Florida judge calls out Gov. DeSantis MMJ license inaction, World Anti-Doping Agency doubles down on anti-cannabis stance, and MMA Fighter and medical cannabis advocate Elias Theodoru passes away.
Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.
Florida Judge Slams Gov. DeSantis Over MMJ License Delays
Florida’s ever expanding medical cannabis program of over 700,000 patients has hit a major roadblock. The states Department of Health (DOH)—under the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis—is refusing to grant additional medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) licenses. Now, hopeful license seekers are taking to the courts to fight back against the DOH’s inaction.
For the record, the DOH’s continued withholding of MMTC licenses is completely illegal. The 2017 law which created the framework of the states medical cannabis program requires that the DOH grant new licenses to keep up with the increasing number of certified patients. So, whats the hold up?
According to Gov. DeSantis, the DOH is pausing its MMTC application process until the 2017 law finishes its stint in litigation. Only one problem—the 2017 law has already finished its stint in litigation with the state’s Supreme Courtdeciding to uphold its statutes.
With the courts precedent on their side, various applicants have sued the DOH in hopes of obtaining licenses. One of these lawsuits came from Louis Del Favero Orchids Inc. which took the DOH to Tallahassee appeals court.
Though the Tallahassee court ultimately sided with the DOH—they did acknowledge the DOH is not acting in good faith. Judge Ross Bilbrey suggested the DOH “open the application window” warning that continued inaction will make it “necessary for a potential licensee to ‘seek judicial relief to compel compliance with the department’s constitutional duties.”
What do you think of Florida’s ongoing MMTC license legal battles? Let us know in the comments!
World Anti-Doping Agency To Keep Cannabis on Banned Substance List
Last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) came under fire for their suspension of U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson following a positive cannabis test. Many argued that cannabis’s place on the banned substances list was unwarranted considering the plant provides no performance enhancing properties. Unfortunately, it looks like criticism did not sway the WADA as the organization is expected to keep cannabis on its banned substance.
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In a statement, the WADA revealed that it took some time to reconsider cannabis’ place on the list at the request of “a small number” of countries anti-doping agencies. However—after consulting with an expert panel—the WADA decided to keep the list as is. The WADA noted that its cannabis policies were incredibly lenient as is with minimal suspensions for violations.
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart, voiced his disappointment at the WADA’s decision. Tygart said he does not believe athletes should be penalized for positive cannabis test. Instead, Tygart said the WADA should follow the USADA’s example and only punish athletes if the organization can prove the athlete is using cannabis to gain a competitive advantage.
The WADA will to make its decision public after its executive committee meeting on September 23rd.
What do you think of the WADA keeping cannabis on its banned substance list? Do you agree with Travis Tygart’s advice to the organization? Let us know in the comments!
Remembering Elias Theodoru: MMA Fighter and Medical Cannabis Advocate
Veriheal is saddened to report the death of MMA fighter and cannabis advocate Elias Theodoru. The Toronto native passed away from cancer on Monday September, 11th at the age of 34.
Theodoru’s accolades in the ring are only surpassed by his contributions as a cannabis advocate.
In 2020, Theodoru became the first Canadian athlete to earn a cannabis exemption. Theodoru made history again in 2021 when Colorado granted him a similar medical cannabis exemption—a first in the U.S.
We wish nothing but the best for Theodoru’s friends and family during this difficult time.
Mexico-born and California-raised, Cesar is a Marketing Associate at Veriheal. When he’s not scouring social media for the latest internet drama, you can find him working on yet another collage project.
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