Florida Judge Strikes Down MMJ Lottery Proposal

A judge struck down a proposed rule in Florida that would have used a lottery system to choose five companies that will grow, process and distribute marijuana under the state’s CBD law.

Licensees to produce and dispense non-euphoric marijuana should be chosen after evaluation of necessary facts rather than by chance, as Florida residents deserve dependable and consistent delivery of high-quality, low-THC medicine, Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins said in a 71-page ruling.

Watkins sided with Miami-based Costa Farms and other companies that filed suit against the Florida Department of Health over the lottery system, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

The process is “vague, fails to establish adequate standards for agency decisions and vests unbridled discretion in the agency,” the judge said.

Watkins also rejected portions of the rule saying who could apply and when they must pay for an application fee.

Patients with severe forms of epilepsy and cancer will be allowed to use marijuana prescribed by doctors under the new law, which was approved by the state legislature and Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year. A proposal to legalize medical marijuana in general for a wider swath of the population failed at the ballot box earlier this month.

The health department had claimed the lottery system would reduce litigation over selection of the licensees, and it refused to back down despite the protests of nursery owners. But Watkins sided with those who claimed the lottery system may have allowed the luckiest, rather than the most-qualified, applicants to receive licenses, the Democrat said.

The judge also rejected the department’s suggestion that finalists under the lottery system would be as qualified to grow and dispense cannabis as those selected after a more stringent selection process. Additionally, he disagreed with the department’s contention that it would be difficult or impossible to compare applications because companies use different methods to process marijuana.

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4 comments on “Florida Judge Strikes Down MMJ Lottery Proposal
  1. Atson on

    Florida only allows what it calls non-euphoric marijuana which doesn’t get you high. So for people with cancer and such the ability to feel better and not worry about there condition because they feel a little euphoric will not be allowed. In other words, Florida tortures sick and hurt people with emotional and mental abuse not allowing them feel better about there condition. Always remember that about Florida when deciding were you want to take a vacation.

  2. Cami on

    I am so sick of the hypocrisy in this country. Legislators making decisions about something as important as this is ridiculous. This needs to be put to the popular vote. We can’t trust politicians to make decisions about Marijuana! Of course if we do then we have just handed the rights to this important industry to the Big Corporations! This is really simple, Marijuana should be legal for recreational use in any of it’s forms, by anyone 18 or older. For medical users under the age of 18, yes by all means make that by prescription only. We as a nation choose to have a drug like alcohol legal and there are NO medical benefits. Marijuana does have specific benefits and yet we keep allowing the corporate pawns to make our decisions about this? I am so sickened by the stupidity that surrounds this issue in this country.

  3. illwilled on

    Thanks Costa I’m sure thousands of MMJ patients or thankful for keeping them as criminals seeking the Meds needed because of Politics !Rick Scott is to blame for picking those 5 I’m sure allies to handle this !

  4. Clifton Middleton on

    The conservative mind seeks to punish and penalize people for freedom. They hate big government because it helps folks, they hate marijuana because they have been propagandized with Reefer Madness and the racist inspired pot laws. All these rules and regulations are crimes against the Individual Sovreignity of you and me …..

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