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Judge Restores Medical Marijuana Provider License Revoked by State

Judge Restores Medical Marijuana Provider License Revoked by State
Green Rush Daily


Judge Restores Medical Marijuana Provider License Revoked by State

Regardless, the incident caused irreparable damage.

While the marijuana industry is certainly a lucrative one, it’s not necessarily the easiest to navigate due to the ever-changing climate. Staunch regulations, elongated licensing processes, and pre-existing federal laws make it that much more difficult for entrepreneurs to open up their own canna-businesses.

Apparently, so does incompetence.

In Montana, a drawn-out saga might have finally come to its conclusion, after a judge determined that the state of Montana illegally revoked a dispensary’s license and wrongfully shut the business down.

Montana Medical Marijuana Provider Gets Justice

On Monday, Yellowstone County District Judge Don Harris reinstated the license of Montana Organic Medical Supply owner Steven Palmer, after it was deemed that the state’s health department did not give the dispensary owner his due opportunity to correct violations before taking away his license and shutting down his business.

Palmer, a licensed MMJ provider in Billings, Montana since 2011, had his license revoked in August after a June inspection determined that the owner violated some of the terms of Montana’s new medical marijuana program. However, since its a totally new program, Palmer was supposed to be given until September to correct the issues.

The state never provided the opportunity, Palmer contended. He then sued DPHHS on these grounds.

Andrew Huff, an attorney for the department of health, claimed Palmer did not receive the opportunity because his violations provided an “immediate” threat to licensed caregivers.

Judge Harris, ultimately, believes otherwise.

According to the Billings Gazette, Harris says the violations in no way “could have posed an imminent danger to the public’s health safety or welfare,” simply on the grounds that it took the department over a month to even issue the inspection report, in addition to the fact that they originally said they were to give Palmer the extra two months to correct the violations.

Judge Harris also said that Palmer deserved a fair judicial review under a provision the Montana Medical Marijuana Act that gives providers certain protections under state law. A judicial review, he contended, was the only way Palmer could even argue the revocation of his license.
Despite the “win” for Palmer, it appears his business still faces obstacles in restoring its reputation. It was under negotiations with Lionheart Caregiving, another marijuana dispensary, for a potential merger, while Palmer’s license was being revoked. It’s unclear if those talks will resume following Judge Harris’ decision.

“It seems apparent that the department has already destroyed Palmer’s medical marijuana business and that it is probably futile to now remand the case for a contested case hearing,” Harris wrote, per the Gazette. “The problem is that Palmer may no longer have a meaningful remedy even if he prevails.”

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