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News Service of Florida

A state law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional, a Tallahassee judge ruled late Friday.

Pot Rule Could Lead To More Challenges, Delays

May 25, 2018

Businesses seeking to enter Florida’s pot industry warned state health officials Thursday of numerous flaws in a proposed rule that would expand the number of medical marijuana operators but could lead to further delays in a process that’s already months overdue.

State Urges Supreme Court To Stay Out Of Pot Case

May 21, 2018

Lawyers for the state asked the Florida Supreme Court to stay out of a legal battle, at least for now, over whether a lung-cancer patient can grow his own marijuana.

Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner this week asked the high court to step in while the dispute is under appeal.

A Tallahassee judge in April ruled that Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana for “juicing.”

Redner and his lawyers maintain that juicing is the best way to prevent his lung cancer, now in remission, from recurring.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Arguing that “emergency relief is clearly warranted and urgently needed,” attorneys for a Tampa businessman are asking the Florida Supreme Court to step into a legal battle and allow the lung-cancer patient to grow medical marijuana for his own use.

On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Marijuana legalization wasn't supposed to look like this.

Five years into its experiment with legal, regulated cannabis, Washington state is finding that pot still attracts criminals.

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Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks to Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve; Daniel Elias, president of Pharmacology University, a medical marijuana education program; and Darrin Potter, Chief Horticulture Officer at GrowHealthy in Lake Wales. GrowHealthy and Trulieve are licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and are authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana in Florida. They tell us that you're going to need very deep pockets to get started in the medical cannabis business in Florida.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

More and more Floridians every week are signing up for access to medical marijuana, and with over 100,000 patients already on the registry, there is clearly money to be made.

Mark, flickr

Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly available in Florida despite ongoing court battles over state regulations for the young industry. We're talking with people who work in the business this week on Florida Matters.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Tampa strip club owner and cancer patient Joe Redner is vowing to take his fight to grow medical marijuana for his personal use to the Florida Supreme Court.

Appeals Court Blocks ‘Homegrown’ Marijuana Ruling

May 2, 2018

Siding with the state Department of Health, an appeals court Tuesday at least temporarily blocked a Tampa businessman from being able to grow marijuana as he seeks to prevent a relapse of lung cancer.

State Offers Framework For Pot Licenses

May 2, 2018

More than six months after an Oct. 3 deadline to issue new medical-marijuana licenses, the Florida Department of Health has released a proposed rule outlining an application process for potential operators in what could be one of the nation’s largest cannabis markets.

This week on Florida Matters we'll talk about some of the latest news impacting our state during another edition of our monthly reporters’ roundtable.


Medical Marijuana Patient Number Tops 100,000

Apr 23, 2018

Florida’s medical-marijuana patient database has hit the 100,000 mark, according to a weekly update issued by the state Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

A closely watched medicine made from the marijuana plant reduces seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy and warrants approval in the United States, health officials said Tuesday.

For the second time in less than a week, a Tallahassee judge has given Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner the go-ahead to grow his own pot, rejecting a request from state health officials to keep in place a stay blocking the cancer survivor from cultivating medical marijuana.

Joe Redner Senate Campaign 2016 / Facebook

Tampa strip club owner and cancer patient Joe Redner can use medical marijuana he grows on his own, a Leon County Circuit judge ruled Wednesday.

The Florida Legislature has grown tired of the Department of Health’s lack of progress on medical marijuana rules. The frustration has led DOH to conduct a series of workshops to move forward on the issue. The most recent one focused on pesticide use. 

Lawmakers Blast Agency Over Marijuana Rules

Feb 6, 2018

A joint legislative oversight committee delivered a public shaming to Florida pot czar Christian Bax on Monday, repeatedly chiding the state health official and others as they sat silently while the panel shredded regulations intended to carry out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.


House Targets Medical Marijuana Office

Feb 1, 2018

The House on Wednesday froze $2.1 million in salary and expenses at the Department of Health for failing to respond to concerns raised by a joint legislative committee over a trio of emergency rules relating to medical marijuana.

Lawmakers Could Revamp Black Farmer Marijuana Issue

Feb 1, 2018

Florida health officials have blamed delays in issuing new medical marijuana licenses on a court fight about a law requiring one of the coveted licenses to go to a black farmer who meets certain criteria.

Judge Allows Smokable Pot Case To Proceed

Jan 29, 2018

A lawsuit centered on whether patients can smoke medical marijuana will move forward after a Tallahassee judge refused to grant the state’s motion to dismiss the case.

Judge Weighs Ban On Smoking Medical Marijuana

Jan 26, 2018

After spending more than five years pleading with the Florida Legislature to legalize medical marijuana, Cathy Jordan and her husband, Bob, were back in Tallahassee on Thursday.

A New York-based company has purchased a Central Florida pot operation for $43 million in cash and stock, amid expectations that the industry will explode following the voter-approved legalization of medical marijuana more than a year ago.

Judge Halts Black Farmer Marijuana License

Jan 2, 2018

A Tallahassee judge Thursday ordered health officials to stop the process of granting a marijuana license to a black farmer, one of 10 coveted new pot licenses approved by the Legislature this year.

Judge To Hear Arguments On Black Farmer Pot License

Dec 12, 2017

A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments Thursday on a request for a temporary injunction to block the Florida Department of Health from carrying out part of a new law that calls for issuing a medical-marijuana license to a black farmer.

If you run a business in Florida, you have the right to maintain a drug-free workplace. But does that apply to drugs prescribed by a doctor — like medical marijuana and opioid painkillers?

A Florida nursery and a man who suffers from epilepsy filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Gov. Rick Scott's administration that contends that state officials are flouting the state's new medical marijuana law.

Marijuana ID Contract Challenge Dropped

Nov 22, 2017

A vendor that lost out on a lucrative contract to process medical-marijuana patient identification cards has dropped a legal challenge, according to documents filed Tuesday.

After hearing a litany of complaints from lawmakers, state health officials are moving forward with a contested contract to process medical-marijuana patient identification cards.

Amid a legal battle about the issue, a Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would undo a ban on patients smoking medical marijuana.

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