Federal appeals court set to determine fate of Maine’s residency requirement
Maine is seeking to reverse a ruling from a U.S. District Court that prohibits the state from using a residency requirement in its licensing of medical marijuana establishments.
In August 2021 U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen agreed with the plaintiff Wellness Connection of Maine that the requirement was a violation of the dormant Commerce clause. Judge Torrensen justified striking down the residency rules by highlighting “the Supreme Court’s and First Circuit’s unmistakable antagonism towards state laws that explicitly discriminate against nonresident economic actors.”
The Judge later granted an injunction in October preventing the order from taking effect while the appeal is heard in United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. If found to be unconstitutional the decision could impact residency requirements found in the cannabis industry across the United States.
Wellness Connection submitted a brief on February 7th arguing in part, “Maine’s residency requirement for owning medical marijuana dispensaries is unconstitutional under the dormant Commerce Clause.”