Florida Governor Intervenes in Appeals Court Cannabis Ruling

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A ruling issued by the Florida Very first District Court of Appeals on July 9, has the possible to upset the healthcare cannabis cart in the Sunshine state, and now, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and Florida’s Division of Well being have asked the court for an en banc hearing of the complete court, in regards to the appeals court panel’s cannabis ruling.

The 3-judge panel’s choice in July ruled the “vertical integration” company model—initially essential by the state for licensed cannabis producers—is unconstitutional and violates Amendment two, authorized by Florida voters when healthcare marijuana was legalized in the state in 2016.

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The Division of Well being, which oversees cannabis licensing in the state, was below a 15-day time limit to take action following the ruling was issued. The state’s motion stated a rehearing of the appeal “is of exceptional significance simply because it implicates no matter whether the whole regulatory framework presently in location for the licensing of healthcare marijuana therapy centers must be overturned.”

“The uncertainty surrounding the existing licensing and enforcement of MMTCs (healthcare marijuana therapy centers) in the course of this ‘reasonable period of time,’ coupled with the close to specific litigation surrounding the (well being) department’s implementation of an totally new healthcare marijuana regulatory and licensing structure, will only serve to draw out the court-ordered ‘wholesale restructuring of the healthcare marijuana market in Florida,’” state’s attorneys wrote in the filing.

In addition, the Miami Sun Sentinel reported that the motion requests, if denied a hearing by the complete court of appeals, that the case be referred to the Florida Supreme Court a request referred to as “certification of a query of wonderful public significance.”

The vertical integration model for cannabis enterprises meant that Florida healthcare marijuana producers operate every single aspect of healthcare cannabis production, from seed-to-sale, such as operating MMTCs. The ruling on appeal in The Florida Division of Well being v. Florigrown LLC, implies Florida officials can no longer enforce the vertical company model requirement. The scenario is additional difficult by a short-term injunction issued in the case by a further court in 2017, which ruled in favor of Florigrown, and which firms had been operating below till the most current ruling.

Other licensed Florida healthcare cannabis enterprises incorporate Trulieve, Curaleaf, Surterra Wellness, Liberty Well being Sciences, KNOX Healthcare, Vidacann, AltMed Florida, Harvest, Develop Healthier, and Green Thumb Industries.

Some market watchers speculated that the ruling could open the door for Florida officials to problem new MMTC licenses to independent operators, as properly as licensing for other market sectors. The appeals court choice, having said that, did not demand regulators to take quick action on the ruling, as legal wrangling continues.

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