Tampa’s outspoken strip club entrepreneur, Joe Redner, wants to grow his own marijuana plants.
So much so that he’s filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Health, which under current rules bars Floridians from growing cannabis plants for their personal use, even those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.
Redner, 77, is a registered patient in Florida and uses cannabis products to treat conditions related to his stage-four lung cancer. While he actively purchases cannabis oil products from local dispensaries, he says he wants the right to grow his own plants, according to the suit filed in Hillsborough County last week.
“This is a health issue as far as I’m concerned,” said Redner, owner of the Mons Venus strip club in Tampa, during a phone interview with the Tampa Bay Times on Monday. “I’ve used the constitution as grounds to battle arrests in the past and I’ve gotten those arrests thrown out. It’s pretty clear to me that the constitution gives me the right to challenge this. The state is not reading the amendment, they’re not going by what it says.”
Amendment 2 overwhelmingly passed in 2016, expanding the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida from just the terminally ill and some other patients with epillepsy and cancer, to those with debilitating conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, among others.
Redner is suing for declaratory judgement and is not seeking any damages. He’s been vocal about medical marijuana in the past, including at Hillsborough County commission meetings over where dispensaries can operate. Redner’s argument is based on how the constitution defines marijuana, according to the suit. He says that the definition includes “all parts of the plant” and therefore he has a right to grow one.
“I want to