Court hints it might strike down Maine medical marijuana residency law

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A federal court appears poised to strike down a Maine law that prevents out-of-state ownership of for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries.

The case currently before the First Circuit Court of Appeals involves a lawsuit challenging that law.

In 2021, a federal judge ruled that Maine could not prevent out-of-state companies from operating MMJ dispensaries.

Maine and an industry group subsequently appealed in an attempt to keep the residency requirements.

According to the Courthouse News Service, judges hearing the appeal appeared unimpressed with the state’s case, with one telling Maine’s chief deputy attorney general that his argument suffers from “a basic flaw.”

“This is an easy case,” another judge said.

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A court ruling against the residency requirement could open up Maine’s MMJ market to out-of-state businesses.

Maine already dropped a similar residency requirement for adult-use marijuana businesses.