Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is again trying to shut down a Chesterfield Township medical marijuana dispensary, claiming it sold marijuana outside the rules of the law.
Judge John Foster scheduled a Feb. 13 show-cause hearing for attorneys to argue Schuette’s claim Big Daddy’s Hydroponics and Compassion Center violated the law when it sold marijuana to an undercover officer armed with a medical marijuana license but who didn’t list Big Daddy’s as his caregiver.
Schutte in a motion filed Wednesday in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens asks Foster “to order the occupants vacate the property; the business be padlocked for a period of one year; the illegal contraband destroyed pursuant to law; and all contents of the premises be removed and sold.”
He also seeks a $7,500 fine or 93 days in jail, as allowed by the law.
The request comes as part of an ongoing legal battle between Big Daddy’s on Gratiot Avenue and Chesterfield Township, which was joined by Schuette, over the 2008 Medical Marijuana Act passed by voters in 2008. The act allows people to register as a patient or caregiver; a caregiver can produce marijuana for personal use and five other licensed patients.
Schuette and the township argue that a caregiver must supply a specific five people who name the caregiver on their cards, while Big Daddy’s contends that a caregiver can provide to any five licensed patients.
Schuette says that on Jan, 25, undercover cop James Ruthenberg, a Harper Woods police officer who has worked on the County of Macomb Enforcement Team, the anti-drug unit, purchased a $20 membership at Big Daddy’s using a fictitious identification and corresponding MMA patient license and bought 6.2 grams, $60 worth, of “Bubba Kush” marijuana from a caregiver “Katie.” Ruthenberg did not name anyone as a caregiver on his card.
Big Daddy’s attorney Corbett O’Meara, said Friday he will not contest the facts of the case but that Katie’s actions were legal. He said this situation has not been resolved by the courts.
The plain language of the Act allows it,” O’Meara said. “It’s our contention that this issue has not been specifically resolved. This is exactly the issue that needs to be resolved.”
The case is scheduled for trial the next day in front of Foster on the zoning issues, but O’Meara said that it could be delayed because whoever loses Schuette’s request likely will appeal to the state Court of Appeals.
The township sued Big Daddy’s in July.
Foster on Nov. 30 ordered Big Daddy’s to not produce, possess or exchange marijuana on its premises. In December, he clarified it to say the facility could keep and sell marijuana within the rules of the MMA. Zoning and occupancy issues remain.