TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A court ruling this week is set to shake up Florida’s budding medical marijuana industry.
“This drops a bomb on the system currently in place,” says Adam Elend, CEO of Florigrown. “This is a new day in Florida because it means vertical integration in Florida is unconstitutional,” he continued.
“Vertical Integration” refers to the state’s current medical cannabis system, which caps the number of licenses and requires medical marijuana companies to do it all, i.e. to grow, process and distribute the product themselves. The 1st District Court of Appeals said that goes against the spirit of Amendment 2, passed in 2016 by 71 percent of voters.
Elend is a plaintiff in the original case field a couple years ago.
“It means that companies that want to just have a dispensary or just process will be able to do that. That means smaller businesses will have an opportunity to enter the market and most importantly for medical marijuana patients, it means access to better quality medicine, more availability and lower prices,” he said.
Michael Minardi is an attorney and marijuana activist. He believes the resistance to the industry is rooted in money and power.
“It is breaking down stereotypes and preventing the greed of drug companies that are against it, that want to prevent medical marijuana being. The amount of money they lose in revenue in medical states is astronomical,” Minardi said.
The ball is now in Governor Ron DeSantis’ court. Will the state appeal the ruling? FOX 13 reached out to the governor’s office, we are still waiting on a response.