If you need any evidence that there is strength in numbers — even if everyone is ill informed and willing to spend millions of tax dollars to prove it — you need look no further than San Diego, where the Union-Tribune reports officials plan to vote on a measure that would force all medical marijuana dispensaries to close and then apply to reopen.
Our Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary attorneys are representing more than a dozen dispensaries and collectives in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. A judge’s recent rejection of the criminal element of the L.A. ordinance proves victory is possible. Many collectives are choosing to remain open and fight. City leaders must chase them for civil fines in court — as if forcing them out of business was not the ultimate civil penalty anyway.
As politicians in cities and counties across Southern California push this issue — it gets them on television and is sexier than tackling the real issues of the day like budget deficits and the education and safety of our children — they are spending millions and millions of tax dollars, often ignoring the advice of their own legal teams, and generally creating a legal disaster that will take most of the next decade to resolve. We think it most likely that the dispensaries and collectives that stand and fight will prevail in the end.
San Diego’s proposal would require every storefront in the city to close and then apply for an operating permit. Thousands of patients would lose access to medical marijuana in the interim.
The permit process could take more than a year. There is no agreement on how many collectives would even be permitted to operate — although it would be far fewer than the 165 that now exist.
Can you imagine? What if the city decided all convenience stores must shut down by week’s end. They could apply to remain open, but no guarantees. Not sure how the permitting process would work. Don’t know how many would be issued. Most would agree that business owners should sue the city for millions. And win. We don’t think the medical marijuana issue is radically different. These businesses are operating legally under state law. Some have been in business for years. All of a sudden a used car salesman elected to city council decides to break out his pencil and order all of them closed?
Good luck with that.
Meanwhile, the patients have legal rights, too. Officials are planning for (taxpayer funded litigation). They know either they will sue or some of the dispensaries or patients will sue. In all likelihood, everyone will sue and rightfully so. The city will spend millions upon millions upon millions of tax dollars litigating a losing case. Many of the dispensaries will stay open anyway.
At least 50,000 people in the county have a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana.
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.