House kept out of medical marijuana lawsuit
A Tallahassee judge refused Monday to allow the House of Representatives to intervene in a medical marijuana lawsuit, saying the Republican-dominated chamber should sue the federal government if lawmakers are unhappy that he struck down a 2017 pot-related statute as unconstitutional.
Ruling from the bench during a hearing, Tallahassee Circuit Judge Charles Dodson rejected the House’s request to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Tampa-based Florigrown, owned in part by prominent strip-club operator Joe Redner.
Florigrown is challenging a state law, passed during a special legislative session last year, aimed at implementing a voter-approved 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.
Dodson ruled last month that the law — which, among other things, capped the number of medical marijuana licenses the Florida Department of Health can approve — was unconstitutional and ordered the state to begin registering Florigrown and other medical-marijuana firms to do business in the state.
The health department has appealed the case, but Dodson on Monday refused to keep his October order from going into effect during the appeal. Monday’s decision also is expected to be appealed.
Seeking to intervene in the lawsuit, the House argued that Dodson “improvidently” characterized the