Judge Stephen Borrello of Michigan’s Court of Claims has issued an injunction against the state’s order to close almost 100 medical marijuana businesses that hadn’t met a section of the emergency licensing regulations passed by regulators.
Just over 100 dispensaries had submitted partially completed application forms as the September 15 deadline approached. Only those businesses that had submitted their papers would be allowed to operate until December 15, when the licensing process was expected to be completed.
The judge’s injunction orders the state to allow all cannabis businesses, including those that hadn’t submitted their applications, to stay open until that mid-December deadline.
Denise Pollisella, an attorney acting on behalf of one cannabis dispensary, filed the application for the injunction. Pollisella was convinced that she presented such strong arguments that it would be hard for the regulators to launch a successful appeal against the injunction.
Other dispensaries that would have been affected by the closure orders have contacted Denise Pollisella thanking her for acting the way she did. They revealed that they had wanted to file similar cases but feared any possible reprisals by regulator at the time of processing license applications.
Several individuals have also made personal calls to the attorney to thank her for saving the job of their family members or for ensuring that their family members could continue accessing medical cannabis conveniently.
The registration measures in question came as part of the plans to put in place stricter regulations for medical cannabis dispensaries. The application process was introduced by a law passed in 2016.
Attorney Pollisella says that the regulators seem to regard cannabis businesses as a group of drug dealers instead of treating them as legitimate businesses. She cautioned that more issues will keep arising until the regulators start working with industry players to implement regulatory mechanisms.
For example, she states that many of the businesses that would have been given cease and desist letters were not told that it was acceptable to submit application forms that had incomplete sections. Of specific concern was a form indicating that the cannabis business had the approval of the local authorities at the chosen business location. Companies like Golden Developing Solutions, Inc. (OTC: DVLP) and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQB: VVCIF) are all too aware of such twists and turns in the path of getting regulatory approval for cannabis businesses.
Only the dispensaries which called the regulator asking about this requirement were informed that it was okay to send in their applications even if some sections were incomplete. Why couldn’t the regulators be proactive and let all of the businesses know?
For now, the regulators are tight-lipped about their next step as they are still studying the injunction issued by the court.
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