Colton Sued Over Cannabis Law

A cannabis real estate developer who made headlines last year is suing the City of Colton in San Bernardino, alleging its marijuana ordinance violates state and constitutional law.

Stephanie Smith -- the self-described “biggest cannabis landlord in California” -- filed a lawsuit against Colton on April 24 on behalf of B Street Industries. She claims its cannabis law violates Proposition 64, due process rights, and privacy. She wants to see it overturned.

Smith’s lawsuit argues that Colton’s decision to only allow two marijuana cultivation facilities creates a monopoly that’s ripe for cronyism. The suit also claims a requirement that residents must register if they want to grow marijuana at home as allowed under Proposition 64 violates medical privacy laws and rights against self-incrimination.

Smith contends the two-license limit is a recipe for “an unfair duopoly” and rank favoritism.

“Colton’s ordinance has no criteria as to how applicants will be selected or rejected,” she said. “(That) strongly indicates a giveaway to political cronies. Prop. 64 expressly prohibits this kind of corrupt king-making.”

The lawsuit also alleges a potential violation of due process, since Colton’s ordinance says city officials can declare any part of an application a “misstatement” and then reject the applicant without a process in place to correct or appeal the decision.

Smith has already launched a similar legal challenge against the City of San Bernardino. 

You can read a copy of the complaint against Colton at the San Bernardino Sun.