Entrepreneurs trying to open a Portland recreational cannabis shop are suing the city over decisions made by the agency responsible for licensing weed stores.
The lawsuit, filed Jan. 31 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, accuses the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement of giving "biased and impermissibly favorable treatment" to a competing cannabis shop called Shango-Waterfront.
That business's officers, listed in the state registry, include at least two of the same men who ran Stars Cabaret Beaverton, the strip club that is currently being sued for $8 million over allegations it hired a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old as dancers.
According to the legal papers, ONI repeatedly extended deadlines for Shango-Waterfront, to the disadvantage of Front Ave., which is seeking to become a competing weed shop within 1,000 feet.
City rules prohibit more than one pot shop within a 1,000 feet of each other—so the shop that gets through the regulatory process first has a huge advantage.
"It's an example of how Portland needlessly created complexity, expense and uncertainty in the marijuana industry," says Bear Wilner-Nugent, attorney for Front Ave.
Amy Margolis, a lawyer for Shango-Waterfront, declined to comment. The city declined to comment.