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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bans Upheld By High Court

May 8th

California Supreme Court Rules Cities and Counties Can Use Zoning to Ban Pot Shops

The state Supreme Court decisively ruled Monday that cities and counties have the right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within their territory, but leading activists say their fight for easy access is not over.

“This is pretty much the end of the road, unless the state Legislature changes how much it allows the city to regulate,” said J.  David Nick, who argued the dispensaries’ position in front of the high court and represents a few dispensaries in the Coachella Valley.  He does not anticipate any sort of appeal.  “You’re going to see some very specific legislation to address the decision of the court.”

The Supreme Court ruled 7-0 in favor of Riverside, which took the Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center to court after it opened in defiance of that city’s ordinance banning dispensaries in 2009.

Since first filing a complaint the following year, Riverside has prevailed at the trial and appellate levels, but judges across the state have been handing down contradictory opinions on whether local governments could outlaw storefront dispensaries under Cali. . . . . READ MORE

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