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Lawsuit Brings Florida To Task Over New Marijuana Law Delays

Bill’s Nursery in Miami-Dade and a Pensacola man who suffers from epilepsy, Michael Bowen, are suing several Florida state officials and the Department of Health over the fact that the new medical marijuana laws simply aren’t being implemented.

Florida legislature said that 10 more treatment center licenses had to be issued by October 3rd, but so far only six have been distributed. The DOH says they are doing everything they can to move the law forward, but…

“More egregiously,” stated the plaintiffs’ lawyers, “the DOH has no intention of complying with this mandate soon.”

The suit also states that the current delays are putting Bowen’s life in jeopardy and that, as he relies on medical marijuana to not suffer his severe seizure disorder. Bowen suffered a seizure during a Senate committee hearing earlier this year.

The challenge has an, “actual and present interest in ensuring an adequate supply of medicinal marijuana in the marketplace as determined by the Florida Legislature.”

Specifically, they are targeting the laws made in a June special session. Those include the ten licenses that have yet to be completely distributed.

Arguing that the few licensed distributors there currently couldn’t possibly grow enough strains to choose from for different medical conditions, and according to the Pensacola News Journal, “The DOH’s failure to license all 10 of the required MMTCs has therefore limited the available strains on the market and diminished patients’ ability to find strains that work for them.”

The lawsuit requests that the DOH give out the licenses “forthwith.” It also accuses the DOH, the Florida Surgeon General and Christian Bax, the director of the Office of Medical Marijuana Use of dragging their feet purposely. Bax had previously stated that they would not issue any more licenses while dealing with litigation revolving around licenses and discrimination.

It also seeks to put the DOH in violation of the Florida State Constitution, as it was a constitutional amendment that made medical marijuana a reality in Florida.


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