Missouri judge throws out challenge to marijuana cultivation license limits

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A Missouri judge ruled to keep the state’s medical marijuana cultivation licensing regulations in place, dismissing a lawsuit that challenged the program’s license caps and scoring process.

Paul Callicoat and his family, from the town of Sarcoxie, sued after being denied a license to cultivate medical marijuana. The family’s attorneys argued the state’s decision to limit licenses at 60 violated their right to farm.

But Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce on Monday ruled that the state’s cannabis regulations were “properly promulgated” and that regulators acted within their authority to put limits on the industry to protect patient safety, the Missouri Independent reported.

Callicoat, a principal in the Sarcoxie Nursery, also argued in the lawsuit against a “geographic bonus” that favored applicants in high-unemployment ZIP codes.

The judge ruled in favor of the state on all counts and ordered the plaintiffs to pay court costs.

“The right to farm does not apply to the cultivation of marijuana,” Joyce wrote in her ruling.

Lisa Cox of the state health department said the agency hopes the result of the case shows the program was designed to enact medical marijuana rules “fairly and lawfully.”

Callicoat, whose family planned to convert their 70-acre property into a marijuana cultivation site. intends to appeal, according to the Missouri Independent.