Florida Governor Ran DeSantis, has asked the state’s highest court to overturn a lower court ruling that stands to revolutionize the way medical marijuana businesses operate in the state.
At issue is a vertical integration requirement of the state’s medical marijuana licensing scheme which critics say creates an “oligopoly” by requiring licensed businesses to perform all aspects related to the production and sale of medical marijuana, including cultivation, processing, transportation, and retail sales. Critics also argue the requirement stifles competition and innovation. Under the state’s law, these businesses are considered “medical marijuana treatment centers.”
Florigrown, a medical marijuana treatment center based in Tampa, took the state to court, asserting that the licensing requirement ran contrary to the 2016 state constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana. A county circuit court agreed, and in July a state appeals court refused to review the case. The licensing requirement “so clearly conflicts” with the state constitution that the only logical course of action is to “allow for our Supreme Court to weigh in,” an appeals court judge wrote.
The Governor filed a request with the state Supreme Court to review the case in August. The state high court has yet to decide whether or not to take up the appeal.