A nursery in Homestead, Florida is suing the state’s Department of Health for failing to issue medical marijuana licenses as promised. Bill’s Nursery, a family-owned and operated business, seeks to grow medical marijuana. The nursery was one of the first applicants to seek a medical marijuana growing license with the Department of Health in 2015. They sought a license to cultivate low-THC, high-CBD strains of medical marijuana to help veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Department of Health was supposed to issue ten new Medical Marijuana Treatment Center licenses by October 3, 2017, and failed to do so. To this day, medical marijuana patients lack access to life-saving treatments. The nursery, along with a medical marijuana patient, sued Governor Rick Scott’s administration in late November.
Lawsuit Claims Florida is Ignoring Medical Marijuana Law
Bill’s Nursery and plaintiff Michael Bowen seek a simple outcome to their lawsuit: a judge to order the state’s health department to issue new licenses for treatment centers. Designated treatment centers are the only businesses that can legally cultivate and sell medical cannabis in Florida. While the state was supposed to issue ten licenses by October of last year, it had only approved six. Officials blamed the delay on another lawsuit challenging a separate provision of the new law.
Mr. Bowen and Bill’s Nursery claim the department is purposefully preventing patients from accessing medical marijuana treatments. Mr. Bowen suffers from epilepsy and states that medical marijuana is the only thing that can control his seizures and keep him alive.
In 2014 and 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed laws allowing patients suffering from epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms, cancer, and other terminal conditions to receive low-THC cannabis or full-strength medical marijuana. The amendment also includes people suffering from HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, and other debilitating conditions.
The state claims it is facing multiple issues, such as difficulties distributing marijuana throughout the state, which is large both by population and geographical size. Several local governments are also against nurseries growing marijuana in their counties.
Florida is one of thirty-nine states which allow medical marijuana use in some form; however, most patients who need medical marijuana do not have access to treatment that was promised to them over a year ago when Amendment 2 was passed. If you are under police investigation for cultivating medical marijuana, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to raise several defenses to protect your future. Attorney Brian Gabriel has defended those accused of drug crimes for over 30 years. Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel to discuss your case for free. Call 561-622-5575 or email us.