SEATTLE, Wash. – A judge has upheld Washington’s residency requirement for folks looking to get involved in the state’s legal cannabis industry.
A man who co-owns a chain of cannabis stores called Zips, Scott Atkinson, wanted to transfer part of his ownership interest to a longtime friend who lives in Idaho.
Atkinson has been treated for cancer and said he hoped Todd Brinkmeyer would help take over the business should his health deteriorate.
But Washington requires owners and investors in regulated marijuana businesses to have lived in the state for at least six months, and Brinkmeyer said he has no intention of moving.
Brinkmeyer sued the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board in 2020, arguing that the residency requirement was unconstitutional because it interferes with interstate commerce.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle disagreed in a ruling issued Monday, February 6th.
He found that the residency requirement could not interfere with interstate commerce because there is no legal interstate commerce in marijuana.
The drug remains illegal under federal law.