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Time Running Out for State to Appeal Marijuana Ruling

October 18th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
The state has  until 5pm Friday to appeal a circuit court ruling that could drastically change the state’s medical marijuana industry.
The order was issued two weeks ago, but some say campaign politics may be why there has been a delay in filing the appeal.
In early October Circuit court judge Charles Dodson sided with Tampa-based Florigrown in a lawsuit challenging the law implementing medical marijuana in the state.
Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Business Association says the ruling struck down major parts of the law, which limited the number of growers licenses that could be issued and the requirement for growers to process and sell their product.
“This ruling basically said, you know, there is a possibility that the department should just move forward and accept registrations,” said Sharkey.
Dodson gave the Department of Health until Friday to register Florigrown as a medical marijuana treatment center and begin registering other treatment centers.
Activists say if upheld, it would be a win for patients.
“The benefits to the patients would be easier access and hopefully high quality medication,” said Josephine Cannella-Krehl with MMJ Knowledge.
The Governor asked for legislative support to appeal the court order.
It’s unlike in prior cases where the state was quick to appeal medical marijuana rulings.
Fighting the expansion of medical marijuana, which was overwhelmingly supported by Florida voters might complicate the Governor’s Senate campaign.
“We have 71% of the people in the state who voted for this, you know there may be some concern about whether or not appealing this is saying, we don’t support medical cannabis,” said Sharkey.
If the ruling is ultimately upheld it could be bad news for growers who already have licenses.
More growers means they’ll have less market share.
As of mid-afternoon Thursday, no appeal had been filed, despite the Speaker of the House, incoming speaker and other to House members supporting an appeal.

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