‘We’re wasting a lot of time’: Lawyers debate Florida’s medical marijuana law

A seemingly skeptical three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal on Tuesday heard arguments on whether to reverse a preliminary lower court order requiring state health officials to immediately start registering medical marijuana providers to do business.

At one point, Judge T. Kent Wetherell II mused, “It seems to me we’re wasting a lot of time discussing a statute that doesn’t matter anymore.”

He later told lawyer Katherine E. Giddings of the Akerman firm, representing the Tampa-based firm Florigrown, “you may very well win” at trial level, saying the state law implementing the 2016 state constitutional amendment allowing medicinal cannabis was “much more restrictive” than the amendment itself.

The Department of Health appealed in October after Tallahassee Circuit Judge Charles Dodson sided with Florigrown in a dispute about how the state is carrying out the amendment. The department regulates the drug through its Office of Medical Marijuana

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