By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
According to a ruling issued on February 26, 2016, Florida health officials wrongfully denied an application from a Gainesville nursery in competition to become one of the state’s five medical marijuana dispensing organizations. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) erroneously disqualified Daniel Banks and San Felasco Nurseries.
Level 2 Screening.
The erroneous disqualification was a result of the nursery’s owner or manager allegedly failing a level 2 background screening. San Felasco Nurseries was one of five nurseries vying for a license in Florida, but lost due to Daniel Banks’ reported Kansas conviction for a drug crime more than a decade ago. Florida state law currently bans convicted felons from being owners or managers of dispensing organizations.
Drug Crime in Kansas, Not Florida.
Banks, is reported to have pleaded “no contest” to illegal possession of a drug in Kansas in 2004. While the crime is a felony in Florida, under Kansas law it is a misdemeanor. According to Administrative Law Judge R. Bruce McKibben: “. . . and since he was charged in Kansas, not in Florida, his crime was a misdemeanor, not a felony, for purposes of determining whether it was a disqualifying offense.”
Judge McKIbben has a very good reputation among Florida’s administrative law judges. What he was referring to, of course, is the requirement that one state give “full faith and credit” to the acts or other states. This is a requirement of the U.S. Constitution. Thus if Kansas treats the matter as a misdemeanor, Florida must give full faith and credit to Kansas’s decision. Florida is not allowed to go behind that decision and say: “No this is really a felony.”
Judge McKibben’s ruling on February 26, 2016, is the latest in the battle over a 2014 Florida law that authorizes non-euphoric medical marijuana for patients with chronic seizures or cancer.
To read more on the selection of nurseries for medical marijuana in Florida, click here to read of my previous blogs.
Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.
The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.
To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Kam, Dara. “Judge Rules for Pot Applicant.” Orlando Sentinel. (Fenruary 28, 2016). Print.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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