Cannabis group drops suit against Los Angeles over social equity licensing

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Three cannabis companies withdrew their year-old federal lawsuit against Los Angeles over the city’s controversial social equity licensing program.

ARMLA One, ARMLA Two and Gompers SocEq voluntarily dropped the suit without explanation, according to a one-page filing in U.S. District Court in central California.

According to the filing, each side will pay its own legal costs.

The three unsuccessful social equity applicants, which have common ownership, sued Los Angeles last September, alleging the city was biased in its licensing decisions.

ARMLA One had a winning application that was revoked because a preschool was within 700 feet of the planned marijuana store.

The company argued in the suit that several other license winners also were in violation of being too close to schools or libraries.

Over the course of the litigation, however, the group introduced additional legal arguments, according to Law360, including a claim that the city’s social equity program violates the U.S. Constitution by erecting barriers for out-of-state companies.

Los Angeles officials subsequently accused the group of participating in an “endless game of whack-a-mole” by adding legal arguments that weren’t part of the original lawsuit, Law360 reported.

A settlement on another legal challenge prompted Los Angeles to double the number of social equity licenses to 200.

But it’s unclear how many of those businesses will open their doors, and the first group started sales only a few months ago.