Florida

Florida Court Says State's Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Industry are Unconstitutional

Florida’s Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s medical marijuana rules are unconstitutional. Florigrown, LLC filed the lawsuit in 2017 against the Department of Health after it rejected Florigrown’s efforts to register as a medical marijuana treatment center as permitted by the state’s 2016 constitutional amendment. Florigrown argued that the state's 2017 legislation unconstitutionally limited the number of available licenses and developed a special class to receive these licenses.

The lower court agreed with Florigrown and issued an injunction against Florida’s DOH. The DOH challenged this decision and lost. The appellate court found that the state’s 2017 legislation to be unconstitutional as it unreasonably capped the number of medical marijuana licenses to 14 and forced licensee to be vertically integrated, both of which contradicted the definition of a medical marijuana treatment center as defined in the constitutional amendment. The court’s ruling makes both restrictions on the medical marijuana industry null and void.

The case shows the strength of voter driven initiatives to create a constitutional mandate for medical marijuana within a state. The court upheld the voter’s intentions and rejected the ability of the state legislature and regulatory bodies from arbitrarily infringing on a constitutional right.

What does this ruling mean for the industry, the current licensees and the state’s next steps in developing the medical marijuana industry? Florida’s market is about to open up and become significant. The legislature and Department of Health, as two-time losers, will need to adopt a framework closer to Michigan’s, which has no license caps and permits multiple license types. Florida has over 21 million residents and is one of the fastest-growing medical marijuana markets, which should make it attractive for many. The high water mark for a Florida medical marijuana license may have passed as the uncertainty of license caps has been resolved.

Florida Legislature Abandons Recreational Marijuana Bill as the Regular Session Closes

The Florida Legislature postponed and withdrew 11 bills related to marijuana and hemp as it closed its regular session on May 3, 2019. Most notably, the bid to enact legislation to legalize commercial recreational marijuana in Florida will not occur until the legislature reconvenes in 2020.

A full list of the bills that were suspended and withdrawn is provided below.

SB 1058 (2019) State Hemp Program
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01058
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 1116 (2019) Banking Services for Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01116
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 1322 (2019) Availability of Marijuana for Medical Use
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01322
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 1324 (2019) Fees/Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers/Department of Health
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01324
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 1328 (2019) Reciprocity for the Medical Use of Marijuana
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01328
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 1780 (2019) Adult Use Marijuana Legalization
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01780
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 1782 (2019) Taxes and Fees/Recreational Marijuana
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/01782
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 156 (2019) State Taxes or Fees
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00156
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 154 (2019) Medical Marijuana Retail Facilities
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00154
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 372 (2019) Smoking Marijuana for Medical Use
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00372
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

SB 384 (2019) Medical Use of Marijuana in Schools
        http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00384
        SENATE - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration

Florida Legislature Passes Business Friendly Hemp Program on Last Day of Regular Session

The Florida Legislature passed a bill to implement a hemp program in the state in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill on the last day of the legislative session, May 3, 2019. The new law will require the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish a licensing and oversight program for the cultivation, distribution and sale of hemp and hemp extract. The department must also provide the USDA with Florida’s hemp plan for approval within 30 days of implementing the hemp regulations. The USDA’s approval for Florida’s hemp plan is needed to implement the 2018 Farm Bill in the state.

The new law makes it illegal to cultivate hemp without a license from the department. The new law does not limit the number of cultivators. Florida may deny an applicant a license for providing the state with false information, or if the applicant was convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance during the last 10 years. The new law delegates the implementation of the hemp program to the department. We believe that the USDA will drive the final oversight and enforcement requirements as part of the hemp plan approval process. However, the new law does manage to limit the department’s enforcement power by requiring the department to issue a notice of correction to persons who violate the regulations prior to issuing a fine.

The department will oversee the distribution and sale of hemp extracts that are intended for ingestion. Although processors and retailers will not need a license, the state will only allow hemp extract to be distributed and sold in the state if it is tested by an independent testing facility and packaged in accordance with the state’s laws and regulations. It is not clear as to what the penalties will be for violating the distribution and sale requirements.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Florida's New Law Let's You Roll Your Own Marijuana Rx

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that will allow Floridians who qualify for medical marijuana to smoke pot. The bill has been presented to Governor DeSantis for his signature. The bill expands the definition of medical use to allow persons to possess and smoke pot. To obtain pot for smoking, a doctor must provide documentation for Florida state that the benefits the patient receives from smoking marijuana outweigh the risks. The bill also requires the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to adopt rules that outline the standards for doctors who prescribe marijuana for smoking by July 2021. This rulemaking exercise might be superfluous given that the Florida Legislature also introduced a recreational marijuana legalization bill today.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

6 Things To Know About Florida's Recreational Marijuana Legalization Bill

The Florida Legislature introduced HB 1171 / SB 1780 Adult Use Marijuana Legalization, which legalizes recreational marijuana and establishes a regulatory framework for the licensing and oversight of marijuana establishments by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages, Marijuana, and Tobacco.

Below are 6 things that you should know about Florida’s recreational marijuana bill.

  • Through 2028, 5% of the tax revenues will be provided to the Department of Health to fund peer-review studies on marijuana’s beneficial uses and safety.

  • The number of medical marijuana dispensaries allowed in the state will be limited based on a location’s population.

    • Cities with less than 5,000 people are allocated one marijuana retail license.

    • Cities with 5,000 - 20,000 people are allocated two marijuana retail licenses.

    • Cities with over 20,000 people may have one marijuana retail licenses for each 5,000 people.

  • If the Florida fails to issue licenses by January 1, 2021, an applicant may request a license from a city where the marijuana establishment will be located.

  • Local municipalities will have until September 1 , 2020 to prohibit one or more marijuana establishments.

  • Florida will share 50% of the application fee and the application with the locality where the cannabis establishment will be located.

  • Application fees will not exceed 5,000 and cultivators will pay an excise fee of $50 per ounce.


Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access 440 THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.