FL: State Supreme Court Stays Out Of Marijuana Case

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The Florida Supreme Court on Friday refused to jump into an ongoing legal battle about whether Tampa businessman Joe Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana to try to prevent a recurrence of lung cancer.

The Supreme Court issued a one-paragraph order rejecting Redner’s request that it lift a stay imposed by the 1st District Court of Appeal and allow him to grow his own pot. The stay came after a Leon County circuit judge ruled in favor of Redner, who argues that he should be allowed to grow his own marijuana under a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical cannabis in the state.

The Florida Department of Health appealed that ruling to the 1st District Court of Appeal. Redner’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court to invoke what is known as its “all writs” authority and lift the stay, arguing that Redner could be harmed if not allowed to grow marijuana for a “juicing” treatment. Lawyers for the Department of Health, however, objected to the Supreme Court becoming involved at this point in the case.

In the order Friday, justices said Redner “has failed to demonstrate that all writs authority is necessary to protect this (Supreme) Court’s eventual jurisdiction or to prevent irreparable harm.”

Attorneys for Redner, who made his fortune in the strip-club industry, also have asked the 1st District Court of Appeal for “expedited review” of the case, with the Department of Health objecting to that request, according to an online docket.

The department argues that allowing Redner to grow his own pot would undermine the regulatory structure for medical marijuana. That structure includes the state issuing licenses to businesses that are allowed to grow, process and sell cannabis.

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