Palm Desert Moving To Close Doors On CannaHelp


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Palm Desert is seeking an injunction to close down CannaHelp, the medical marijuana dispensary that has been in business on El Paseo for a year and a half.

The city filed a request for a temporary injunction against the dispensary on Friday in Riverside County Superior Court in Indio. The request cited "miscellaneous complaints," including operating without a business license, violating the city's zoning code, and violating the state's medical marijuana law by making a profit, said City Attorney David Erwin.

A hearing in the case may not occur until October, and no action will be taken to close the dispensary before then, Erwin said.

CannaHelp owner Stacy Hochanadel said he is determined to stay open.

"I'm trying to take care of sick people. I'm not doing this for my health and well being," Hochanadel said in a phone interview Friday.

Relations between Hochanadel and the city have been rocky almost from the beginning, with the dispensary surviving repeated attempts to close it down.

The city issued a business license to the dispensary in October 2005, tried to revoke it the following February, without success, and then renewed it in October 2006.

When the City Council finally voted to revoke the license last December, Hochanadel defied its order to close.

Hochanadel and two of the dispensary's managers, John Bednar and James Campbell, were charged by Riverside County earlier this year with three felony charges related to possession and sale of marijuana and the operation of the dispensary.

A preliminary hearing in that case on Friday was continued to May 25.

Newshawk: CoZmO -
Source: The Desert Sun (California)
Author: K Kaufmann
Copyright: 2007 The Desert Sun
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