Medical Marijuana Under Attack Again In Florida

Two companies have sued the city of Miami, challenging the city's stance that federal law trumps the Florida constitution.

Miami has rejected cannabis dispensaries even though Florida voters approved the creation of a medical marijuana marketplace in the state constitution. Miami has created no new laws and relied on legal opinion that the change to the Florida Constitution was moot because federal law continues to categorize marijuana as an illegal substance.

Miami Beach, Coral Gables and other local governments approved zoning regulations, but the city has denied company's a certificate of use. Miami's zoning board recently sided with the company in an appeal, leading city administrators to challenge the board's decision before the Miami City Commission.

"We will address it in court," City Attorney Victoria Méndez said.

Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla asked: "Have any of the 31 states that have passed either recreational or medicinal marijuana done the same thing? I'm not sure if they have, but I cannot give you advice to open or allow marijuana dispensaries until we have a little more clarification," Méndez responded.

Some Miami-Dade cities, including Miami Beach, have faced lawsuits over their rules regulating dispensaries, but the industry has largely stayed away from the city of Miami.

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