I wanted to highlight two federal court rulings from this week that are relevant to the cannabis industry.
First, a federal court denied a requirement in Missouri that a national majority-owned medical cannabis company must be owned. (link) I already wrote in these cannabis mussels that the state residence requirements for licensing under our old friend, the dormant trade clause, are highly suspect. (Link) This ruling comes as no surprise and continues the trend of federal courts finding these requirements unconstitutional. I repeat what I said in August the last time I wrote about it: What I really notice about this type of decision is that a federal court is enforcing federal constitutional law, which is completely illegal under federal law. It’s a paradox.
Second, where some federal courts give, others take away. The U.S. Supreme Court has been reported to have declined to review a federal appeals court ruling appealing the 280E Internal Revenue Service investigative agency. (link) The Supreme Court has the option to choose its cases – there is no appeal. In view of the fact that the Supreme Court receives around 10,000 appeals per year and only around 100 of them approve (Link), this rejection is unfortunately not surprising based on the percentages alone. The industry will instead have to wait for Congress to respond to 280E, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.