Appellate court upholds ruling that Florida's medical marijuana law is unconstitutional

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - In a major ruling with big consequences, an appellate court has upheld a judge's ruling declaring the state's medical marijuana law unconstitutional.

The First District Court of Appeal ruled that requiring marijuana licensee’s to control all aspects of production, from seeds in the ground to selling medical marijuana, violated the amendment approved by voters. (MGN)

The First District Court of Appeal ruled that requiring marijuana licensee’s to control all aspects of production, from seeds in the ground to selling medical marijuana, violated the amendment approved by voters. Jeff Sharkey of the Medical Marijuana Business Association says it will now be up to the Department of Health to draft new regulations.

"So if you want to be a grower, if you want to be a processor, if you want to be a distributor those options appear to be what the court is saying should be consistent with the amendment," said Sharkey.

We asked if that should increase competition.

"It should, yes. I think there's a balance here. I think, on one hand, the court said that vertically integrated system is unconstitutional. On the other hand, they said registering anybody who wants to get a license for cultivation or dispensing is really not in the public interest," he said.

Earlier this year, the Governor criticized the vertical integration of the marijuana business, but he has yet to weigh in on whether DOH will appeal the ruling. Ultimately, state lawmakers will have to pass new legislation.