The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Monday ruled in favor of a cannabis business that it can operate as a for-profit business, Courthouse News reports. In the ruling, the justices determined that the state’s cannabis legalization law preempted the town of Mansfield’s bylaws which required cannabis dispensaries to operate as not-for-profits.
The dispensary owner, Ellen Rosenfield, started the medical cannabis dispensary prior to the state’s passage of the broad legalization law and in 2017 the state began allowing dispensaries to operate as for-profit ventures. The following year, Rosenfield converted her business to for-profit status, but neighboring businesses filed a lawsuit arguing that while state law had changed, the town’s bylaws had not.
“The Legislature evinced its clear intent to allow for-profit entities to distribute medical marijuana. This legislative purpose cannot be achieved in the face of [Mansfield’s] by-law on the same subject.” — Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court Ruling via Courthouse News
The court also rejected the town’s argument that under the state law medical cannabis dispensaries could only convert to for-profit status if their facilities were actively “engaged” in cannabis sales and that since Rosenfield’s business was in start-up mode at the time the state law was passed, she wasn’t