Rick Scott seeks backing on medical marijuana appeal
With a 5 p.m. Friday deadline looming, Gov. Rick Scott has sought support from legislative leaders before appealing a Tallahassee judge’s order that critics say would create pandemonium in the state’s medical-marijuana industry if allowed to stand.
Responding to Scott’s request, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, incoming Speaker Jose Oliva and other Republican House leaders on Wednesday urged the Governor to seek “immediate review by a higher court” of an order by Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who ruled this month that a 2017 medical marijuana law was unconstitutional.
The impending court deadline — and the Scott administration’s failure to file an appeal thus far — has sparked a buzz within the state’s lucrative and highly restricted medical-cannabis industry, where licenses have sold for upwards of $60 million in recent months.
Dodson gave state health officials until Friday to begin registering new medical-marijuana operators after deciding a state law, passed during a special legislative session last year, failed to properly carry out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.
Siding with Tampa-based Florigrown LLC, Dodson rebuked the Governor, the state Department of Health and the Republican-dominated Legislature for what he said was an unconstitutional law aimed at implementing