Lawsuit and hurricane damage prevent Florida from issuing medical licenses

Lawsuit+and+hurricane+damage+prevent+Florida+from+issuing+medical+licenses

Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

According to new state reports, Florida will not meet the deadline for distributing medical cannabis producer licenses.

An amendment passed earlier this year designated producer licenses to be distributed by Oct. 3, but state officials said the program will be delayed and sales will not begin on time.

Christian Bax, executive director of Florida’s medical cannabis office, said the delay was partly due to the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, in addition to a lawsuit filed by a Florida resident who claimed the medical cannabis program is unfair to minority producers.

The plaintiff alleges the medical cannabis program’s initial distribution of licenses discriminated against African-American farmers by only allowing members of a private organization to receive the license reserved for one African-American farmer.

Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) said a new deadline to issue the remaining five licenses have not been announced, but the office said it is focusing on getting the program’s regulations correct the first time and getting patients access as quickly as possible.