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Florida Supreme Court Upholds State's Medical Marijuana Business Scheme

photo by: Ryland Zweifel/ Adobe Stock
photo by: Ryland Zweifel/ Adobe Stock

The Florida Supreme Court has foundthe state’s medical marijuana vertical integration system is constitutional. This comes after a years-long effort by Florigrown to open the state’s medical marijuana market to more businesses. The company was denied a treatment center license in 2017.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) has been working to break up what he says is an oligopoly created by the legislature. He says the ruling is a move in the wrong direction.

“Today was a win for the legislature but a loss for the small businesses and minorities in Florida," Brandes said. "This continues the monopoly system that’s bad for patients, bad for small businesses, and bad for minorities.”

The current system only allows companies into the medical marijuana business if they can cultivate, process, transport, and dispense medical marijuana. Currently, only 22 businesses have licenses. Florigrown co-owner Jeff Marks calls the ruling a quote: “A sad day for those who think the free market is what works best.”

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to Central Florida Public Media. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. While at UCF, she was an intern for Central Florida’s public affairs show, Intersection. She joined on as Morning Edition Host in 2019. In 2022, Ms. Blake was appointed to the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalist’s board of directors.