Missouri’s constitution gave state regulators the authority to limit the number of licenses issued to grow and sell medical cannabis, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the western district ruled Tuesday.
The Callicoats, a family from Sarcoxie, Mo., sued the state in 2020 after their license to open a cultivation facility was denied. The lawsuit contended that the limit on the number of medical cannabis licenses and a “geographic bonus” that favored applicants in high-unemployment ZIP codes were unconstitutional, citing the state’s right to farm amendment.
Those arguments were rejected by a Cole County judge and were similarly dismissed Tuesday by the appeals court, which determined the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2018 that legalized medical cannabis specifically authorized license caps.
“Appellants have failed to demonstrate that those regulations are arbitrary or capricious or that they lack a rational relationship to the important governmental interests of ensuring reasonable patient access to medical cannabis, preventing criminal trafficking in cannabis for non-medical uses, and ensuring the health and safety of Missourians,” the court’s opinion says.
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