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Fast Track Rejected In Marijuana Growing Case

Jun 28, 2018
Originally published on June 28, 2018 7:04 am

Similar to a decision in another case involving whether patients should be able to smoke medical marijuana, an appeals court this week refused to quickly send to the Florida Supreme Court a dispute about growing medical marijuana. 

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Tuesday refused to “certify” to the Supreme Court a lawsuit filed by Tampa businessman Joe Redner, who contends he should be able to grow his own medical marijuana to try to prevent a recurrence of lung cancer. 

If the case had been certified, it effectively would have led to bypassing the appeals court. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers this spring ruled in favor of Redner, who argues that he should be allowed to grow his own marijuana under a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical cannabis in the state.

The Florida Department of Health appealed that ruling to the 1st District Court of Appeal, which has kept in place a stay on Gievers’ ruling.

In a June 11 filing requesting certification to the Supreme Court, Redner’s attorneys pointed to the “immediate health care needs of Mr. Redner and similarly situated Floridians.”

But in a one-sentence order Tuesday, the appeals court rejected the request. That decision mirrored another ruling Tuesday in a request to certify a case that challenges the constitutionality of a 2017 law barring patients from smoking medical marijuana.

Gievers found the smoking ban unconstitutional, but the state appealed her ruling.