A Missouri judge on Monday ruled in favor of the state's medical marijuana licensing rules.

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri judge on Monday ruled in favor of the state's medical marijuana licensing rules.

A family from the southwestern Missouri town of Sarcoxie sued after being denied a license to grow medical marijuana. Lawyers for the family argued the state's decision to award only 60 licenses violated their right to farm. 

But Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce wrote in her ruling that the state acted within its authority to put limits and regulations on the industry to protect patient safety, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"The right to farm does not apply to the cultivation of marijuana," Joyce wrote. 

Spokeswoman Lisa Cox in a statement said the state health department hopes that "those who have been using this case in an attempt to discredit the state's medical marijuana program" now believe the program was designed to enact medical marijuana "fairly and lawfully."

The principal of the planned medical marijuana farm, Paul Callicoat, said the family plans to appeal.

"We wish it were not necessary for Missouri families like ours to battle the Department through the courts for the right to freely compete in the marketplace and to serve patients' needs," he said in a statement.