Seen as a protectionist, cottage measure to some stakeholders, residency requirements for cannabis licensure have been a staple in the industry since Washington and Colorado legalized cannabis statewide back in 2012. When I lived in Seattle, the local industry was mostly stoked then that “big money” and out-of-state interests couldn’t easily crash the party that was fledging legalization in the Evergreen State.
Washington is pretty notorious for its 6-month residency requirement for owners of cannabis businesses (although it did away with the same requirement for financiers mostly because cannabis businesses were really struggling to source capital from friends and family and because financial institutions are loathe to participate due to federal illegality). A couple of times now, litigants have sued and lost in Washington over striking down the residency requirement (see here for a recent one)–we’ve even questioned the legality of the requirement before. However, the tide just majorly turned in the State of Missouri, and I have to question if more of these lawsuits are coming, and if the success around them is now turning against the locals.
Cue the federal court case of Mark Toigo v. the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (“DHSS”). Toigo is a