Florida judge rules Tampa cancer patient can grow his own marijuana


A Tallahassee judge ruled Wednesday that a Tampa cancer patient can legally grow his own marijuana.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that strip club owner Joe Redner will be allowed to grow and harvest cannabis "solely for the purpose of his emulsifying the biomass he needs for the juicing protocol recommended by his physician." The ruling only applies to Redner, a 77-year-old vegan with stage 4 lung cancer – no other medical marijuana patients would qualify under this order.

Redner sued the Florida Department of Health after the agency said that under state law, registered medical marijuana patients were not allowed to grow their own cannabis.

"Florida law only allows the licensed dispensing organizations to grow, process and dispense marijuana," the health department states on its website. "The department will refer any business or individual suspected of violating state law to local law enforcement for investigation."

But Redner argued he was entitled to grow his own medical marijuana because he needs the raw plant for the treatment his state-certified doctor has prescribed him. Medical cannabis dispensaries across the state do not provide this product. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers said the state Health Department's Office of Medical Marijuana Use was being "non-compliant" with the requirements set by voters who approved Amendment 2 for expanded medical marijuana use in Florida.

"The Court finds that Florida's Constitution provides Mr. Redner's right to grow his own medical marijuana so he can follow his physician's recommendation," Gievers wrote in her ruling. "Until and unless the [Florida Department of Health] stops violating its Constitutional duty and adopts the mandated presumptive regulation, the evidence clearly demonstrates that Mr. Redner is entitled to follow the recommendations of his certified physician."

The Times reports Florida Department of Health will probably appeal the judge's ruling, which could block Redner from immediately growing medical cannabis.

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