Judge orders Maricopa County to pay attorney fees

PHOENIX - A judge is ordering Maricopa County to pay $190,000 for attorney fees incurred by a Sun City medical dispensary operator which successfully challenged the county's refusal to provide zoning clearance for the facility.

Superior Court Judge Michael D. Gordon also ordered the county to pay $3,700 in other legal costs borne by White Mountain Health Center Inc. plus a $5,000 penalty for trying to impose a blanket prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Gordon previously ruled in White Mountain's lawsuit that the county wasn't in compliance with Arizona's voter-approved law on medical marijuana.

The county is appealing Gordon's ruling that dispensaries are allowed despite federal laws against marijuana trafficking.

Since that ruling, the county in January approved a new ordinance allowing dispensaries in commercial zones and cultivation sites in industrial zones.

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