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Firms seek hearings on pot applications

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(News Service of Florida)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Raising nearly identical arguments, three firms are asking a state appeals court to order the Florida Department of Health to move forward with administrative hearings on their applications for medical-marijuana licenses.

MedPure, LLC, Green Point Research, LLC, and VillageDPC, LLC filed the cases last week at the 1st District Court of Appeal.

The firms filed applications last fall with the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use to try to get medical-marijuana licenses.

The appeals-court petitions allege that the department was supposed to approve or deny the applications within 90 days but did not respond until March 26. They allege the department said in March it was not accepting applications but gave no further explanation.

The firms subsequently filed for administrative hearings on the applications but said they did not receive responses from the department.

They want the Tallahassee-based appeals court to order the hearings.

“VillageDPC is twice prejudiced by OMMU’s (the Office of Medical Marijuana Use’s) delay,” said a petition in the VillageDPC case. “First, it has been prejudiced by OMMU’s failure to act within 90 days on its application for (the medical-marijuana) license. Second, after OMMU acted belatedly to reject its application, VillageDPC now is being prejudiced by OMMU’s refusal to grant a formal hearing on its entitlement to license by default.”

The petitions are part of numerous court cases that have been filed in recent years as firms seek potentially lucrative licenses to grow, process and sell medical marijuana in the state.