A federal judge in New Mexico has upheld the free speech rights of Ultra Health, the largest cannabis producer in the state, according to a Globe Newswire report.
Ultra Health filed a complaint against the New Mexico State Fair after the Fair attempted to limit their display of images of cannabis plants and processing equipment during the medical cannabis company’s 2017 application process. U.S. District Court Judge James A. Parker ruled that limitation infringed on Ultra Health’s right to free speech.
“The State Fair’s restrictions … as applied to Ultra Health’s 2017 State Fair application were unreasonable in light of the purpose of the forum and the surrounding circumstances and therefore violated Ultra Health’s First Amendment right to free speech.” — Excerpt from Judge Parker’s ruling
There have been other federal decisions supporting the rights of medical cannabis companies; no previous rulings, however, have yet to so explicitly protect the cannabis company’s right of free speech. Many states with adult-use or even medical cannabis legalization have installed strict marketing requirements that make it difficult for cannabis companies to educate or spread the word about their offerings. With this decision, there is at least some minimum level of communication that is protected.
The judge ordered the State Fair to pay Ultra Health’s attorneys fees and other costs.
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