Jeffrey Beall

Judge Denies Injunction Request by Starbuds in Grow License Denial Case

A Denver District Court judge has given the owners of Starbuds until Sept. 3 to finish harvesting the maturing plants in its grow facility, after which they must destroy any that remain, according to a report by the Denver Post.

The order comes after Judge Ross B.H. Buchanan denied the company’s preliminary injunction request against the denial of a routine cultivation license by Department of Excise and Licenses Executive Director Stacie Loucks.

The denial is the first ever by the city; made on the grounds that the grow operation is a detriment to the residents’ quality of life and hindered the neighborhood’s prospects for improvement. Starbuds says that their renewal should not have been up for an administrative hearing, which sparked the community protest.

City attorneys plan on filing a motion asking the judge to dismiss the case. However, according to Starbuds attorney Jim McTurnan, if the chain survives the motion the judge could consider the injunction challenge more fully. He said Buchanan used a broad interpretation of the marijuana code, giving the excise department leeway to decide when to hold administrative hearings, which would be “problematic for the industry.”

“We’re certainly concerned about what precedent this might set,” McTurnan said in the report.

Last month, the City Council passed an odor-control ordinance aimed at stemming cannabis cultivation odors which take effect next year. Starbuds has already installed four carbon filters at the grow site in response to community pushback.

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