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Rory Murray/OC Weekly

​Sentencing for medical marijuana defendants Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron — convicted of cannabis sales in relation to a pair of dispensaries in Long Beach, California and another in Garden Grove — has been delayed. In an unexpected, 11th-hour move, Long Beach Superior Court Judge Charles D. Sheldon removed himself from the case Wednesday morning, citing allegations of his biased behavior in the courtroom and admitting he made a serious error in sending a complimentary letter to the prosecutor prior to sentencing.

Judge Sheldon — who throughout the trial, put on one of the most unseemly displays of anti-marijuana bias in memory — denied the allegations, reports Nick Schou of OC Weekly. “The court is not biased in favor of any party or counsel,” he claimed, responding to a recusal motion by defense attorneys Christopher Glew and Allison Margolin. The recusal motion included a laundry list of Judge Sheldon’s objectionable statements. 

Photo: Jonathan Van Dyke
Long Beach senior city auditor Scott Gardiner uses a pen to push a lottery ping pong ball through a special lottery machine during a test run on Monday. City officials ending up ditching the lottery machine — through which the balls wouldn’t fit — and pulled the numbers by hand from a “We Recycle” bin.

​Another 11 Long Beach, California marijuana dispensaries will have to close their doors after being eliminated from the permit application process during a lottery on Monday, leaving 32 still eligible for final permits.

The lottery was set up because Long Beach Municipal Code 5.87 does not allow for any collective to operate within 1,000 feet of another, reports Jonathan Van Dyke of
Dispensaries whose lottery number was pulled first were accepted over other sites that conflicted with them.