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Florida Supreme Court punts on Joe Redner’s home-grow cannabis case, ending the strip club owner’s fight

Redner has been fighting to grow his own pot for a prescribed juicing treatment.

The Florida Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Tampa strip club mogul Joe Redner over whether he should be allowed to grow his own cannabis to treat his lung cancer.

The appeal was filed as a discretionary jurisdiction case, meaning the court was not obligated to take up Redner’s case.

The court ruled 4-1 Friday to not take up the appeal. Justices did not cite a reason for their decision, as is typically the case in such refusals. Justice Jorge Labarga was the only one to vote in favor of hearing Redner’s case.

Redner has been fighting to gain access to home-grow since after voters approved the medical cannabis amendment in 2016. In its implementing legislation, the Florida Legislature blocked patients from being able to grow their own products.

Redner claims his doctor prescribed a juicing treatment using cannabis leaves to treat his Stage 4 lung cancer and prevent a possible relapse.

Redner found success with Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers who ruled the voter-approved constitutional amendment authorized cannabis use. But that ruling was later struck down in April by the 1st District Court of Appeal, which ruled the word “use” did not mean patients could grow or process the plant for their personal use.

Redner had argued that the constitutional amendment gave him the right as a qualified medical cannabis patient to possess and cultivate the whole plant in accordance with his doctor’s recommendation.

Redner claimed using the whole plant for juicing purposes was the most effective way to achieve medical benefit.

The three-judge appellate panel ruled the amendment’s “plain language of the constitution” did not support Redner’s argument.

The same court later declined Redner’s subsequent request to reconsider its decision. That request would have required the full appeals court to hear his case rather than the smaller three-judge panel.

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Redner sought to file an appeal with the Florida Supreme Court this summer.

In its refusal to hear Redner’s appeal, the Florida Supreme Court has exhausted Redner’s appeals.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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