The Dailoy Montanan reports
Plaintiffs, state agree to 60-day hold while settlement negotiations continue
A district court judge last week granted a 60-day preliminary injunction blocking the State of Montana from assessing and collecting increased fees from businesses that operate multiple marijuana dispensaries across the state – changes passed by the legislature this year in the final days of the session.
The state and attorneys for three Montana marijuana businesses last Tuesday agreed to ask Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Mike Menahan to issue the 60-day preliminary injunction because the renewal fees are coming due, and the businesses say they would be forced to close several locations, lay off workers and keep medical marijuana patients from getting their products in the event the have to pay the fees. He granted the request on Wednesday.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs – Granite Peak Holdings, Inc. doing business as Elevated; TSB Montana LLC, and MariMint LLC – challenged the new fee structure passed through an amended version of House Bill 903 in the final two weeks of the 2023 legislative session, in a lawsuit initially filed in August.
For several months, attorneys for the plaintiffs and Department of Justice have argued about whether the new fee structure was illegally implemented by the Legislature and if another law the Republican supermajority legislature passed, Senate Bill 191, which was aimed at setting a new burden for preliminary injunctions in Montana, is constitutional.
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