The case is one of several involving Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program or its participants, threatening to slow the state’s ambitious timeline for implementation of a medical cannabis program.

After receiving licenses to operate cannabis dispensaries in Illinois and New York, PharmaCann pursued and won a license to operate a Pennsylvania facility in Philadelphia, at a former Chi-Chi’s restaurant. But the shopping complex owner that sold the property to Chi-Chi’s in 1991 has said it’s illegal to open a marijuana dispensary there.

Pennsylvania licensees are required to be fully operational by January of next year, so PharmaCann sought an order from Pennsylvania courts to push the sale through.

PharmaCann filed suit last month in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against the developers and property owners involved in the Philadelphia Mills shopping complex, including Franklin Mills and Simon Property Group, seeking declaratory relief. Franklin Mills and Simon have now sought to remove the case to federal court.

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