MENOMINEE, MI — They’ve been open for weeks, but a judge on Friday, Nov. 3, ordered three U.P. marijuana shops embroiled in a legal battle to close.
Menominee Circuit Judge Mary Barglind demanded officials in Menominee, a city on the Wisconsin border in the western U.P., shutter Lume, which operates nearly 40 stores statewide; Higher Love, with six U.P. stores, and Nirvana Center, which has 13 other Michigan stores.
“Please accept our apologies — our Menominee store is temporarily closed due to legal actions taken by our competitors, Rize and The Fire Station,” Higher Love posted in a message to customers on Facebook Friday. “We appreciate your support in the face of this unforeseen challenge and would encourage you to show it by avoiding stores who would deny others access to our favorite plant.”
There’s currently a marijuana turf war taking place in Menominee. It has the first two licensed marijuana shops in Menominee, Rize and the Fire Station, pitted against six other shops trying to also operate in town.
Barglind said Lume, Nirvana Center and Higher Love violated her Sept. 26 preliminary injunction in which she ordered Menominee to maintain the “status quo” related to marijuana business activity while a lawsuit filed by Rize, Fire Station and a ballot committee is resolved. This ruling meant Menominee couldn’t issue any more marijuana licenses
What the city should do with the businesses it has already issued licenses to — Lume, Higher Love and Nirvana Center — was more complicated.
Attorneys on Sept. 27 posed the question to Barglind: if the businesses weren’t open at the time of the ruling, are they allowed to open? Barglind issued a clarification on Oct. 17 that stated: “Any license or licenses issued to entities that were not open and operating on September 26, 2023 at 1 p.m. may not open to the public to sell marijuana.”
Menominee didn’t close the stores, so Rize, represented by the Mike Cox law firm, filed a motion asking the judge to intervene.
“We appreciate Judge Barglind followed the evidence and the law to shut down those who did not follow her court orders growing out of the Menominee City Council’s numerous violations of the Open Meeting Act and violating the rights of its own citizens to vote on marihuana policy in Menominee,” said Attorney Michael A. Cox, who represents Rize. “It is also shameful that the three companies hired employees with fake promises when they knew they were violating the law by even opening.”
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