The family and business partners of a Black farmer who died after applying for a medical marijuana license hope to convince a Florida appeals court that state regulators wrongly rejected the application because the man’s death came before the permitting process was finished.
According to the Orlando Weekly, Marion County farmer Moton Hopkins ranked the highest among applicants vying for vertically integrated licenses set aside for Black farmers.
Hopkins died before regulators had finished evaluating the applications, and Florida’s health department said the license goes to individual applicants, not their entities or companies.
An administrative judge upheld that decision in February.
An attorney representing Hopkins’ heirs and business partners has asked the 1st District Court of Appeal to overturn that decision.
According to the appeal, Hopkins owned 51% of Hatchett Creek Farms and applied under that name, rather than his own, so the license should go to the company.
In July, applicants Terry Donnell Gwinn of Suwannee County and Shedrick McGriff of Bascom were instead awarded licenses.