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Medical marijuana; St. Johns County transgender ruling; Rick Steves; ‘What’s Good Wednesday’

Drew Adams' transgender bathroom case was heard in a federal appeals court.
Ron Harris
/
Associated Press
Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

State health regulators are looking to issue up to 22 more medical marijuana licenses to operators around Florida — a move that could double the size of the state’s medical cannabis market.

But there’s a catch: It’s going to cost a lot more to operate medical marijuana businesses in the Sunshine State.

With more than 22 million residents and an aging population, Florida is viewed as one of the hottest medical marijuana markets in the country. The state had more than $1 billion in medical marijuana sales in the first six months of 2022.

Guest: local attorney Sally Kent Peebles, a partner with Vicente Sederberg and a member of the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.

Transgender lawsuit in St. Johns County

After a five-year legal battle, a sharply divided federal appeals court has upheld a St. Johns County School Board policy that prevented a transgender male student from using the boys’ bathroom at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 7-4 decision said the policy did not violate the constitutional equal protection rights of Drew Adams. Adams was required to use a gender-neutral, single-stall bathroom or girls’ bathrooms while a student at Nease High School.

The court’s majority also said the policy did not violate Title IX, a federal law that prevents discrimination based on sex in education programs.

Guest: Jim Saunders, executive editor of the News Service of Florida.

What’s hot in travel

As the new year begins, you may be thinking of planning a trip or two. Travel expert Rick Steves has plenty of ideas on that front.

Melissa spoke with Steves to learn more about his own travel plans for 2023 and how we can plan our own adventures, with tips on everything from choosing a destination to packing light and right.

He also discusses the Rick Steves Festival of Europe and how you can be a part of it.

Guest: Rick Steves, TV and radio host

What’s Good Wednesday

  • Celebrate the new year during the First Wednesday Art Walk of the year from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and explore three major hubs: James Weldon Johnson Park, The Jessie (duPont Center) and Melanin Market at the Breezeway at Vystar Tower.
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson, award-winning astrophysicist, author, director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of FOX’s "COSMOS," is heading to town for an evening of conversation on science, exploration and the world as we know it. Catch him at The Florida Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Tickets are available at floridatheatre.com.
  • A renowned child prodigy is exhibiting his work in our area. GALLERY 725, a contemporary art space in Jacksonville, presents "Advait: Through the Lens." Artwork by the 9-year-old renowned contemporary artist Advait will be on display and available for purchase at the gallery from Jan. 20-29.
  • A sneak peek is out of what’s planned inside the new Jacksonville Museum of Science & History relocation to the northbank of the St. Johns River. The new images of the MOSH Genesis design reveal a deep dive into the St. Johns River that will flow right outside the museum, as well as two stories of other exhibits that detail the area’s history, arts and culture.
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Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.