4 April, 2019
Tampa's strip club king, Joe Redner, strikes out on homegrown medical pot
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from tampabay.com.
Prominent Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner doesn't have the legal right to grow his own medical marijuana to combat lung cancer, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers, who last year gave Redner the go-ahead to grow marijuana for juicing purposes.
Redner's lawsuit rested on a voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in Florida in 2016.
Redner's lawyers argued that, because he is a qualified patient, the constitutional amendment gave him the right to possess and use the whole growing plant and process his own marijuana.
Redner's doctor ordered a juicing treatment that uses live marijuana plants to prevent a relapse of stage 4 lung cancer, according to court documents. Emulsification, or juicing, of the "biomass of the marijuana plant" was determined to be "the most effective way" for Redner "to get the benefit of medical marijuana," Gievers decided.
But a three-judge panel of the appellate court found that Redner's interpretation of the amendment "is not supported by the plain language of the Constitution and renders portions of the Constitution meaningless."
The amendment allows qualified patients to "acquire, possess, use, deliver, transfer, and administer marijuana in amounts that do not conflict" with Florida Department of Health rules, judges T. Kent Wetherell and Scott Makar and Associate Judge Monica Brasington wrote in Wednesday's eight-page order.
"The term 'use' is not defined by the amendment. However, it is clear, when one examines the entire amendment, that 'use' does not mean 'grow' or 'process,' as Mr. Redner argues," the ruling said.
While the amendment outlines specific permission given to medical marijuana treatment centers that are licensed by the state to operate pot businesses, there "is no explicit language authorizing qualified patients to grow, cultivate, or process marijuana," the judges found.
"Had the drafters intended for qualified patients to be able to cultivate or process medical marijuana, that language would have been included in the definition of medical use