- Five years after Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, only Black farmers will be required to shell out $146,000 to apply for a license to grow medical marijuana.
- As Commissioner Nikki Fried pointed out on social media, that sum is more than twice the approximately $60,000 the initial round of applicants paid to vie for the 22 original licenses.
- “Black farmers should have the same access to these licenses as the other 22 license holders that Florida has previously approved,” Fried laid out in a press release.
“The process was like the slow burn of a fatty (prescribed for medicinal use only, of course).
Last week, five years after Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, state officials announced an “emergency rule” that sets aside one medical marijuana license specifically for a Black farmer.
That might seem like a welcome measure to help bring equity to an industry criticized for disproportionately profiting white people, especially considering that Black Americans are more than 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than white people and that there are no Black medical marijuana operators in Florida.
But Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a former marijuana lobbyist and a current Democratic candidate for governor, expressed outrage at the news.
“The state of Florida today announced a new rule that will more than double fees ONLY for Black farmers applying for medical marijuana licenses. This new rule is discriminatory and disgusting and needs to be revised immediately.” — Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL)…”
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