A cannabis dispensary in south-central Massachusetts has filed suit against the town of Uxbridge where it operates, claiming that city officials can’t justify charging the company roughly $1.4 million in “community impact fees,” a long-controversial policy across the state’s marijuana industry that has spawned other lawsuits in the past.
The suit – filed in Massachusetts Superior Court by Caroline’s Cannabis on April 7 last year – contends that Uxbridge officials were unable to provide sufficient documentation for actual impacts to the town from the dispensary’s existence in order to justify quarterly impact fees of roughly $90,000, Law360 reported.
Caroline’s Cannabis alleged in its suit that by the time it filed suit, it had forked over a total of $1.26 million since opening in 2019. The company also asserted that its impact fees were more than what was being paid by 18 other cannabis shops that also operate in Uxbridge.
The case could go to trial this summer, since the town is fighting the claims and has replied in court filings that it’s not required by state or local law to document expenses incurred by the dispensary’s existence. Both the town and Caroline’s Cannabis have accused each other in court documents of breach of contract and other misdeeds.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for July 11 in the case, but the town requested a stay, and the next steps in the case are unclear.
Local impact fees for marijuana companies in Massachusetts have been under fire for years, with some cannabis companies accusing various municipalities of abusing the power in order to fleece marijuana businesses, while localities argue they’ve had a range of increased costs associated with legal cannabis.