‘Marijuana Fortress’ Operator Sues San Bernardino Over Pot Ordinance

A SoCal mom-turned-marijuana kingpin is suing the City of San Bernardino over its marijuana ordinance, saying the law could create cannabis monopolies and improperly bar her from working in the marijuana industry.

The plaintiff, Stephanie Smith, owns a business that rents properties to cannabis enterprises and claims to be California’s largest marijuana landlord to date.

In December, one of Smith’s properties was raided by authorities. Her clients’ operations were shut down, with police seizing 35,000 marijuana plants.

Smith now fears a city ordinance passed after those raids could bar her from ever operating a commercial cannabis business in the city as a result of that run in with the law. That’s unfair Smith and her attorney say because her tenants were in the process of getting licensed at the time and Smith was never even arrested in connection with the offense.

“This misguided ordinance is a backdoor ban that continues the city’s illogical campaign against a legal product,” Smith said in a statement. “Any person who has ever had anything to do with cannabis is banned for life from entering the legal market under this ordinance. It is not what the voters want and it makes no sense.”

The lawsuit said the ordinance would violate the constitutional right to due process by disqualifying tenants or Smith without ever granting them an administrative or criminal hearing.

The lawsuit also claimed the city law could create monopolies of certain types of marijuana operating licenses.

Read more at the Cannabist