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City to Seek Federal Injunction Against Marijuana Dispensary


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A medical marijuana dispensary in Cathedral City has received notice of the city's intent to revoke its business license. Essential Herbs and Oils, the recently opened medical marijuana dispensary on East Palm Canyon Drive, was served the notice on Friday, said Deputy City Manager Julie Baumer. Federal court action could be next, Baumer added.

"The city attorney is going to be seeking a federal injunction this week," she said. "That would be an injunction to stop the business from selling medical marijuana, and that would be in federal court in Riverside." The U.S. District Court for the Ninth Circuit has offices in Riverside.

But Anthony Curiale, attorney for Essential Herbs, said the dispensary's owners will resist any efforts to close the store. "We have an obligation to the patients to fight for them," Curiale said. "We don't want to put these people back in dark alley. That seems to be where the city wants them to go."

The dispensary, owned by Virginia Hurn and Teresa Sotelo, opened about a month ago with a business license from the city to manufacture and sell herbs, spices and extracts. The dispensary remained open Monday despite the notice from the city. The notice to revoke the license cites federal law banning any use or sale of marijuana. A date for a hearing on the revocation, required under city law, has yet to be set, Baumer said.

Curiale has argued that marijuana is an herb and that the store is not technically selling it. It is an association of patients that is legal under California's medical marijuana laws, he said.

Cathedral City, along with Rancho Mirage, are the only cities in the Coachella Valley without either a moratorium or ban against dispensaries.

Source: The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Desert Sun
Contact: mydesert.com | Palm Springs hometown newspaper, covering Coachella Valley, California
Website: MyDesert.com | The Desert Sun | Palm Springs news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Palm Springs, California
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