MJ Biz Report: Florida agricultural commissioner, Nikki Fried, calls for probe into Black farmer cannabis license

Florida’s agricultural commissioner is calling for the state’s top prosecutor to investigate a new rule that provides for a Black farmer medical marijuana license, saying it is discriminatory against Black farmers and “beyond unacceptable.”


Agricultural commissioner Nikki Fried, who also is running for governor, is critical of a nonrefundable $146,000 application fee for the license and other extensive requirements, according to a letter to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.


The application fee is more than double what was paid by the initial group of MMJ operators in the state.

Florida marijuana regulators passed an emergency rule last week to establish a process for issuing an MMJ license for one Black farmer in the state’s fast-growing, billion-dollar industry.

The state’s 2017 medical marijuana law required a license to be issued to a Black farmer who was part of a class action discrimination lawsuit in the late 1990s against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



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