Nearly 30 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Bernardino county have just a short time before they’re shut down my county officials.
Back in May, a land-use regulation was enacted by county supervisors allowing Code Enforcement officials to begin their 13-step compliance process against 26 dispensaries. Under this compliance process, dispensaries will be handed increasingly higher fines the longer they keep their doors open for business.
Our San Bernardino medical marijuana lawyers understand that even as enforcement moves ahead, a couple of court rulings may limit the county’s ability to close these dispensaries. It is only after the 13th step that the county can begin civil action to close any dispensary that is in noncompliance. Criminal penalties have been shot down by a recent court ruling. Those who stand in fight are most likely to be successful while those that fold and close could be forfeiting their future rights.
Conflicts between local ordinances, state laws and federal legislation remain unresolved, and the number of court rulings in favor of the dispensaries continues to grow.
As we’ve discussed before, the federal government recently decided to keep marijuana on the Schedule I list with heroin, cocaine and ecstasy. This is the most serious of all drug classifications under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The Compassionate Use Act was also passed to allow patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation and their designated primary caregivers to both grow and possess marijuana for personal use.
Still, local governments make attempts to ban dispensaries.
The county’s enforcement is being challenged by lawsuits. The current ordinance requires that residents of unincorporated areas can only grow their own supply indoors. Outdoor growth is prohibited.
Proposition 215 allows the existence of all storefront dispensaries, but local governments are tossing out this law and are continuing attempts to illegally shut them down.
“One sentence in AB 1300 says local jurisdictions have the ability to regulate these businesses,” said Lawrence Bynum, a Riverside civil attorney. “I think that could open the door to banning them.”
Of the 26 dispensaries that the county is targeting, nine of them have taken legal action against the county. The court hearings for most of those countersuits are scheduled for July and August.
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.
Pot Dispensaries Face a Ticking Clock, by Glenn Barr, Mountain News
More Blog Entries:
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Garden Grove Now Required to Register with City Council, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, July 24, 2011
Business Owners of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Los Angeles Not Treated Fairly, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, July 5, 2011
Oakland Medical Marijuana Operation Shut Down, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, July 3, 2011