Medical marijuana business restrictions may bring more business from out of state
A recent court decision allowing out-of-state business owners to operate Missouri dispensaries may lead to an increase in medical marijuana facilities as doors open to owners throughout the nation.
Regardless of who owns your local dispensary, you’ll need a valid Missouri medical card in order to purchase medical marijuana. Our team of physicians are available to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. To schedule an appointment, CLICK HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117.
Here’s the scoop on the recent court decision, and how it may affect Missouri’s medical marijuana industry:
Missouri’s Resident Requirement for Businesses
When Article XIV was added to the Missouri State Constitution on November 6, 2018, it legalized medical marijuana in the state. The details of legalization included a resident requirement stating all medical marijuana operations must be majority-owned by state residents.
This requirement means larger, out-of-state companies wishing to operate in Missouri must find a resident to partner with. The terms also require the in-state partner to be the majority owner. These restrictions had good intentions. They were designed to offer more opportunities to Missouri entrepreneurs. Since Missouri had no previous medical marijuana industry, this thrust many local business owners into partnerships in an area in which they had no expertise.
Larger franchises found themselves forced into business deals with less-knowledgeable partners. Since the less-experienced partner often owned the majority of their in-state operations, it left franchises with less power in their own business decisions. These conditions are what led Mark Toigo to file a lawsuit against the state in December of 2020.
The Toigo Decision
Toigo’s lawsuit claims that Missouri’s resident requirements are discriminatory in practice and violate the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause on interstate business. Toigo is part-owner of a dispensary chain called Organic Remedies that operates in Pennsylvania and Missouri. Since Toigo lives in Pennsylvania, he was required to own less than 50 percent of his Missouri dispensary locations.
In June of 2021, Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled in favor of Toigo, granting a preliminary injunction halting the state from enforcing the residency requirement. This doesn’t mean the law no longer exists, but it does mean that, at least in Toigo’s case, the state has been blocked from enforcing it.
What The Decision Means for Missouri
The decision could set an early precedent, opening the door for further challenges from out-of-state business owners that wish to expand into the Missouri area. Larger dispensary companies with bigger selections and better prices may begin to enter the market, confident that this injunction is the first step in a complete repeal of the residency requirement.
Toigo argued that the residency requirement limited the amount of funds he could invest in his Missouri dispensary locations, because it would cause his ownership to rise above the 49% cap. With this limit possibly being lifted for out-of-state entrepreneurs, the amount of investment that could be funneled into the state may increase drastically.
This does not mean open season in Missouri. State restrictions still require all owners to pass a background check, and there are substantial common control restrictions that require business owners to wade through a sea of red tape. It does, however, show a possible crack in the state’s bureaucratic armor. There is no word yet on whether the state plans to appeal.
Missouri resident requirement still exists for medical marijuana patients
To enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana in the state of Missouri, you’ll still need to be a resident with a state medical card. If you don’t have one yet, our doctors can help take you through a quick and easy evaluation process to see if you qualify. Just give us a call at (877) 303-3117 CLICK HERE to schedule an evaluation.
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At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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