AZ town may have broken law by levying fee on cannabis startup

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A tiny Arizona town may have violated a state law by charging $800,000 to allow a marijuana grower, Copperstate Farming, to open in the community, according to the state’s attorney general.

It’s a first for Arizona under a new state law, Capitol Media Services reported.

The city council for Snowflake, Arizona, apparently negotiated the $800,000 figure with Copperstate without any legal basis, according to Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Brnovich said the evidence shows the town had no set fee structure and didn’t base the figure on facility costs that taxpayers might have to cover.

The town has 30 days to correct the problem or go to court.

The Copperstate project can still proceed because Brnovich’s decision does not require Snowflake to reconsider the special use permit it already granted for the company’s 80-acre site.

A Copperstate spokesman agreed, saying the special-use permit is already done and cannot be overturned no matter what’s decided about the $800,000 charge.

The Snowflake City Council can also hold a new vote on “a legally defensible fee,” Capitol Media Services reported.