Judge Denies Restraining Order Request in Missouri Medical Cannabis Lawsuit
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Judge Denies Restraining Order Request in Missouri Medical Cannabis Lawsuit

Paul Callicoat and his family sued the state after it did not grant them a medical cannabis cultivation license.

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January 3, 2020

Missouri Judge Jon Beetem has denied a family’s request for a temporary restraining order against the state after the family was not awarded a medical cannabis cultivation license.

Paul Callicoat and his family had planned to turn their 70-acre Sarcoxie property into a cultivation site, and sued the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services after their application was denied, according to an AP News report.

The lawsuit argued that the state violated a right-to-farm amendment in the Missouri Constitution with its limit of 60 cultivation licenses, the news outlet reported. Joseph Bednar, the family’s lawyer, argued during a Dec. 30 hearing that the state should allow the market to decide which cultivation businesses survive, and criticized the “geographical bonuses” that favored applicants from zip codes with high unemployment rates.

Ross Kaplan, the state’s attorney, argued that Missouri followed the law’s minimum requirement to issue 60 cultivation licenses, and that the state’s medical cannabis regulations are intended to protect the public, not the licensees, AP News reported.

Beetem ruled Jan. 2 that the Callicoats had not demonstrated that they suffered an irreparable injury, according to the news outlet, but that the argument that the regulations violate the right-to-farm amendment requires further review.

The Callicoat family plans to proceed with litigation, AP News reported.