In a rare move, the Supreme Court of Florida has asked for a second round of oral arguments in the Florigrown matter. As we wrote about here, this case will determine whether Florida’s medical marijuana licensing framework, which effectively requires vertical integration by each licensee, is constitutional.
After losing at the circuit and appellate court levels, the Florida Department of Health appealed to the state’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held a hearing in the matter on May 6, 2020. After that hearing, the justices asked for additional briefing focused on whether the 2017 law, which was designed to carry out the 2016 Constitutional Amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana, violated a constitutional provision that bars “special” laws that, generally, are intended to benefit specific entities. Yesterday, the Supreme Court directed the Florida Department of Health and Florigrown to appear again on October 7, 2020 for further oral arguments.
The Court’s request is unusual and underscores the complexity of the issues this case. The stakes are high, and given that arguments will not be held until mid-fall, we do not expect a decision until closer to year-end. In the meantime, the Florida medical marijuana market remains in a state of purgatory. But as we discussed here, adult-use may be on the ballot in 2022.