Marijuana retailers sue Washington county over federal permission rule – The Cannabist

Published: Feb 20, 2018, 12:42 pm • Updated: Feb 20, 2018, 12:42 pm

CENTRALIA, Wash. (AP) — Three marijuana retailers are suing Lewis County over an ordinance approved last year that essentially bans cannabis-related businesses in unincorporated Lewis County by requiring them to get approval from the federal government, which provides no such permission.

The complaint, filed in July 2017, says the county’s ordinance is contrary to state law. The companies want the court to order the county to issue business licenses to the marijuana retailers.

The state Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to intervene in the case.

“In their original motion to intervene, the AG indicated that it believes Lewis County’s ordinance is consistent with state law,” Civil Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg told The Chronicle . “So, they are entering as a defendant because they will, it seems, be primarily arguing against the plaintiffs and not against Lewis County.”

The attorney general’s motion argues that the state can be a party to any lawsuit that asserts a state law or local ordinance is unconstitutional. Lewis County Superior Court Judge Andrew Toynbee signed an order to add the attorney general’s office to the suit Friday.

A trial date hasn’t been set.

Five Points of Pierce County, Dank’s Wonder Emporium and Washington Green Leaf filed a Writ of Mandamus against Lewis County in Lewis County Superior Court asking that the county be forced to provide them with business licenses.

They are represented by attorney Darian Stanford in Portland, Oregon. He did not immediately return a request for comment.

“Defendant has issued an ordinance requiring all those applying for business licenses to produce, process or sell marijuana at retail within the unincorporated areas of Lewis County to first obtain proof of registration approval for the applicant’s marijuana

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