One applicant saw its rejection reversed: ZY Labs, whose plans to open a dispensary in Hillside was given new life.
The DOH had rejected the ZY Labs application because it did not include written approval of the project by officials in Hillside, where the proposed medical marijuana dispensary would be built.
But ZY Labs did include letters from three prominent community members supporting the project. In its decision, the appellate court ruled that those letters satisfied the DOH's requirement for "approval of the community or governing body of the municipality."
"(The DOH's) plain language allows for an applicant's submission of documentation of the support of members of the community or the municipality's governing body," the decision reads. "This interpretation not only attributes to the regulation its ordinary, common meaning but also ensures that no part of the regulation is rendered superfluous or ineffective."
The court stopped short of simply awarding ZY Labs a medical marijuana license, instead kicking the application back to the DOH for review.