County Commissioners

Posted on: June 27, 2017

Judge rules in favor of QAC, not Hippocratic Growth LLC

QAC Seal Websized


CENTREVILLE – In the case of Hippocratic Growth, LLC against the Board of County Commissioners of Queen Anne’s County, Circuit Court Judge Thomas P. Smith, on June 21, issued a declaratory judgement in favor of the county on the five counts asserted by Hippocratic Growth, LLC against the county; Count One – Mandamus, Count Two – Declaratory Judgement, Count Three – Preliminary Injunctive Relief, Count Four – Permanent Injunctive Relief and Count Five – damages for alleged constitutional violations.

 On December 9, 2016 Hippocratic Growth, LLC was notified that it had been selected to operate a medical cannabis dispensary in Maryland Senate District 36, which includes Queen Anne’s County. Prior to this date, Hippocratic Growth had been in discussions with QAC regarding which zoning classifications a medical cannabis dispensary could be located and a site on Drummer Drive in Grasonville was discussed. County Commissioners had raised concerns about the proposed location though and passed QAC Ordinance 17-06, which restricted where medical cannabis facilities could be located, as emergency legislation. This legislation eliminated the Drummer Drive location for medical cannabis and was the impetus for the Hippocratic Growth, LLC lawsuit.

 

 Judge Smith stated that, “COMAR, Chapter 27, Section 2 of the regulations entitled ‘Licensed Dispensary Premises, Premises Generally,’ provides inter alia ‘The premised and operations of a licensee shall conform to all local zoning and planning requirements.’ There is no express or implied preemption, and Ordinance 17-06 is valid and applies to the subject property.” He went on to state that, “Defendants (QAC) have no legal duty or obligation to act on Plaintiff Hippocratic Growth’s request for written verification that a medical cannabis dispensary is a permitted use in Urban Commercial Zoning District and that locating a medical cannabis dispensary at the proposed Dispensary Location is a permitted use. Defendants are not required to issue a letter verifying that a medical cannabis dispensary is a permitted use in Urban Commercial Zoning District and that locating a medical cannabis dispensary at the proposed Dispensary Location is a permitted use. Defendants have no duty to issue a building permit to 10I Drummer Drive, LLC as Contract Purchaser and Landlord to Hippocratic Growth.”

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