Judge tosses lawsuit challenging Missouri medical marijuana license caps

A Cole County judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit alleging limitations on the number of medical marijuana licenses issued by the state were unconstitutional.

Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled that the regulations at the heart of the lawsuit were “properly promulgated and are in compliance with Missouri’s laws and Constitution.” She ruled in favor of the state on all counts and ordered plaintiffs to pay court costs.

The Callicoats, a family from Sarcoxie, Missouri, sued the state earlier this year after their license to open a cultivation facility was denied.

The lawsuit contended that the limit on the number of medical marijuana licenses and a “geographic bonus” that favored applicants in high-unemployment ZIP codes were unconstitutional, citing the state’s right to farm amendment.

During an October trial, the family’s attorney also argued outside groups and individuals had undue access to top state officials — and that access led to an opaque process and contributed to the decision to cap the number of licenses granted.

Joyce wrote in her decision Monday that the constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2018 legalizing medical marijuana “expressly contemplates licensing limitations and authorizes the department to implement such limits, if it so chooses.” [Read more at Fulton Sun]

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