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Preliminary Injunction Sought In Medical Marijuana Battle

Stethoscope and gavel against a white backdrop.
Wikimedia Commons

Three nurseries have asked a Leon County circuit judge for a preliminary injunction to block the Florida Department of Health from moving forward with efforts to grow and process limited types of medical marijuana in parts of the state.

The nurseries, San Felasco Nurseries Inc., 3 Boys Farm Company and McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery, LLC, filed a lawsuit Feb. 2 and followed last week with a motion for a preliminary injunction.

The nurseries unsuccessfully sought last year to be chosen in three regions as "dispensing organizations" that would grow, process and dispense types of non-euphoric cannabis under a 2014 law. The Department of Health chose one nursery in each of five regions of the state for the highly sought-after licenses.

The lawsuit seeks to block the process of starting to cultivate and process the low-THC types of cannabis at nurseries in the Northeast, Central and Southwest regions while administrative challenges to the nursery-selection process remain pending.

In the motion for preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs argue that the Department of Health has continued moving forward amid the challenges.

"The (circuit) court should award preliminary injunctive relief to preserve the status quo, rather than allow the department to continue to ignore the pending administrative proceedings challenging its preliminary awards,'' the motion said.

The plaintiffs also contend that an injunction would not block the types of cannabis from becoming available to qualified patients, such as children with epilepsy. That is because the nursery selected in the Southeast region of the state, Costa Farms, does not face any administrative challenges.

While chosen in the Southeast region, Costa could distribute the medical marijuana throughout the state, according to the motion.