The California Supreme Court has dismissed the case of Pack v. Long Beach, in which an appellate court had ruled that the restrictive permitting scheme for medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Long Beach was illegal. This case was often cited by medical marijuana opponents to support the claim that any permitting or regulation of medical marijuana — including those found in the local medical marijuana initiative proposals that have qualified for the November ballot around San Diego — may not withstand legal challenges.
These initiatives include Proposition H in Del Mar, Proposition W in Solana Beach, and Proposition T in Lemon Grove.
Fortunately, with this dismissal, the Pack decision was de-published. This means that attorneys can no longer cite Pack as valid law. Similarly, a municipality cannot rely upon the Pack decision to ban lawful medical marijuana dispensaries, nor to conclude that local regulation of lawful medicinal cannabis dispensaries violates federal law.
The California Supreme Court also recently, and unanimously, let the 2012 decision, Pack v. Colvin, stand, which held that a qualified patient who was managing two storefront dispensaries was entitled to a defense in court to criminal charges of transportation of marijuana and possession of concentrated cannabis.