A new law that protects five nurseries may have given more ammunition to “ganjapreneurs” seeking an entree into what could be one of the nation’s largest medical marijuana markets come this fall.
The law was intended to inoculate from pending legal challenges the five growers—and their teams of consultants and investors—selected by Florida health officials in November to serve as medical marijuana dispensing organizations, responsible for growing, processing and distributing cannabis products to a limited population of patients.
While the law did just that, it also gave at least one losing applicant new grounds for its existing complaint.
Another losing hopeful, whose application was rejected because it was delivered 27 minutes after a deadline, is trying to convince a Tallahassee judge that it deserves a license because, the nursery claims, health officials bent the rules for other applicants.
Over the past two years, the state has spent nearly $500,000 on private lawyers to represent the Department of Health in legal challenges that have delayed implementation of a 2014 law that first opened the door for medical marijuana in Florida.