Florida’s medical marijuana regulations do not presently permit medical marijuana patients to grow their own medical marijuana. Florida’s Department of Health’s website states the following:
Florida law only allows the licensed dispensing organizations to grow, process and dispense marijuana. The department will refer any business or individual suspected of violating state law to local law enforcement for investigation. It is important to remember marijuana is illegal under federal law.
Joe Redner, of Tampa Florida, challenged this Florida regulation and argued in his lawsuit that he was entitled to grow his own medical marijuana because he needs the raw plant for the treatment his state-certified doctor has prescribed to him for his stage 4 lung cancer. Medical cannabis dispensaries across the state do not provide raw plant product.
Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Givers recently ruled in Mr. Redner’s favor and found that the
Florida’s Constitution provides Mr. Redner’s right to grow his own medical marijuana so he can follow his physician’s recommendation. Until and unless the [Florida Department of Health] stops violating its Constitutional duty and adopts the mandated presumptive regulation, the evidence clearly demonstrates that Mr. Redner is entitled to follow the recommendations of his certified physician.
However, this ruling is limited solely to Mr. Redner and no other Florida medical marijuana patients can grow their own medical marijuana pursuant to this ruling. The Florida Department of Health is likely to appeal the Court’s Order.
Dori K. Stibolt is a West Palm Beach, Florida based partner with Fox Rothschild LLP. She focuses her practice on litigation and labor and employment issues and has taken a special interest in the cannabis business. You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.