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A dozen companies and individuals apply for black farmer medical marijuana license

A dozen companies and individuals have applied for a potentially lucrative medical-marijuana license that state lawmakers targeted to Black farmers.

After voters approved a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana, the Legislature passed a law creating a framework for Florida’s cannabis industry. Part of that 2017 law required health officials to grant a license to “one applicant that is a recognized class member” in decades-old litigation, known as the “Pigford” cases, which addressed racial discrimination against Black farmers by federal officials.

The Florida Department of Health last year began moving forward with rules to award the license and scheduled an application period in March.

A list posted Thursday on the department website showed the names of 12 applicants, though it did not provide any additional information.

The applicants were identified as Charles Smith; Willard Meeks; Florida Urban Medical and Educational, LLC; Terry Donell Gwinn; Leola T. Robinson; FTG Development Inc.; Fred Fisher/Donald Gordon LLC; RFW Global, LLC; Moton Hopkins; Henry Crusaw; Innovative Fix, LLC; and Shedrick McGriff.

The website said the department’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use is “reviewing the submitted applications to ensure confidential and exempt information is not released to the public.”

The applications will be released after the review is finished, the website said.