State has spent $2M on legal bills for medical marijuana


As it defends a slew of cases over medical marijuana, the state of Florida has spent close to $2 million on outside lawyers. Nearly all of that went to one firm. Records reviewed last week show at least $1.9 million approved by the Department of Health (DOH) going to two law firms – mostly Vezina, Lawrence & Piscitelli, but also Shutts & Bowen. The contracts, which were usually amended for increasing amounts of money, were posted on Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis‘ Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System, or FACTS. It’s an “online tool developed to make the government contracting process in Florida more transparent.” Meantime, medicinal cannabis advocates – including Orlando attorney John Morgan – have called on term-limited Gov. Rick Scott to drop appeals of cannabis-related rulings that went against the state. That includes a case that Morgan backed, challenging the state’s ban on smoking medical marijuana. State has spent $2M on legal bills for medical marijuana

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