A Circuit Court Judge, Karen Gievers, has ruled that the state and the health department in Florida violated the constitution when they imposed a cap on the number of dispensaries that a licensed business could open within the state.
Trulieve sued the state and asked court to strike down the cap on dispensaries that had been imposed limiting each business to a maximum of 30 outlets. Initially, the cap was at 25 but it was raised to 30.
The plaintiff successfully argued that patients could get better access to medical marijuana treatment centers at an affordable cost if more dispensaries were available instead of forcing patients to incur the cost of vehicle delivery of cannabis to their addresses.
The company had also argued that the ban, which was imposed long after they had opened a number of outlets, affected their business since they wouldn’t have opened dispensaries in some locations had they had prior awareness of that cap. Trulieve therefore asked court to nullify that cap so that their business isn’t unnecessarily hampered.
The judge agreed and wrote in her ruling that the state didn’t have any plausible reason to impose such a restriction on legally licensed businesses. Furthermore, the judge observed that the cap wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the constitutional amendment legalizing medical cannabis.
The state made a vain attempt to justify the cap by saying that the local and state authorities needed time to study how to regulate medical cannabis. Judge Gievers threw out this argument saying that the constitutional amendment didn’t provide for such “study” and that she didn’t get evidence of what needed to be “studied” for three years.
She argued that the state had ample time to study medical cannabis regulation as much as they wanted before the first medical cannabis law was passed years back in 2014.
This same judge lifted the ban on smoking medical cannabis and gave the state a dressing down for the blatant way in which it was disregarding constitutional provisions while implementing the medical marijuana program. The previous Governor, Rick Scott, appealed against that ruling and left office before the appeal was heard.
Recently, Gov. DeSantis threatened to withdraw from pursuing that appeal if the legislature didn’t amend the law to allow patients to smoke medical cannabis. He gave the legislators a few weeks to act or else the courts will be left to change the law by judicial declaration.
Golden Developing Solutions, Inc. (OTC: DVLP), Green Growth Brands, Inc. (CSE: GGB) (OTCQB: GGBXF) and the whole industry welcomes the decision of the court since patients in Florida will now have medical cannabis dispensaries closer to them.
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