PORTLAND, Maine  — A state agency and an industry group are appealing a federal judge’s ruling that allows out-of-state owners of medical marijuana dispensaries.

It appears the case is the first of its kind to reach a federal appeals court, carrying with its possible ramifications for other states, the  Portland Press Herald reported.

The legal question is whether the residency rule violates the U.S. Constitution by restricting interstate commerce.

A federal judge this summer rejected Maine’s requirement that owners of medical marijuana dispensaries be based in Maine.

The state agreed last year to drop the previous residency requirement for recreational marijuana stores, but it is fighting the ruling that overturned that same requirement for medical dispensaries.

The Maine Cannabis Coalition, a nonprofit trade group that supports the residency requirement, is joining the state in supporting the residency requirement.

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