Florida’s largest medical cannabis business, Trulieve, is asking a judge to remove limits on how many dispensaries it can open in the state, arguing that the cap “arbitrarily impairs product availability and safety” and “unfairly penalizes” industry operators, according to a CBSMiami report. The 25-dispensary limit was approved by lawmakers last year as part of the implementation of the voter-approved constitutional amendment to expand the state medical cannabis program.
The lawsuit, filed in Leon County Circuit Court, alleges that the dispensary limits violate that amendment “by arbitrarily and unreasonably depriving Trulieve of property or liberty rights without substantive due process.”
In the complaint, Trulieve attorney David Miller argues that “the right to compete statewide without restriction was an essential part of Trulieve’s business plan and a significant incentive to enter this novel business.”
The lawsuit contends that the company is unable to add 25 dispensaries throughout the state because it already has 27 locations operating or in the permitting stages.
Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers argues that the caps limit patient access.
“The restrictions force us to use extremely expensive long-distance delivery and build dispensaries on a model based on geographic distribution, not where patients live. This not only restricts access to patients in need, but forces higher prices.” – Rivers in a statement, via CBSMiami
It’s the third lawsuit claiming Florida lawmakers subverted the will of the voters when implementing the amendment. Another lawsuit, filed by attorney John Morgan – who authored the amendment and was its primary financial backer – which challenges the program’s smoking ban was allowed to proceed by a Second Circuit Court judge in January. Another lawsuit challenging the home-grow ban, filed by registered patient and strip club entrepreneur Count Joe Redner, was also allowed to proceed by the Thirteenth Circuit.