The Michigan Supreme Court agreed Jan. 23 to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging whether local governments can restrict where medical marijuana caregivers can grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Byron Township is asking the state’s highest court to reverse a July Michigan Court of Appeals decision that held the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) doesn’t allow municipalities to restrict where caregivers can grow medical marijuana.

“The decision of the Court of Appeals is clearly erroneous,” wrote Grand Rapids attorney Craig Noland in the Township’s application to appeal. “If left undisturbed, the decision effectively renders any and all zoning land use regulations, which address caregiver grow operations, void and unenforceable.”

The township also wants the court to order Kent County Circuit Court to order the lawsuit, filed by Christie DeRuiter, be dismissed.

The township sent DeRuiter, a registered caregiver, a letter in March 2016 that her medical marijuana-related activities constituted a zoning violation because she grew marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility at a commercial location.

DeRuiter sued, alleging the township’s ordinance prohibited what the MMMA permitted.

The Supreme Court placed a similar case, Charter Township of York v. Donald Miller, Katherine Null and David Miller, on hold pending the outcome of the DeRuiter case.

This story presented in cooperation with MIRS, a Lansing-based news and information service.