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Court of Appeal of Florida, First District
April 17, 2020, Decided
No. 1D19-2736, No. 1D19-2737
[*319] Wolf, J.
This appeal is a consolidation of two cases, 1D19-2736 and 1D19-2737, which both raise the same issue and the same arguments. The appellants, MedPure and Green Point Research, are Florida corporations established to operate a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) in Florida. Appellants argue that the Department of Health (the Department) erred in dismissing their petitions for formal administrative hearings concerning their requests to be licensed to operate MMTCs.
The appellants first argue that the Department should have allowed hearings on their claims that they were entitled to default licenses pursuant to section 120.60(1), Florida Statutes (2019). We determine that they were not entitled to default licensure because their bare bones [**2] filings were insufficient to constitute an application. In addition, the Department had adopted an emergency rule providing that applications were not being accepted at that time; therefore, the unauthorized and insufficient filings did not trigger the Department's responsibilities to respond pursuant to section 120.60, Florida Statutes.
The appellants next argue that the Department violated its constitutional responsibility to accept applications pursuant to article X, section 29 of the Florida Constitution. We determine, based on the clear constitutional language, this claim is properly brought in the courts rather than as part of an administrative licensing proceeding. Further, the relief sought by appellants—immediate issuance of a license to operate an MMTC as a result of the Department's failure to follow their constitutional duties—was unavailable based on public policy concerns expressed by the court in Florida Department of Health v. Florigrown, 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 10705, 2019 WL 2943329 *1 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019). We, therefore, affirm.
The Medical Marijuana Amendment was approved by Florida voters in 2016, and it went into effect on January 3, 2017. The Amendment is codified at article X, section 29 of the Florida Constitution. The Amendment defines a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center as follows:
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295 So. 3d 318 *; 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 5244 **; 45 Fla. L. Weekly D 925; 2020 WL 1898869
MEDPURE, LLC, Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, Appellee.GREEN POINT RESEARCH, LLC, Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] On appeal from the Department of Health. Michele Tallent, Deputy Secretary for Operations.
license, licensure, registering, default, registration, medical marijuana, constitutional duty, deemer, injunction, letters
Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Licenses, Healthcare Law, Business Administration & Organization, Facility & Personnel Licensing