A Leon County Circuit Court judge ruled that the state medical cannabis laws should allow Tampa Bay area, high-profile strip club owner, Joe Redner to grow the cannabis plant on his own and referred his lawsuit against the Florida department of Health for trial.
An order issued Wednesday, Judge Karen Gievers wrote that the medical marijuana laws passed in 2014 could be interpreted to allow Redner to possess a live plant.
“The statutory definitions from 2014 make clear that the plaintiff’s interpretation of the meaning of words used is supported, and justified, and the plaintiff has clearly stated a cause of action for declaratory and injunctive relief under Florida’s Constitution,” Gievers wrote.
Gievers even dismissed an argument made by an attorney for the Department of Health, the organization that regulates medical cannabis in our State, arguing that Redner never applied for a license to grow cannabis.
“Finally, it is clear that the plaintiff’s claims are ripe, given his rights under the constitution and the importance of his being able to access the medical marijuana to keep his cancer from recurring,” Gievers wrote. “The motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action, failure to exhaust administrative remedies and lack of ripeness, must be denied.”
Redner has been suffering from stage 4 lung cancer for the past 5 years, which qualifies him to legally receive cannabis as medicine in Florida. He sued the Department of Health in June, arguing that the state doesn’t allow him to procure cannabis in the form needed for his condition. Claiming that only the raw juice fresh from the cannabis plant is what he needs.
Gievers also dismissed Redner’s request to be considered to be allowed to start growing ASAP. She has ordered the Department of Health 2 weeks to respond to her order to allow him to grow, in which time a trial will be schedule.