Leafly challenges Florida’s ban of third-party online marijuana services

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Leafly filed a legal challenge against Florida regulators who claim the online marijuana e-commerce company violates a state law banning third-party cannabis-dispensing services.

Seattle-based Leafly argues that it doesn’t dispense marijuana products and has asked an administrative law judge to rule that the Florida Department of Health is using an “unadopted and invalid” regulation to support its claim, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“Leafly does not prepare, possess, purchase, transmit, distribute, sell or dispense any medical marijuana in Florida or elsewhere,” Seann Frazier, a lawyer representing Leafly, wrote in the legal petition, according to the newspaper.

Leafly and similar third-party websites such as I Heart Jane enable potential customers to view dispensary menus online, place orders and then pick up orders at the dispensaries.

Most, if not all, medical marijuana operators in Florida quit using such  services, the Times reported, after receiving a warning from the health department in February that they would be fined up to $5,000 per violation.

The department’s chief of staff wrote in the memo that regulators had received complaints about the practice and had determined that such services violated the law.

Leafly’s legal challenge in Florida coincides with plans to go public and expand its business.