(The Center Square) – A Mississippi medical marijuana dispensary owner is suing the state over its prohibition on advertising for his business and others like it.
Clarence Cocroft, the owner of Tru Source Medical Cannabis in Olive Branch, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday with the help of the nonprofit Institute for Justice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
Cocroft’s complaint says state law and regulations approved by the Mississippi Board of Health, manager of the medical marijuana program, prohibit him from advertising his business, which is a violation of his First Amendment rights.
The medical marijuana program was created by Senate Bill 2095 and signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves in 2022 after the entire ballot initiative process was thrown out by the state Supreme Court.
This decision struck down a ballot initiative that would’ve created a medical marijuana program much like in Oklahoma.
The law puts restrictions “on the advertising, signage, and display of medical cannabis,” which the lawsuit says the state Department of Health enhanced with its regulations that prohibit advertising in any media, be it TV, newspapers, online via pop-up ads or social media.
The lawsuit says Cocroft is penalized because he