Suit Over Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Licensing Scheme Bounced

Sept. 17, 2020, 1:21 PM

A minority-owned medical marijuana grower lost its federal civil rights suit against a commission that administers a state licensing process in an allegedly discriminatory way, because the commission has sovereign immunity, a federal court in Maryland said.

The 11th Amendment immunizes states, state agencies, and state officials acting in their official capacities from lawsuits brought by private parties in federal court, unless the state waived its immunity or the suit seeks prospective injunctive relief.

Maryland hadn’t waived its federal immunity, and MediGrow LLC’s lawsuit against the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission sought retrospective monetary relief. Thus, MediGrow’s suit was ...

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