Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Florida Department of Health v. Florigrown, LLC

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

August 27, 2019

Florida Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use, Courtney Coppola, in her official capacity as Director of the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, Scott Rivkees, M.D., in his official capacity as State Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health, and The State of Florida, Appellants,
Florigrown, LLC, a Florida limited liability company and Voice of Freedom, Inc., d/b/a Florigrown, Appellees.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. Charles W. Dodson, Judge.

          Jason Gonzalez, Rachel Nordby, and Amber Stoner Nunnally of Shutts & Bowen LLP, Tallahassee; Joe Jacquot and John MacIver of the Executive Office of Governor Ron DeSantis, Tallahassee; and Louise Wilhite-St Laurent, General Counsel, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, for Appellants.

          Katherine E. Giddings, BCS of Akerman LLP, Tallahassee, Jonathan S. Robbins of Akerman LLP, Fort Lauderdale, Ari H. Gerstin of Akerman LLP, Miami, and Luke Lirot, Clearwater, for Appellees.

          John M. Lockwood, Thomas J. Morton, and Devon Nunneley of The Lockwood Law Firm, Tallahassee, for amici curiae DFMMJ Investments, LLC d/b/a Liberty Health Sciences, Acreage Florida, Inc., 3 Boys Farm, LLC d/b/a 3 Boys Farm, and MME Florida, LLC d/b/a MedMen.

          James A. McKee of Foley & Lardner LLP, Tallahassee, for amici curiae Perkins Nursery, Inc., Deleon's Bromeliads, Inc., San Felasco Nurseries, Inc. d/b/a Harvest, and Better-Gro Companies, LLC d/b/a Columbia Care Florida.

          William D. Hall, III and Daniel R. Russell, of Dean Mead & Dunbar, Tallahassee, for amicus curiae Dewar Nurseries, Inc.


          PER CURIAM.

         The panel grants the motion for certified question. We determine that the following question proposed by appellant is one of great public importance:

Whether the plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claims that the statutory requirements of vertical integration and caps on the number of medical marijuana treatment center licenses as set forth in section 381.986(8), Florida Statutes, are in direct conflict with article X, section 29, of the Florida Constitution?

          Wolf, Makar, and Jay, JJ., concur.

         On Motion for Rehearing En Banc

On the motion of a party, a judge in regular active service on the Court requested that a vote be taken on the motion in accordance with Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.331(d)(1). All judges in regular active service that have not been recused voted on the motion. Less than a majority of those judges voted in favor of rehearing en banc. Accordingly, the motion for rehearing en banc is denied.

          Wolf, Lewis, Makar, and Bilbrey, JJ., concur.

          B.L. Thomas, Osterhaus, Jay, and M.K. Thomas, JJ., dissent.

          Ray, C.J., and Roberts, Rowe, Kelsey, and Winokur, JJ., recused.

          Makar, J., concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc.

         Florida's constitution grants the ultimate power to decide state policy to the people, who have chosen by citizens' initiative[1]to constitutionalize "Medical marijuana production, possession and use." Art. X, § 29, Fla. Const.; see id. art. XI, § 5(e) (providing that proposals to change the state constitution must be approved by sixty percent vote of the electors). In doing so, the people have in large measure elbowed out the legislative branch as the arbiter of medical marijuana policy by giving the Department of Health the compulsory and detailed authority to "issue reasonable regulations necessary for the implementation and enforcement" of the medical marijuana amendment to "ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients." Id. art. X, § 29(d) ("Duties of the Department").

         A subset of the Department's constitutional duties is to oversee all entities involved in the production and distribution of marijuana for medical use in Florida. Dubbed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs), these include any:

entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their caregivers and is registered by the Department.

Id. § 29(b)(5) (emphasis added). The constitution requires that the Department establish "[p]rocedures for the registration of MMTCs that include procedures for the issuance, renewal, suspension and revocation of registration, and standards to ensure proper security, record keeping, testing, labeling, inspection, and safety." Id. § 29(d)(1)c. (emphasis added).

         As the highlighted language makes obvious, the people have lodged wide-ranging power and control in the Department's hands to set substantive standards for regulating MMTCs that protect the public by ensuring the security, safety and testing/inspection of medical marijuana production, possession and use in Florida. This constitutional authority is presumptively self-executing. Fla. Hosp. Waterman, Inc. v. Buster, 984 So.2d 478, 486 (Fla. 2008) (noting that "modern doctrine favors the presumption that constitutional provisions are intended to be self-operating.") (citation omitted).[2] It requires no legislative action because it effects an immediate change in the law governing access to medical marijuana, establishes a detailed regulatory regime with definitions of key terms, and sets forth in reasonable detail the means for accomplishing its purpose without the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.