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420 with CNW — Florida Gives Black Farmers Medical Cannabis Licenses Under Newly Enacted Law

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The state of Florida has awarded medical cannabis business licenses to two Black farmers under a bill that was signed into law last month. Governor Ron DeSantis signed Bill HB 387 into law in late June, finally giving members of the Black farming community a chance to enter the state’s mammoth medical marijuana industry.

The legislation was originally written to allow eligible doctors to use telehealth to renew medical cannabis patient licenses but was later amended to include language that would address the issue of providing Black farmers with Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) licenses. These farmers had been part of a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which was sued in the 1990s for racially discriminating against Black farmers in its farm loan and assistance allocation.

Florida’s medical marijuana law requires that at least one medical cannabis business license go to an African-American farmer covered by the class action litigation. But while the state’s medical cannabis bill became law in 2017, the state Department of Health began applications procedures for this special license in 2022.

Regulators initially intended to issue the license to one Black farmer, but other applicants held up the process after making an administrative and legal challenge. Lawmakers responded by passing HB 387, a bill that ordered the Florida Department of Health to issue licenses to all eligible applicants.

Soon after Governor DeSantis signed the measure into law, the state health department issued two licenses to 12 of the individuals who applied for the special licenses in 2022. The legislation also requires the department to approve license applications for applicants who were considered to have met all licensing requirements by an administrative judge.

Terry Donnel Gwinn and Shedrick McGriff are now the first Black farmers to receive a license to cultivate, process and sell medical marijuana. These two farmers were the only ones among the 12 applicants to meet the condition of having no deficiencies in their medical marijuana applications. Furthermore, the two managed to submit the $5 million bond required by the state before they could receive their licenses and begin operations.

Black Americans have had a sordid history with cannabis and cannabis criminalization in the country. For decades, they have been much more likely to be arrested for cannabis use despite similar use rates as white Americans and are also more likely to receive much harsher sentences. As a result, most states included social-equity provisions in their cannabis laws to ensure that Black Americans had the chance to benefit from an industry that was once used to persecute them.

Although Florida doesn’t have a particularly stellar record with cannabis social equity, this development shows that regulators are trying to reinvest in the Black community.

As more equity applicants join the marijuana industry, there will be more opportunities for various companies such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) to register increased sales to the different entities participating in the value chain.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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