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GLOUCESTER — The owner of Happy Valley, the first retail marijuana dispensary to open on Cape Ann, is taking the city of Gloucester to court over what it says are excessive and illegal community impact fees it is being forced to pay to do business. 

The suit was filed by attorneys for HVV Massachusetts Inc. Wednesday in Salem Superior Court. It names the city and outgoing Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken (in her official capacity) and is asking for the city to refund nearly $500,000 in fees. 

The suit says that it first began its efforts to open what initially was going to be a medical marijuana dispensary, but switched to a retail model following legalization of retail cannabis in 2016. 

After spending millions on obtaining permits and developing plans for a retail, cultivation and manufacturing operation, the business began negotiating with the city in 2018 for a host community agreement. 

Even after Happy Valley hired a new firm that specialized in cannabis law, the city insisted that it would not sign any host community agreement that called for any less than 3%

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