State of Florida Sued by Patients and Producers Alliance
Florida has had far more than its share of obstacles in its quest to settle on medical marijuana. Reasonable Floridians believe that organizing a program, which over 71% of the population voted for, should not be rocket science nor should it be a closed capitalist enterprise for a chosen few.
Having said that… “There really isn't a lot of opportunity," according to Aaron Nevins, president of South Florida’s Patients and Producers Alliance (PAPA). "You have a couple of people that own a majority of the licenses. A lot of them are selling for very inflated valuations — they're flipping for $40 to $50 million — and they're not even producing any product."
And the state of Florida seems to be encouraging this model, which is “putting profit above patients…allowing corporate America to stamp out any competition,” Nevins adds.
But, this practice happens to be unconstitutional, say Nevins’ Patients and Producers Alliance and Jordan Huffer of Synergy Wellness, and they’re going to court to prove it.
They filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health on February 14 in Leon County, Florida.
"You're seeing regional players trying to figure out how to monopolize this market for not only THC, but any other compound coming out of marijuana that is beneficial," said Huffer.
It seems they have a point. So far, only 13 licenses have been issued to marijuana producers in Florida.
The lawsuit, one of at least seven other ongoing suits against the state over its pot rules, seeks to oblige the state to open up its licensing process, thus giving more Floridians access to medical marijuana.
"On the state level," Nevins says, "our lawsuit is essentially the lawsuit to end all the other lawsuits."
Stay tuned. There’s never a dull moment in Florida.