Legal Experts Concur that Missouri Marijuana Residency Restrictions Are Unconstitutional
At the 22nd minute in this KBIA 91.3 FM (Columbia, MO) discussion by KBIA's Legal Roundtable, the recent Toigo lawsuit challenging Missouri's residency requirement is discussed, in tandem with the recent ruling against the Callicoats in the Sarcoxie Nursey marijuana licensing lawsuit by Judge Joyce in Cole County.
Mark Smith JD (Wash U Associate Dean) says "I think...there are a lot of problems...the whole system is screwed up, and then also they're giving points for people who have experience, who are going to be outstate people and yet they're saying 51% has to be owned by Missouri (residents), so I think it's a mess, I think I could see this being ruled unconstitutional, and the whole thing being undone."
Nicole Gorovsky JD: "...I'm thinking the part you're talking about is the Judge Joyce ruling in Cole Co, and that was really based on state law, not the Commerce Clause, and so here we are really looking at different precedent, and we are looking at different Constitutional principles, so that wasn't even addressed in that state lawsuit and so I think what we have here of terms of the Commerce Clause is really a winning lawsuit, I think this is exactly why the Commerce Clause was created...The Framers literally drafted the Commerce Clause because the colonies were doing these kind of tricks and they didn't like it, literally this is why the Commerce Clause was created, and so I think this is a winning lawsuit, and I think Judge Joyce's ruling was although soundly based on the law that she was supposed to base it on, is not based on the same law...it's the difference between state law and federal law."
The Toigo lawsuit's major deficiency is that it only challenges the residency requirement in Missouri's marijuana licensing scheme. However, some believe there is basis for extending these Commerce Clause arguments to the actual license caps themselves -- for one, the (unconstitutional) residency requirement is a functional cap.
If you are an individual or a group denied licensing in Missouri's medical marijuana, please reach out to us to connect with plaintiff's groups that are forming to challenge the licensing cap at firstname.lastname@example.org.