In an administrative challenge to Proposed Rule 64-4, Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins ruled that the proposed rules regulating low-THC cannabis, including the use of a lottery system to select five dispensing organizations statewide, are an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority. He explained that “[b]ecause arbitrary selection of dispensing organizations as provided by proposed rule 64-4.002(4)(a) is not supported by logic, reason or facts, the proposed rule itself is arbitrary, and invalid.” (p. 46). View the full 71-page final order here.

The ruling will have a profound effect on the selection process for the eligible nurseries, which will probably turn into a comprehensive merit-based selection procedure once rule-making continues. More importantly, it may delay issuance of the licenses and the official establishment of Florida’s new medical marijuana industry.