Rewind to a year ago, when John Morgan sued the state of Florida, arguing that the prohibition of smoking dried cannabis flower for medical purposes is unconstitutional. The judge ruled in his favor to allow marijuana flower sales in Florida. However, directly afterward, then-Governor Rick Scott filed an appeal, preventing flower sales from moving forward until the appeal was resolved. Though times are changing, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this afternoon plans to drop his predecessors appeal, which will finally allow for medical marijuana flower sales by licensed dispensaries in Florida.
“I want to have the elected representatives write the law in a way the people intended, so we’ll give them a couple of weeks in session to address the smoking issue, and if they don’t do it, we’re going to dismiss the case and move on,” DeSantis said.
Legislation initially failed in 2014, though Florida voters later approved the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative on November 8, 2016 – known as Amendment 2. This law required a super-majority vote of at least 60 percent to successfully pass, and 71 percent voted yes. Efforts were led by Morgan to get the medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot.
However, smoking dried cannabis flower was still illegal. Lawmakers limited its scope to only oils, sprays, tinctures, edibles and vaping. Smoking the cannabis flower was deliberately excluded, as lawmakers felt it would pave a road to allowing recreational use. On the other hand, Morgan began publicizing the matter with the slogan, “No smoke is a joke.”
Before the press conference, alongside DeSantis, Morgan stated, “What’s next is no smoke is no longer a joke. It’s a victory for the people of Florida.” He continued saying, “Litigation should always be the last resort … Negotiation should be the best resort. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to step back a few inches, give them a chance to get it right and if they don’t get it right, then they’re going to get it another way.”
DeSantis also stated he wants the amended law to address licensing limits. “They created a cartel, essentially,” he said. “That is not good policy, so I’d like them to address that as well.”