The First Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a state law that required Maine’s medical cannabis dispensaries to be owned by Maine residents. The ruling upholds a lower court decision that found the residency requirement violates the U.S. Constitution by restricting interstate commerce.
According to Ganjapreneur, the Chief Judge David Barron wrote for the majority that the market for medical cannabis is so robust that, absent the residency requirement, it would be likely to attract business from all over the country. However, the state can still impose other residency requirements on businesses in the medical cannabis industry.
In a recent Forbes article, the ruling is a victory for Wellness Connection, the state’s largest medical cannabis company, which challenged the residency requirement. The company argued that the requirement put it at a competitive disadvantage because it made it difficult to attract out-of-state investors.
Maine’s decision to allow non-residents in on the action has been met with mixed reviews. One thing is for certain, though: it will be interesting to see how this impacts future dispensary openings and runs!