FRIDAY, SEPT. 14 — Local medical marijuana dispensaries originally pegged to close by the weekend will receive at least a temporary reprieve following a state judge’s order that allows them to remain in business.
Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borello yesterday evening approved an injunction against a recently extended set of state emergency rules, essentially forcing the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to allow unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to remain in operation through at least Dec. 15.
The order prohibits LARA from “treating temporarily operating medical marihuana businesses differently based on whether the business filed a Step 2 application more than 90 days in the past” and provides added clarity for local entrepreneurs who earlier this week were advised they would soon need to close their doors.
“We’ve received a copy of Judge Borello’s order and we’re reviewing it,” said LARA spokesman David Harns.
The recent ruling stems from a lawsuit filed yesterday by attorney Denise Pollicella, of Howell, on behalf of a dispensary registered as Montrowe LLC. The complaint argued that the recently extended rules — which outlined which dispensaries were able to remain open past Saturday — was unfair to her client and others.
Pollicella argued that because the rules outlined inconsistent treatment between different categories of marijuana businesses, they were unconstitutional and posed the potential for “irreparable harm” if Montrowe would have been forced to shutter, like the emergency rules had mandated. Closure would have been an “impossible task,” she said.
The complaint outlined how the dispensary would have needed to quickly offload about 150 pounds of dry marijuana, 800 grams of marijuana concentrate and hundreds of edible products totaling to more than $500,000. Possession after Sept. 15 could have also netted a number of felony charges, the complaint states.
“Plaintiff will be forced