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Home > AZ Cannabis News > Arizonans’ Lawsuit Claims AZDHS Illegally Reassigned Their Cannabis License

Arizonans’ Lawsuit Claims AZDHS Illegally Reassigned Their Cannabis License

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An Arizona Supreme Court lawsuit reveals that two Arizonans have accused the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), which oversees the state’s medical and adult-use marijuana industries, of unlawfully transferring their cannabis dispensary license without notice or due process.

Last year, Anavel Vasquez was awarded a social equity marijuana license for her company, Juicy Joint. But a few months after Vasquez received the cannabis license for Juicy Joint, she cut ties with Juicy Joint due to issues with her business partner and formed a new cannabis company, Menvas22, with a new partner and applied for the cannabis license to be transferred to that company. The AZDHS approved that transfer last November. However, in July of this year, the AZDHS abruptly reversed course and reverted the license back to Juicy Joint, which Vasquez no longer co-manages.

Vasquez’s lawyer obtained documents through Freedom of Information Act requests that suggest how this might have happened. According to the complaint, they indicate that on July 10, an attorney representing Vasquez’s former business partner in Juicy Joint shared an unconfirmed arbitration award between Juicy Joint and Velasquez with an outside attorney for AZDHS, Marijuana Moment reported. “Within 24 hours,” the lawsuit says, the AZDHS had reverted the license to Juicy Joint.

“At no point did AZDHS contact or even attempt to contact Menvas22 prior to voiding its license,” according to the lawsuit. “There was no opportunity given by AZDHS for Menvas22 to object to AZDHS’ proposed actions. AZDHS unilaterally removed or transferred Menvas22’s license without notice, opportunity to be heard, or due process of the law.”

An email from an AZDHS compliance officer to an attorney for Juicy Joint said that “Vasquez will be shown as ‘transferee’ with no rights to do anything” following the transfer.

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