BREAKING: Officials in Hamden, Connecticut File Court Order Seeking To Shut Down Private "High Bazaar" Cannabis Party
The Motion For A Prejudgement Ex-Parte Temporary Injunction Was Filed at 4:00PM on Wednesday, February 9th 2022
A screenshot of the Town of Hamden's "Application for Ex-Parte Temporary Injunction" targeting the High Bazaar.
In the summer of 2021, Connecticut cannabis activists cheered the state's adoption of a framework for legal adult use sales and possession (medical use has been legal in the state since 2012). Now, some worry the formal introduction of that law (a license lottery began this week for prospective applicants) is being weaponized to target small private cannabis consumption events in at least one local town.
With a strong legal framework protecting homegrow and gifting of cannabis, coupled with a delayed, capped and problematic licensing process for smaller operators, private parties such as the High Bazaar in Hamden have quickly become the only accessible consumption spaces open to patients and community members.
Some local town officials, however, are not pleased, with City Attorney Timothy J. Lee telling a judge in New Haven Superior Court that such private parties "[pose] an unreasonable threat to the public health, safety and welfare" if they are not fully permitted and accompanied by "adequate police presence".
In turn, say the town, they want a temporary injunction (an order that would stop the events from happening in the short term) issued in an ex-parte manner (which is to say, issued without High Bazaar officials providing a formal response in court).
The four conditions requested by the Town of Hamden in a court filing seeking a temporary injunction to shut down a local private consumption event.
Such an ex-parte injunction would only be valid for 30 days and carries an extensive burden on the moving party (in this case the town) to demonstrate one of the following conditions was met;
"(1) facts showing that within a reasonable time prior to presenting the application the applicant gave notice to each opposing party of the time when and the place where the application would be presented and provided a copy of the application; or
(2) the applicant in good faith attempted but was unable to give notice to an opposing party or parties, specifying the efforts made to contact such party or parties; or
(3) facts establishing good cause why the applicant should not be required to give notice to each opposing party."
Interestingly, a letter sent to High Bazaar officials indicates notification was provided mere hours before Wednesday's court filing;
A letter from Hamden Town officials to organizers of the High Bazaar, sent just hours before a court filing on Wednesday evening.
Sources close to the New England Craft Cannabis Alliance (the organization that hosts the Bazaar) indicate the group will be reviewing the documents on file with the Superior Court and preparing a formal response (the group may have the option to fight the ex-parte injunction application itself or pursue further remedies at future hearings).
For their part, local officials contend in court filings that they were prohibited from entering the private party over the weekend of February 5th and 6th, 2022, thus making a site inspection impossible;
In a moment that was perhaps not a coincidence, event organizers posted to social media over that same weekend indicating power had been cut to their private party without notice or discussion (something they say created hazardous conditions).
Further adding to online speculation, the event had also been the subject of local news coverage in late January of this year, leading some to wonder if existing medical operators in the state (eight large corporate operators who are looking to expand into the nascent adult use market) are using their immense resources to target such events by-proxy.
Read the town's complaint and full motion for injunctive relief below;
Town of Hamden Complaint: https://www.scribd.com/document/558027698/Complaint
Town of Hamden Application for Ex Parte Injunction: https://www.scribd.com/document/558027843/Application-for-Ex-Parte-Injunction
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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By: Grant Smith Ellis
Wed 10 Feb 2022 6:50AM ET
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