Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Wednesday called for an investigation into the Department of Health’s emergency rule reserving a medical cannabis license for black farmer applicants.
Critics of the rule point to the application fee of $146,000 — more than double the $60,000 paid by applicants in the first round of medical cannabis licenses. It also stipulates that the applicant must be a member of the class of Black farmers covered under the federal Pigford v. Glickman ruling.
Fried said both requirements signal potential discriminatory intent and sent a letter to Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel, Sen. Ben Albritton and Rep. Rick Roth asking for an investigation.
“These Black farmers were involved in the Pigford lawsuit after suffering discriminatory practices by the federal government, and now FDOH is incomprehensibly subjecting them to the emergency rule’s new financial and regulatory burdens that only apply to the Black farmers. I am deeply concerned that the rule was created with discriminatory intent. However, regardless of the intent, it will most certainly have a discriminatory effect,” she wrote.
The letter continues, “While I urge FDOH to immediately revise this discriminatory rule and ensure equity for all license applicants, I also request that your offices immediately begin an investigation to determine if the rule was created with discriminatory intent. Florida’s Black farmers deserve and demand answers, accountability, and equal access to the state’s medical marijuana industry.”
“Senate panel eyes state group health insurance plan, premiums” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics
“White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11” via Zeke Miller and Lindsey Tanner of The Associated Press
“Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school massacre. Will it spare him from Death Row?” via David Ovalle of the Miami Herald
“‘I don’t think he deserves mercy.’ Victim by victim, bullet by bullet, details of Stoneman Douglas massacre shared in court as gunman pleads guilty” via Rafael Olmeda, Brittany Wallman and Brooke Batinger of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Gov. Ron DeSantis vows to ‘fortify’ protesting school parents” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“The other vaccine issue: Routine childhood shots post ‘alarming’ decline during pandemic” via Skyler Swisher of the Orlando Sentinel
“Roll over, Cuties, University of Florida plans Gator Bite mandarin oranges” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics
“For decades, only two women have been Florida Senate Presidents; Kathleen Passidomo will be the third” via Danielle J. Brown of the Florida Phoenix
“The Supreme Court’s conservative revolution is already happening” via Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Laura Bronner of FiveThirtyEight
“Why so many teachers are thinking of quitting” via Leslie Gray Streeter of The Washington Post
“Joe Biden faces deadline for release of more JFK assassination papers” via Jefferson Morley and Rex Bradford of The Intercept
“Dave Chappelle vs. trans people vs. Netflix” via Aja Romano of Vox
Quote of the Day
“We are going to be fortifying parents’ rights. I mean, the Parents Bill of Rights was good, but I don’t think it was written with the idea that you would face intransigent officials to the extent that we would. There’s going to be things that are going to be fortified on top of what’s been done.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on providing parents with more rights to fight back against school masking and other policies.
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