A judge in Tallahassee has ordered health officials to stop the process which would allow a black farmer to be granted a marijuana license.
The license is one of 10 coveted new pot licenses that have been approved by the Legislature this year.
Florida’s state Office of Medical Marijuana Use was supposed to grant the licenses by October 3rd but has not started applications for some new licenses. The delay could be due to the lawsuit over the constitutionality of carving out a black farmer.
According to a law, a black farmer that receives one of the 10 licenses, must be a member of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association-Florida Chapter.
It’s under the law that one of the 10 licenses must go to a grower who had been part of settled lawsuits, known as the “Pigford” cases, about discrimination against black farmers by the federal government.
Columbus Smith, the black farmer from Panama City is part of the Pigford litigation but has not been allowed to join the black farmer’s association.
This week Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson granted Smith’s request for a temporary injunction “on the bases stated by plaintiffs in their motion. The motion focuses on the part of the law dealing with the black farmers.
Wilbur Brewton, a lawyer representing Smith, told The News Service of Florida, “The court granted the motion based on the particular statute that we challenged, and not on anything else.”
Bewton and lawyers who are representing Florida told Judge Dodson that they want the case to be resolved by June of next year.