Florida’s citrus industry has been ailing and declining for years. Florida’s recent medical marijuana regulations were designed to help, in part, by providing two medical marijuana licenses for the citrus industry to switch from growing oranges to marijuana.
As I’ve posted before, Florida medical marijuana licensing regulations have been the subject of repeated litigation challenges. See posts here, here and here. Now, the most recent challenge involves this citrus preference rule.
Louis Del Favero Orchids (“Orchids”) is challenging the rule. The orchid company argues that the rule fails to carry out the law, which gives preference for up to two medical marijuana licenses to applicants who own “facilities” that were used to process citrus.
Orchids claims that the rule actually gives preference to applicants who simply own “property” that was once used for citrus-processing which is different than the requirement set forth in the law that preference be given to applicants who own “facilities” that were once used for citrus processing.
Orchids bought Florida property that included a facility once used to process orange juice in an effort to increase their chances to obtain a Florida medical marijuana license.
However, Florida’s Department of Health’s position is that there’s nothing in the law that requires a “facility” to be a structure.
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.