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Lawsuit Challenges Loveland Pot Dispensary Ban

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CB4/AP) - Three medical marijuana businesses and some patients have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the city of Loveland’s new ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Larimer County District Court, a day before the city’s deadline for existing dispensaries to close.

A voter-approved amendment to the state constitution allows registered patients with certain medical conditions to use limited amounts of marijuana, but last year state lawmakers gave cities the option of banning dispensaries. Voters in Loveland chose to do so in November.

The lawsuit argues Loveland’s ban on dispensaries, including ones that were open before city voters banned them, is unconstitutional and will deprive patients of local sources of medical marijuana.

“I have put a lot of money into this business that I’ll lose,” dispensary owner Walter Rayburn said.

The lawsuit argues that, “When plaintiffs applied for and received all necessary local and state approvals to engage in business, it was impossible to foresee that defendants would soon ban the very same businesses they have previously permitted.”

Everyone is waiting for a ruling from the judge who could issue a temporary restraining order and keep the centers open before taking the time to really tackle the issue.

The city attorney didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail sent after business hours seeking comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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