A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Friday denied an injunction against Long Beach’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Opponents of the two-week-old law sought the injunction after a panel of Fourth Appellate District judges on Wednesday ruled that Lake Forest officials couldn’t use that city’s noise abatement ordinance as a wholesale ban on medicinal cannabis dispensaries and collectives, reports the Long Beach Press Telegram.
Lake Forest officials are allowed to use their nuisance ordinance to regulate the dispensaries and collectives, but they can’t just declare them all a nuisance, thereby banning them, according to the decision in Lake Forest v. Evergreen Holistic Collective.
The court’s ruling doesn’t apply in Long Beach because Lake Forest didn’t enact a formal ban, Long Beach City attorney Robert Shannon claimed on Thursday. That interpretation was supported by the Superior Court judge’s decision on Friday.
Lake Forest counted on a zoning code to declare a marijuana dispensary’s very existence a nuisance, rather than having to prove poor operation. Long Beach based its dispensary ban on federal law and city zoning code, which doesn’t specifically allow medical marijuana.
Under the Long Beach ban, three or fewer patients can still form a collective, and 18 dispensaries that got a license under the city’s 2010 permitting process were granted a six-month exemption.
The permit statute was effectively struck down last October when an appeals court ruled in Pack v. Long Beach that the law forced applicants to violate federal code barring the sale and distribution of marijuana.
As a result, the Long Beach City Council on February 14 repealed the permit law and banned dispensaries entirely while the California Supreme Court considers an appeal of the Pack decisionb.
Under Friday’s ruling, Long Beach’s dispensary ban will stay in place for the foreseeable future.