Judge refuses to overturn Oklahoma medical cannabis residency provision

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A Washington state marijuana company lost its bid in federal court to enter Oklahoma’s medical cannabis industry through a legal challenge to the state’s residency requirement.

According to Law360, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Friot threw out the lawsuit without ruling on the merits of the argument regarding the residency requirement, saying he wouldn’t help the plaintiff – Original Investments, doing business as Dank’s Wonder Emporium – violate federal law by enabling the company to sell more marijuana.

Dank’s Wonder Emporium filed suit last year, arguing that the residency requirement violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and is therefore unconstitutional under federal law.

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana law requires that any business owner be a resident of the state and bars any out-of-state interest from holding more than 25% ownership interest in any MMJ company.

Dank’s Wonder Emporium attempted to argue that the law is discriminatory.

The ruling leaves the larger question of marijuana industry residency requirements – and whether they’re on firm legal ground – still unresolved.

That question remains an issue in other cities and states with residency requirements that have faced similar legal challenges by marijuana business interests that want to expand without having to find local partners, including Detroit, Maine, Missouri and in Dank Wonder Emporium’s home state of Washington.