July 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — A state appellate court has ruled that Florida’s approach to regulating marijuana is unconstitutional.

If the ruling stands, it could force state officials to lift existing caps on how many medical marijuana treatment centers can operate in a state poised to become one of the country’s most lucrative markets for the drug.

Tuesday’s ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee was another setback for Florida officials trying to more tightly regulate the burgeoning marijuana industry. It mostly affirmed a lower court’s ruling that said the caps and operational requirements violated the voter-approved constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

Ever since, the law has been a constant subject of debate in the legislature and courts.

It was unclear whether Florida officials would appeal the ruling.