the constitutional amendment.
Is the Application a Stunt?
Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is asking for a fresh opinion, this time from the state’s highest court. In a brief