Court rules Redner can grow his own medical marijuana

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A court has concluded that Joe Redner can grow his own marijuana under the guidelines set forth by his doctor to treat his cancer.

Redner sued the state for the right to grow his own marijuana under Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment, which was adopted in 2016.

Redner uses an emulsified form of the marijuana plant, also called “juicing” in court documents.

Redner’s suit contended he should be able to grow his own marijuana because the raw plant needed for emulsification is not available from medical marijuana treatment centers.

"You look at that amendment, you know what you can do and what you can't do and what the state can do and what they can't do," Redner told FOX 13 News.

The Florida Department of Health, however, says Florida law dictates patients may not possess growing marijuana plants.

The department is referring to Amendment 2, which does not specify that patients may not possess growing plants. The court pointed this out Wednesday when it gave the decision for the case.

On Wednesday, the Circuit Court in Leon County found Redner “is entitled to possess, grow and use marijuana for juicing, solely for the purpose of his emulsifying the biomass he needs for the juicing protocol recommended by his physician.”

"I don't know if anybody knows about aggressive chemo, it is one of the worst conditions you could ever be in," Redner described. "Marijuana relaxes you, lets you lose yourself from all the pain and thinking about your body all the time."

The court’s decision states Redner may not share the plants, in any amount or form, with anyone else.

The ruling states the Florida Department of Health, which is responsible for creating guidelines for medical marijuana based on the amendment passed by Florida, “has been, and continues to be, non-compliant with the Florida Constitutional requirements.”

The ruling takes the Florida Department of Health to task, saying it has not performed the actions set forth in the voter-passed amendment, such as defining what amount of marijuana constitutes an “adequate supply” for a patient to be allowed to possess.

It also states the department has purposefully limited access to medical marijuana by denying registrations to new dispensaries and restricted patients’ ability to possess plants in accordance with a doctor’s instructions.

It is unclear what this ruling will mean for others seeking to possess growing plants in order to comply with their own doctor’s orders for treatment.

Some hope the ruling will set a precedent for future cases.

"I'm happy for all the people of the state of Florida that are patients who need this medicine,” Redner said. "They can go to their doctor, if they have a legal right to medicinal marijuana, they can tell the doctor, 'I can't afford it -- the only way I can afford it is to grow my own.'"

The ruling puts more pressure on the Florida Department of Health to create guidelines based on and mandated by Amendment 2, which was voted into law in 2016.

Without the guidelines lawmakers are required to formulate, Florida’s medical marijuana industry will remain at a standstill. And patients will continue to go without the care Floridians voted for them to have.