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Judge says marijuana license case against Pinckney “up in smoke”

A lawsuit filed against the Village of Pinckney over a marijuana dispensary license has been dismissed.

Lume Cannabis Co. filed suit in U.S. District Court in Detroit in August of last year after being denied a license to open a shop there. However, according to an order issued last week, Judge Gershwin A. Drain decided that Lume “faced no harm” in not receiving the license, and that without a viable claim under Michigan’s Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, “Lume’s case goes up in smoke.”

Lume, which operates over 30 dispensaries statewide, had alleged that Pinckney’s ranking system that favored county, and especially village residents, to open a cannabis business was discriminatory. It also lost points in the ranking system for not having a clean energy plan and choosing not to repurpose a blighted building for its dispensary, standards that the village had put in place when it enacted its ordinance.

The eventual winner was The Means Project. Based in Howell, it has reportedly spent more than $2 million to convert the abandoned Pinckney Elementary School into a marijuana growing, processing, and retail facility. However, Lume’s lawsuit has held up their plans.

“It’s a bit of a victory for small communities and small business,” said Pinckney Village President Rebecca Foster. “Attitude Wellness (Lume’s parent company) is a large corporation with multiple retail locations, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best fit. We are very happy with the outcome of the case, and the confirmation that local units can craft marijuana application scoring rubrics using criteria important to the community – and that this does not, as Attitude Wellness argued, violate MRTMA. The ruling is an even bigger victory for The Means Project, which has been working steadily at rehabbing the former Pinckney Elementary, which had fallen into disrepair and blight. They are free to move forward as quickly as they can now without this court case hanging over the process.”

Foster added that Judge Drain pointed out that even if the Village dropped the residency points, Attitude Wellness would not have overtaken the application submitted by The Means Project LLC.

Lume has until May 4th to file a Motion for Reconsideration, or May 6th to file a Notice of Appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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