A homegrown, backyard cannabis plant a few weeks before harvest.

Graham Abbott

Judge Rules Florida MMJ Patient Can Home-Grow; Stay Ordered as State Appeals

A Florida judge has ruled that strip club owner Joe Redner, a stage 4 lung cancer survivor, can legally grow his own cannabis “solely for the purpose of his emulsifying the biomass he needs for the juicing protocol recommended by his physician,” the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Florida Department of Health immediately filed an appeal.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers also found “that the Florida Department of Health has been, and continues to be non-compliant with the Florida constitutional requirements” approved by voters in 2016. Although the judge’s ruling only applies to Redner, it could open the door for other medical cannabis patients to sue the state to allow them to grow their own medicine.

“With this order, (patients) can go to their doctor now, and as long as they have a good enough reason to need to possess a plant, be it because they can’t afford the medicine at the dispensaries, as long as they have a recommendation anyone should be allowed to grow. The cat is out of the bag. There’s no way to stop this now.” – Redner to the Times

However, the state’s appeal will prevent Redner from cultivating cannabis right away. His attorney, Luke Lirot, said he will try to lift that stay during the appeals process, which could take years.

Jay Wolfson, a professor at Stetson University College of Law and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, told the Times that he expects this case will ultimately land in the state supreme court.

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