Myrtle Beach business owners file federal lawsuit over CBD overlay ordinance

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)-  Several Ocean Boulevard businesses filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court this week regarding the city’s ordinance banning items like CBD products, e-cigs, and edibles in the Entertainment Overlay District. 

The ordinance banning the sale of the items on certain parts of Ocean Boulevard was passed by city council in August and is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2019. 

The businesses are suing the city of Myrtle Beach, mayor Brenda Bethune and council members under the civil rights act to stop the enforcement of the ordinance. According to the lawsuit, if the ban is enforced, the business owners say they would lose their businesses, which represent the bulk of their family savings and suffer “grievous and irreparable”  harm.

“The Ordinance, as written, abuses governmental power, denies free speech in a traditional public forum, does not further any important or substantial government interest, and imposes restrictions that are greater than necessary to further any government interest asserted,” the lawsuit states. 

The businesses also allege the ordinance represents the taking of their property because many wouldn’t be able to continue operating after the rule goes into effect January 1, 2019. 

The case has been assigned to Judge Bryan Harwell. 

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