The city of Miami has been sued by two firms seeking to open medical marijuana clinics, bringing the city’s position on federal law’s supersession of the Florida Constitution into question.
In 2016, Floridians voted on a referendum regarding the establishment of a medical marijuana marketplace, approving it and amending the state Constitution–yet, the Miami government has kept up its rejection of dispensaries. Rather than enacting zoning requirements or outright bans to control where dispensaries can open, Miami has elected to rely on an internal interpretation that the Constitutional amendment is irrelevant in the face of federal law which still dictates cannabis to have no medical benefit.
Meanwhile, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and other local governments reluctantly adopted zoning codes that limit where dispensaries can operate.
Patients cleared for medicinal marijuana usage may present their state-certified cards at dispensaries, of which there are over 270 in the state of Florida, according to FLDispensaries.com.
The city’s opposition to medicinal marijuana has caused issues for MRC44’s attempts to seek city permits to operate a dispensary at 90 NE 11th St. since 2019. Though initially refused a certificate of use by the city government, the company recently made an appeal backed by the Miami zoning board. In response, city officials questioned the board’s decision to the Miami City Commission.
The matter was scheduled to be resolved by the Commission on Thursday, April 22. Rather than wait for the Commission’s opinion however, MRC44, with another dispensary company, instead filed a suit in Miami-Dade Court Wednesday, April 21. The companies claim the city’s lack of ordinance regarding medical marijuana allows them to operate within the city without permits. The second company owns land at 60 NE 11th St., the same block as MRC44.
City Attorney Victoria Méndez issued a response Thursday saying, “We