Cannabis Litigation and Host Community Agreements

February 20,2020 (Update) - Last week, the City Solicitor’s Office filed a Petition for Interlocutory Review to a Single Justice of the Appeals Court in the case Revolutionary Clinics II, Inc. v. the City of Cambridge. The plaintiff in that case challenged the City’s Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance, specifically, the two-year period in which only Economic Empowerment Applicants are eligible to receive a Cannabis Business Permit for a Cannabis Retail Store (the “two-year moratorium”). The City is seeking interlocutory relief from a Single Justice of the Appeals Court with regard to the Superior Court’s January 24, 2020 order on the Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction in this case (“Order”), which restrains and enjoins the City from enforcing the two-year moratorium and from taking any action to prevent the Plaintiff from immediately applying to convert its Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (“MTC”) to a co-located adult-use cannabis retail establishment and MTC.  The City also filed a Notice of Appeal in the Superior Court preserving the City’s right to further appeal the Order to a panel of the Appeals Court.  Additionally, the City filed an Emergency Motion for a Stay of the Court’s Order in the Superior Court.  The Motion for a Stay requests that the Superior Court stay the Order pending the appeal.

The documents filed by the City are available via the following links:


The City has lawfully exercised its rights to appeal the decision of the Superior Court and to seek a stay of the Superior Court’s decision pending the outcome of the appeal. The City stands by its pleadings in this case and looks forward to the Courts’ consideration of these issues. The City will abide by the decisions of the Courts in this matter.  

The City has also started accepting applications from interested parties who wish to enter into a Host Community Agreement (“HCA”) with the City and it has established the process that will be used for interested parties to apply to enter into an HCA with the City. The process is set out in a document entitled “Request for Statement of Interest for Cannabis Business Host Community Agreement,” which is posted on the City’s web site and is available here. Any interested party may apply to enter into a HCA. The City Manager, in his sole discretion, may then enter into negotiations with qualifying applicants to finalize and enter into a HCA, which will generally be based upon a template that the City has prepared, available here.  

Although the City had previously indicated on February 14, 2020 that it would await further action by either the Superior Court or the Appeals Court before entering into HCAs with qualifying applicants, the City has revised its position and will accept and process any and all applications for HCAs from interested parties and will enter into HCAs with qualifying applicants.

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February 14, 2020 (Original Statement) - Today the City Solicitor’s Office filed a Petition for Interlocutory Review to a Single Justice of the Appeals Court in the case Revolutionary Clinics II, Inc. v. the City of Cambridge. The plaintiff in that case has challenged the City’s Cannabis Business Permitting Ordinance, specifically, the two year period in which only Economic Empowerment Applicants are eligible to receive a Cannabis Business Permit for a Cannabis Retail Store (the “two-year moratorium”). The City is seeking interlocutory relief from a Single Justice of the Appeals Court with regard to the Superior Court’s January 24, 2020 order on the Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction in this case (“Order”), which restrains and enjoins the City from enforcing the two-year moratorium and from taking any action to prevent the Plaintiff from immediately applying to convert its Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (“MTC”) to a co-located adult-use cannabis retail establishment and MTC.  The City also filed a Notice of Appeal in the Superior Court preserving the City’s right to further appeal the Order to a panel of the Appeals Court.  Additionally, the City filed an Emergency Motion for a Stay of the Court’s Order in the Superior Court.  The Motion for a Stay requests that the Superior Court stay the Order pending the appeals.

The City has also announced that it is ready to start accepting applications for Host Community Agreements from Cannabis Retail Stores in Cambridge.  City Staff has finalized the process that will be used for interested parties to apply to enter into a Host Community Agreement with the City.  The process is set out in a Statement of Interest that applicants will complete and submit with supporting documentation for City Staff’s review.  The City Manager will then enter into a Host Community Agreement with qualifying applicants, based generally upon a template that City Staff has prepared.  The Statement of Interest and template Host community Agreement will be available to the public on the City’s website early next week.

Any interested party can apply to enter into a Host Community Agreement with the City.  However, initially the City will not enter into any agreements while the City awaits further action by either the Superior Court or the Appeals Court on the above referenced appeal and related pleadings.  

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Page was posted on 2/14/2020 5:51 PM
Page was last modified on 2/20/2020 1:55 PM
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