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Dispensary's Court Battle With City Continues


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
A medical marijuana dispensary continues to operate in Cathedral City while it legally challenges the city's new ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana.

City officials are reluctant to shut down South Coast Patients Collective Association, despite having an injunction to do so that was issued by a superior court judge on Aug. 31. The dispensary's attorney appealed the injunction in September and the case has been sent to the Fourth Appellate District Court in Riverside.

"It is in our view that it's in the city's best interest to wait for the appellate decision before enforcing the injunction," Cathedral City City Attorney Charles Green said.

Enforcing the injunction now rather than waiting for the results of an appeal would put the city in an "unclear area of law," Green said.

South Coast opened in an office suite at 68-487 E. Palm Canyon Drive in April, before the city adopted its ordinance banning medical cannabis sales, South Coast director Johnnye Scates said.

South Coast attorney Anthony Curiale of Brea was unavailable for comment Thursday.

City officials discovered the dispensary operating without a business license on July 28, a month after the ordinance banning medical marijuana sales within city limits was adopted.

It was not the city's first encounter with dispensaries in city limits.

Cathedral City officials attempted in 2008 to shut down Essential Herbs and Oils in federal court. The city was granted a restraining order against the dispensary, but was later denied an injunction. Essential Herbs and Oils voluntarily closed.

This time, armed with its ordinance, Cathedral City filed at the Indio branch of Riverside County Superior Court for the injunction to halt South Coast from selling medical marijuana because it allegedly violates the ordinance, according to court documents.

Curiale filed a response on Aug. 13, alleging the city's ordinance violates several state codes. Among them are health and safety codes that originated with state Compassionate Use and Marijuana Program acts that allow "primary caregivers" to provide medical marijuana to a "qualified patient," the documents state.

Green said the city disagrees.

"The issue in this case is not whether or not South Coast can sell marijuana; it's whether or not the city has the right (to) regulate or ban business within its city limits," Green said.

News Hawk- Ganjarden 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The Desert Sun
Author: Victor Morales
Contact: The Desert Sun
Copyright: 2009 MyDesert.com
Website: Dispensary's Court Battle With City Continues
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