The City of Lansing has filed a complaint in the Court of Claims against the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) emergency marihuana rules that were sent out on October 1st, 2018. Under the state’s new emergency rules, provisioning centers are not allowed to operate without a state license after October 31st. This is a drastic change from prior emergency rule variations that only required local approval to operate until December 1, 2018, and, is inconsistent with a court order that permitted temporary operation until December 15, 2018. Though a temporary restraining order was granted today in the Court of Claims, and a scheduled show cause hearing for Friday, November 9th, the City of Lansing filed the complaint before Judge Borrello's order today and will continue to pursue the complaint to obtain permanent injunctive and declaratory relief.
“The City Clerk is working to complete and give out the 20 licenses for marihuana provisioning centers in the city fairly and efficiently that follow city ordinance criteria. It is unfair for the state to set a deadline through emergency rules that will result in service for patients in Lansing to stop by October 31st. The December 15th deadline was set previously, and we can hit that target. However, the state keeps moving the target and that will have a negative effect on the ability of Lansing residents to get this Michigan legal medicine that they need,” said Mayor Schor.
Lansing City Ordinance allows for a total of twenty first-phase, and five second-phase licensed marihuana provisioning centers in city limits. The City Clerk is working to complete the process to issue the first twenty licenses. Due to the city’s on-going appeals process and litigation regarding its license application system, the city has not yet awarded any provisioning center licenses, however, it has a plan in place to allow it to do so by December 15th. The citizen led Medical Marihuana Commission is prepared to hold special meetings on Saturdays if needed to expedite the process.
“I certainly can understand the frustration of patients, entrepreneurs, and the general public with the length of time the review and ranking process requires. I am frustrated too,” said City Clerk Chris Swope. “However, I am also proud that I have approved sixty-eight other facility licenses to grow, securely transport, test, and process medical marijuana, which will bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investment to the City after a thorough application review.”
The City of Lansing is prepared to provide oral arguments and plans to have representatives at the show cause hearing on November 9th. The city will continue to process the applications, the administrative appeals process and otherwise implement its ordinance.