Florida appeals court delays ruling on major medical cannabis case

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A legal case that could further open up Florida’s medical marijuana market to new entrepreneurs and hopeful plant-touching MMJ companies has been put on hold for now by a state appeals court.

The decision by Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal means a lower court’s ruling that the state issue more MMJ business licenses won’t automatically move forward, throwing into confusion exactly what the future may hold for the market, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Here are the basics surrounding the situation:

  • If the Florida health department wins out, that means the state’s 14 licensed MMJ companies will continue to hold the only licenses in the enormous market, while companies such as the plaintiff, Florigrown, won’t be allowed to grow or sell medical cannabis.
  • If the appeals court upholds the lower court’s decision and finds for Florigrown, however, that could lead to a market with no license caps. But that’s still to be determined.
  • An appeals court ruling that backs the lower court could also open the door to various business types that aren’t strictly vertically integrated, meaning new market entrants could focus solely on cultivation or retail, as opposed to the current mandated business structure.

A ruling in the case by the appeals court will be “expedited,” the Sentinel reported, but there’s still no clear timeline for when the matter may be resolved.