Long Beach May Consider Medical Marijuana Ban after Appeals Court Ruling
Our Long Beach medical marijuana defense attorneys continue to monitor the fallout from the recent court decision, which ruled the city’s dispensary permitting scheme was illegal because it sanctioned activity illegal under federal law.
In light of the crackdown on medical marijuana launched by the federal government, we urge every dispensary in Southern California to meet with an experienced defense firm. This is not an alarmist message, we believe there is strength in numbers and that dispensaries have legal rights under state law. But the time has come to lawyer up and fight. We don’t believe that going without legal representation is a viable option at this point.
As we reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, the appeals court ruled the city could not hold a lottery and collect fees, which put it in a position of authorizing the retail sale of marijuana, which is illegal under federal law. The Los Angeles medical marijuana ordinance contains similar provisions.
Combined with the federal crackdown, the unfortunate result could be a move toward outright bans — even by cities that had been otherwise prone to create regulations. Patient care and the medical marijuana rights of California residents could suffer. It’s important to remember that this is a voter-approved constitutional issue. We do not believe bureaucracy has the right to create legal hurdles and constraints.
In light of the Pack v. Long Beach decision, the city contends it may not be able to permit collectives. Officials may also consider a regulation process that may not run afoul of the law in the same way that registering as a sex offender does not condone sex offenses.
City council and the city attorney may decide to move toward a ban. Collective operators must stand and fight.
The Contra Costa Times is reporting council will repeal its 1-year-old law and refund about $700,000 in collected fees. It will also move to ban storefront dispensaries. It will appeal the decision to seek clarification regarding the city’s ability to regulate dispensaries.
Long Beach’s ordinance had permitted a qualified number of collectives to participate in a lottery for a permit. The non-refundable application fee was nearly $15,000.
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 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.