Judge rejects Missouri residency rule for medical marijuana


COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A federal judge has struck down Missouri’s requirement that a majority of the owners of companies that dispense, grow or manufacture marijuana must be state residents.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey last week issued a permanent injunction against the residency requirement, The Kansas City Star reported. She had issued a temporary injunction in June.

Missouri voters approved creation of a medical marijuana industry in the state in 2018. One of the regulations required that state-licensed marijuana cultivation plants, dispensaries and manufacturing facilities must be at least 51% owned by people who had lived in Missouri for at least one year.

Mark Toigo, a Pennsylvania-based investor, filed a lawsuit last December challenging the requirement, arguing that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees the medical marijuana program, did not immediately return a request for comment on whether the agency would appeal.