Montana Cannabis Industry Association v. Montana

2016 MT 44, 382 Mont. 256, 368 P.3d 1131 (2016)

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Montana Cannabis Industry Association v. Montana

Montana Supreme Court
2016 MT 44, 382 Mont. 256, 368 P.3d 1131 (2016)

Facts

In 2011, Montana (defendant) passed a new medical-marijuana law that authorized patients to use medical marijuana to treat illnesses, despite the existence of federal laws prohibiting such conduct and the federal government’s stated intention to enforce those laws when doing so is in the federal government’s interest. Montana’s medical-marijuana law included restrictions intended to prevent the emergence of a large-scale commercial medical-marijuana industry in Montana. Namely, the medical-marijuana law prohibited medical-marijuana providers from treating more than three patients and accepting compensation for providing medical marijuana or related services to patients. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association (plaintiff) filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to enjoin the enforcement of the three-patient and compensation restrictions on the basis that both restrictions violated the due process and equal protection clauses of Montana’s state constitution. The court found both restrictions unconstitutional and granted a permanent injunction barring Montana from enforcing either restriction. Montana appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Baker, J.)

Dissent (Rice, J.)

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