Orange County Marijuana Lawyers: Official’s Dispensary Underscores Industry Legitimacy

Orange County marijuana lawyers were interested to read recent reports indicating that the former Orange city manager and current Stockton fire chief is now a supplier and landlord for an Anaheim marijuana dispensary. grenwonder.jpg

While this is being portrayed by some media outlets as some sort of a scandal, our Orange County marijuana lawyers would hope this would lend some legitimacy to an industry that provides a valid – and legal – service within the health care community. There should be zero shame in this.

The Orange County Register reports that David Rudat is the chief finance officer of a company that sells hydroponic growing equipment to those in the medical marijuana industry. Additionally, he and his wife own a warehouse where medical marijuana is sold and stored. Other tenants in that building have indicated to reporters that Rudat additionally owns another warehouse nearby, where he grows and processes the medical marijuana.

Rudat, when questioned about the business by reporters, gave very little information except to say that he is up to code and operating in accordance with state law. There are about 30 dispensaries in all in Anaheim.

The one-time politician has now found himself on the other side of the argument. City officials in Anaheim have been trying to shut down Rudat’s operation – and others – since 2007, through a dispensary ban that it passed in 2007. It has sent a cease and desist order, but the city is now wrapped up in costly litigation over the ban with patients who use medical marijuana. The city’s actions conflict with state law, which conflicts with federal law.

Attorneys for the city maintain that the Federal Controlled Substance Act supersedes the state’s law, which allows that medical marijuana – and its sale and growth – are legal.

But meanwhile, Rudat said he had heard nothing from city officials with regard to asking him to close. He intended to consult with an Anaheim marijuana attorney about the matter.

Rudat said he already had the lease on the marijuana operation when he accepted the temporary position as Stockton’s acting fire chief. He said at the time that he was already working in the private sector – with no intention of going back into public service – when he was approached about the Stockton fire chief job.

He underscored that he does not use marijuana in any form.

Of course, it’s his prerogative to reveal that information, but the thing is: Why would it be seen as a bad thing if he did? Would someone fall under such intensive scrutiny if he or she were prescribed Prozac? How is this any different?

In a statement released to the media, the city manager for Stockton said he was aware of Rudat’s venture, and has no issue with it one way or the other, and that the fire chief is entitled to operate an outside business if he so chooses. There is no conflict of interest, as far as the city manager is concerned.

And that is how it should be!

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Ex-Orange official is landlord to pot dispensary, By TONY SAAVEDRA / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

More Blog Entries:
Register Orange County Medical Marijuana Patients, Lawmakers Say, April 7, 2012, Orange County Marijuana Lawyer Blog