TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A major ruling this week on a Tampa company’s lawsuit has turned the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry upside down.
A three-judge panel in Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that the state law regulating marijuana is unconstitutional and fails to adhere to the language in Amendment 2, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2016.
The lawsuit was filed by Tampa-based company Florigrown, owned by Adam Elend, Jeff Marks, and legendary Tampa businessman Joe Redner.
Their lawsuit argued three main points about the state law written by the legislature regulating medical marijuana:
The law forced businesses to be vertically integrated — meaning the business must grow, cultivate, package, market and sell their own marijuana — when the amendment itself did not specify that requirement
The law effectively created a “special class” of businesses–nurseries that had been in business for 30 years–which then became the only companies who could get a license to sell marijuana
The law illegally capped the number of licenses