New lawsuit filed over Los Angeles’ marijuana social equity licensing

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!

The city of Los Angeles and its cannabis regulators are facing yet another lawsuit over the city’s controversial and much-delayed social equity program and the marijuana business licenses connected to it.

Three companies that lost out in their bids to win social equity marijuana retail permits filed suit against the city and its cannabis regulators on Monday, and claimed L.A. was exhibiting favoritism in the permitting process and punished one applicant for raising concerns about flaws in the licensing system.

According to Law360, the suit by ARMLA One, ARMLA Two and Gompers SocEq alleges that the L.A. Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) and its director, Cat Packer, revoked ARMLA’s winning application “after the fact” because a preschool was within 700 feet of the company’s location.

ARMLA One argued in the suit that several other license winners also were in violation because their locations were within 700 feet of schools or libraries, yet ARMLA One’s license was revoked because it tried to tell City Council members and the DCR about alleged flaws in newly adopted regulatory changes.

The suit asks for damages, the reinstatement of ARMLA One’s license and the guaranteed processing of the permits granted to the two other plaintiffs.

A separate lawsuit, also filed on behalf of several social equity applicants during the same licensing round, was settled. The result: An additional 100 retail licenses were issued on top of the 100 the city planned to award.