Lansing Provisioning Center Prevails in Zoning Dispute

On March 19, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s order granting an injunction against the City of Lansing in a zoning dispute with a group operating a local provisioning center. The plaintiff, Gamut Group, owned and operated an unlicensed provisioning center in Lansing since 2011. In October of 2017, the city passed a revised zoning ordinance that limited medical marijuana dispensaries to zoning areas other than the one Gamut had operated in for years. Gamut applied for rezoning of the property, which was denied by the city council.

Gamut subsequently filed for the injunction based on the theory that its substantive due process rights were violated by the denial. It argued that, under Michigan law, land use regulations are unconstitutional by a showing that (1) there is not reasonable government interest being advanced by the present zoning classification, or (2) that an ordinance is unreasonable because of the purely arbitrary, capricious, and unfounded exclusion of other types of legitimate land use from the area in question.

The Court of Appeals applied the factors above and concluded that the denial was purely “political” and based on no discernible legitimate government interest—and that Gamut was “treated differently” than other landowners nearby.

The full opinion can be found here: Court of Appeals Opinion.