US (FL): Nursery challenges MMJ license ‘preference’ for citrus industry

A Sarasota nursery has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of part of a new law that includes a preference for the citrus industry in the state’s awarding of potentially lucrative medical-marijuana licenses.

The lawsuit, filed last week by TropiFlora, LLC, in Leon County circuit court, is similar to a case filed in September that challenges another provision in the law directing a license to be awarded to a member of a black farmers’ group.

In both cases, plaintiffs are seeking injunctions to block the Florida Department of Health from moving forward with awarding licenses while the lawsuits are pending.

The Legislature, during the June Special Session, passed the law to help carry out a November 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in the state. In part, the law aimed to resolve legal and political battles about awarding licenses to businesses that would grow and sell medical cannabis.

The law directed the Department of Health to award 10 licenses and included direction that for up to two licenses, “the department shall give preference to applicants that demonstrate in their applications that they own one or more facilities that are, or were, used for the canning, concentrating, or otherwise processing of citrus fruit or citrus molasses and will use or convert the facility or facilities for the processing of marijuana.”

Read more at Florida Politics

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