Lawsuit aims to open up Florida’s medical cannabis business licensing

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A new lawsuit aims to turn Florida’s medical marijuana program – possibly one of the most profitable MMJ markets in the United States – into a more free-market system.

According to the Miami New Times, the suit – filed by the Patients and Producers Alliance – is attempting to force Florida’s health department to issue far more business permits than the 13 currently allowed.

If the suit is successful, it could have industry ramifications far outside Florida.

Most MMJ legalization laws enacted in recent years by state legislatures across the country have some form of license cap, which has typically resulted in heated competition for those licenses, usually followed by a bevy of lawsuits from companies that didn’t win permits.

“When you start looking at some of the closed systems around the country,” one of the plaintiffs told the New Times, “you start to realize that this case is sort of the battleground nationally for the free market versus the closed system debate.”

The new lawsuit’s argument is twofold, alleging that the state has violated the will of the voters by:

  • Passing enacting legislation that went against the amendment by installing a license cap.
  • Approving a law that required all licensed MMJ companies to be vertically integrated.

No date has been set for a hearing on the lawsuit.