Lawsuit rattles Lansing’s marijuana market
Does Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope have a right to be wrong?
City officials argued he does in an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to upend Lansing’s medical marijuana industry, potentially forcing all of the city’s pot shops to close as early as later this month. And an important ruling expected from Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo could resolve the case next week.
Let Lansing Vote — a state-registered ballot committee representing an unnamed number of would-be marijuana dispensaries — last year filed a lawsuit that aims to strike down the city’s 2017 ordinance that many claimed to be overly restrictive in an industry pegged to generate millions of dollars for the state capital.
Swope last year threw out Let Lansing Vote petitions that challenged the ordinance, not because the signatures were invalid but because he contended the petitions’ circulator had erred in filling out the paperwork.
Jamo must now decide what (if any) mistakes were made and whether the issue can find its place on the ballot.
But some said a ruling to revoke the ordinance would ultimately eliminate the only remaining legal mechanism that allows marijuana-related businesses to set up shop within city limits. Both sides suggested compromise could be possible but agreed Lansing’s medical marijuana industry is off to a largely uncertain