Costa Mesa will not pursue criminal penalties against dispensary owners after Appeals Court ruling

Our Costa Mesa medical marijuana dispensary attorneys have reviewed the latest city ordinance attempting to regulate the legal business of providing medical marijuana to patients. Our Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys believe fines and civil lawsuits are the most likely sanctions for violating the ordinance.

The Orange County Register reports that the city will not seek criminal prosecution against those that violate the ordinance. While city law still classifies operating a dispensary as a misdemeanor or infraction, the new law says the city has never sought criminal prosecution and does not intend to do so in the future.

The move was in response to a ruling in August by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, which frowned on criminalizing dispensaries solely based on medical marijuana activities. As our attorneys at the CANNABIS LAW GROUP have frequently reported, it is going to be a fight to force the amateur politicians and local municipalities to recognize the rights of these businesses, which are operating legally under state law. Many of the victories may come at the appeals level. But we believe in the rights of marijuana dispensaries to do business in accordance with California law.

In this ruling, the state rejected the argument of a conflict between state and federal law, saying such a conflict would only exist if the government required people to possess marijuana. “The city may not justify its ordinance solely under federal law, nor in doing so invoke federal preemption of state law that may invalidate the city’s ordinance,” the court wrote.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP is a law firm dedicated to the rights of medical marijuana patients, collectives and growers and has built a reputation for high-powered, aggressive legal representation of the medical marijuana industry in Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.