Florida governor asks state Supreme Court to decide cannabis licensing issue

The Florida governor’s office, as expected, asked the state Supreme Court to rule on whether the medical cannabis program’s vertical integration requirement for MMJ businesses is unconstitutional and should be opened up to new licensing opportunities.

Lawyers for Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, filed the appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on Friday, according to the News Service of Florida.

The filing comes just days after an appellate court declined to revisit a decision that ruled the state’s restrictions are unconstitutional.

In that decision, First District Court of Appeal Judge Scott Makar wrote that because the law “so clearly conflicts” with the state constitution, the only step now is to “allow for our Supreme Court to weigh in.”

So far, courts have agreed with plaintiff Tampa-based firm Florigrown that the state law requiring vertical integration created an oligopoly that runs counter to a voter-approved constitutional amendment that legalized MMJ in 2016.

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