Colorado Man Sues Town, Alleges It Created MMJ Monopoly

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A Colorado man is asking the state’s attorney general to investigate officials in the town of Palisade, who he accuses in a lawsuit of creating an illegal monopoly by limiting the number of medical marijuana businesses to one.

If the lawsuit succeeds, it could become harder for Colorado municipalities to limit the number of dispensaries they allow. But an official with the Colorado Municipal League told the Grand Junction Sentinel that Colorado law allows municipalities to prohibit or limit marijuana and dispensaries.

Kevin King of Grand Junction filed the lawsuit this month in Mesa County District Court, charging that Palisade officials adopted an ordinance permitting just one dispensary in town in violation of the state constitution and local laws. The suit also alleges that the lone license was awarded without a bidding process, and that town officials colluded with the eventual licensee, the Colorado Alternative Healthcare Medical Marijuana Center.

“The Defendant gave privileged status to only one business,” the suit says, “with the most troubling and compelling violations found in emails, board meetings, planning sessions, meetings with the owners of Colorado Alternative Healthcare and the town manager Rich Sales, prior to conditional permits being awarded.”

In addition to requesting that the attorney general conduct a criminal investigation, the suit asks the judge to nullify the one dispensary limit, and suspend Colorado Alternative’s license.