What is the legality of marijuana dispensaries?

Regulation of Facilities Selling and Distributing Marijuana

“State law permitting medicinal marijuana use and distribution does not preempt ‘the authority of California cities and counties, under their traditional land use and police powers, to allow, restrict, limit, or entirely exclude facilities that distribute medical marijuana, and to enforce such policies by nuisance actions.’” (Urgent Care Medical Services v. City of Pasadena (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 1086, 1092 citing City of Vallejo v. NCORP4, Inc. (2017) 15 Cal.App.5th 1078, 1081-1082.)

Marijuana or cannabis are the same and are both controlled substances. Health and Safety Code § §11007, 11032 and 11054(d)(13). Where a city's municipal code does not list marijuana dispensaries as permitted use and the city states that nonpermitted uses are nuisances, the operation of marijuana dispensaries in that city is a nuisance per se. (See, Urgent Care Medical Services v. City of Pasadena (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 1086.)

Whether to prohibit or to license marijuana sales and operations in a particular city is up to that city. Business and Professions Code §26200(a)(l). A city is constitutionally authorized to “make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.” Cal. Const., art. XI, § 7. It may by legislative declaration state what activities or conditions may constitute a nuisance. Gov. Code, § 38771. Thus, a city council may, by ordinance, declare what it deems to constitute a public nuisance. (City of Monterey v. Carrnshimba (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1068, 1086.) An act or condition legislatively declared to be a public nuisance is a nuisance per se against which an injunction may issue without any proof of irreparable injury. (Id at 1086-1087.)

Regulation Related to the CUA and MMPA

“We have consistently maintained that the CUA and the MMP are but incremental steps toward freer access to medical marijuana, and the scope of these statutes is limited and circumscribed.” (City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health & Wellness Center, Inc. (2013) 56 Cal. 4th 729, 738.) ”They merely declare that the conduct they describe cannot lead to arrest or conviction, or be abated as a nuisance, as violations of enumerated provisions of the Health and Safety Code.” (Id.) ”Nothing in the CUA or the MMP expressly or impliedly limits the inherent authority of a local jurisdiction, by its own ordinances, to regulate the use of its land, including the authority to provide that facilities for the distribution of medical marijuana will not be permitted to operate within its borders.” (Id.) We must therefore reject defendants' preemption argument, and must affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.” (City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health & Wellness Center, Inc. (2013) 56 Cal. 4th 729, 738.)

Useful Rulings on Marijuana – Dispensary Regulations

Recent Rulings on Marijuana – Dispensary Regulations

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, EX REL., ET AL. V. COACHELLA VALLEY

On balance, the City’s need for discovery regarding transactions where Coachella accepted money in exchange for marijuana and Coachella’s efforts to sell, distribute, or provide marijuana outweigh the privacy interests of Coachella and any third-party individuals, particularly because the information at issue is crucial to the City’s case.

  • Hearing

    Sep 05, 2019

CAUGHEY VS. URIAS

The defendant also argues that the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Religious Freedom Act provide him some sort of immunity which allows him to distribute marijuana without a license or otherwise prevents the injunction requested. The defendant has presented no authority to support these contentions. The defendant has provided no authority to support application of the Declaration or the Act to the facts before this court.

  • Hearing

    Dec 14, 2018

WILLIE FRANK SENN VS STEVEN DANG

-the company that was to license the FlavRx IP from LC Brands CA Inc. and distribute products using the FlavRx IP. Next, SENN, DANG, and ROLFSEN began circulating the Final Business Plan to potential investors. 48.

  • Hearing

    Dec 13, 2018

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

WILLIE FRANK SENN VS STEVEN DANG

-the company that was to license the FlavRx IP from LC Brands CA Inc. and distribute products using the FlavRx IP. Next, SENN, DANG, and ROLFSEN began circulating the Final Business Plan to potential investors. 48.

  • Hearing

    Dec 13, 2018

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

CITY OF RIVERSIDE VS WEEDMART 35 CAP

Under the Receivership Order, the Receiver was “To render interim accountings and reports” and “To prepare and distribute periodic reports directly to all parties and their legal counsel.” Counsel (identified as initials NAF—presumably Nicholas Firetag at a rate of $405) prepared the monthly reports, communicated with the City, met with the property manager, etc. There is no reason for Counsel to do this at counsel’s rate.

  • Hearing

    Aug 23, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS COSMIC MIND ET AL

Under the terms of the Stipulation, Defendants agreed to: (1) “not cultivate, process, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana to any person or any location in the City of Los Angeles”; (2) not deliver any medical marijuana to any location in the City of Los Angeles”; (3) “not facilitate, aid, or abet the delivery of any medical marijuana to any location in the City of Los Angeles”; and (4) “not maintain, operate, conduct, or permit any unfair or unlawful business act or practice involving medical marijuana

  • Hearing

    Aug 14, 2018

MEDICAL MARIJUANA INC VS. CANNLABS INC

The article discusses Plaintiff's purported use of a multi-level marketing scheme to distribute and market its hemp oil products. All of these subjects are matters of public interest within the meaning of section 425.16. There is much public concern and discussion regarding tainted medicines in general. As a result, Defendants have satisfied their initial burden of demonstrating that section 425.16 applies to this action. II.

  • Hearing

    Aug 01, 2018

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Defamation

CITY OF RIVERSIDE VS WEEDMART 35 CAP

The marijuana dispensary existing at the filing of this case, was operated by the former property owners Can Nguyen and Linh Duong. Defendant Rivermerrill Investment Holdings LLC (Rivermerrill) purchased the property on or about 6-30-17, the Complaint in this case was filed on 7-6-17. Rivermerrill has since, receiving notice of the lawsuit, in or about September, 2017, has acted in good faith and fully cooperated with the Plaintiff.

  • Hearing

    Jul 06, 2018

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH V ISHIHARA

Leasing, renting, allowing, assisting, conducting, permitting, or in any way granting authority to make any use of the Property, or any other location in the City of Huntington Beach, to dispense or distribute marijuana and/or any products containing marijuana;..”

  • Hearing

    Jul 05, 2018

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH V ISHIHARA

Leasing, renting, allowing, assisting, conducting, permitting, or in any way granting authority to make any use of the Property, or any other location in the City of Huntington Beach, to dispense or distribute marijuana and/or any products containing marijuana;..”

  • Hearing

    Jul 05, 2018

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH V ISHIHARA

Leasing, renting, allowing, assisting, conducting, permitting, or in any way granting authority to make any use of the Property, or any other location in the City of Huntington Beach, to dispense or distribute marijuana and/or any products containing marijuana;..”

  • Hearing

    Jul 05, 2018

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH V. ISHIHARA

Leasing, renting, allowing, assisting, conducting, permitting, or in any way granting authority to make any use of the Property, or any other location in the City of Huntington Beach, to dispense or distribute marijuana and/or any products containing marijuana;..”

  • Hearing

    Apr 12, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS COSMIC MIND ET AL

Under the terms of the Stipulation, Defendants agreed to: (1) “not cultivate, process, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana to any person or any location in the City of Los Angeles”; (2) not deliver any medical marijuana to any location in the City of Los Angeles”; (3) “not facilitate, aid, or abet the delivery of any medical marijuana to any location in the City of Los Angeles”; and (4) “not maintain, operate, conduct, or permit any unfair or unlawful business act or practice involving medical marijuana

  • Hearing

    Mar 21, 2018

TRI COMB VS. CITY OF HEMET

Code § 26012(a) does not provide that the right to obtain marijuana is a matter of statewide concern; rather, it indicates that the licensing and regulation of cannabis-related businesses is a matter of statewide concern. Because there is no state or federal constitutional right to distribute marijuana [see, e.g., Inland Empire, supra, 56 Cal.4th at 753-54; Maral v. City of Live Oak (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 975, 984; People v.

  • Hearing

    Jan 31, 2018

BECK VS POINT LOMA PATIENTS CONSUMER COOPERATIVE CORPORATION [E-FILE]

The Complaint sufficiently alleges that the medical marijuana cooperative earnings were not used for the general welfare of Defendants' members, such that Defendants were required to equitably distribute these earnings to their members. As a result, the class members had a legal right to possession of these distributions, as alleged.

  • Hearing

    Jan 09, 2018

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

BECK VS POINT LOMA PATIENTS CONSUMER COOPERATIVE CORPORATION [E-FILE]

The Complaint sufficiently alleges that the medical marijuana cooperative earnings were not used for the general welfare of Defendants' members, such that Defendants were required to equitably distribute these earnings to their members. As a result, the class members had a legal right to possession of these distributions, as alleged.

  • Hearing

    Jan 09, 2018

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

ENERGY EPT VS. CITY OF ANAHEIM

As a matter of law, plaintiff is not entitled to the judicial declaration it is seeking, that the City’s ordinance prohibiting commercial activities involving nonmedical marijuana and marijuana products and banning outdoor cultivation of marijuana is unconstitutional. The regional welfare doctrine does not apply because there is no state or federal constitutional right to cultivate or distribute marijuana, and none was created by Proposition 64 under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

  • Hearing

    Dec 14, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS COSMIC MIND ET AL

Under the terms of the Stipulation, Defendants agreed to: (1) “not cultivate, process, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana to any person or any location in the City of Los Angeles”; (2) not deliver any medical marijuana to any location in the City of Los Angeles”; (3) “not facilitate, aid, or abet the delivery of any medical marijuana to any location in the City of Los Angeles”; and (4) “not maintain, operate, conduct, or permit any unfair or unlawful business act or practice involving medical marijuana

  • Hearing

    Dec 08, 2017

RIC1711410

Under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a license will be required for a business to sell marijuana. See Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 26012(a)(1), 26032(a), 26038(a), 26070(a)-(b). However, because licenses will not be issued until January 1, 2018 [Bus. & Prof. Code, §26012(d)], Plaintiff clearly has no present right to distribute non-medical marijuana under the AUMA.

  • Hearing

    Oct 18, 2017

ISMAEL RUIZ VS CITY OF POMONA

With that said, courts have determined that state law, which only provides immunity from prosecution for certain offenses, creates no right to cultivate or distribute marijuana. City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, Inc. (2013) 56 Cal.4th 729. Municipalities may restrict access to medical marijuana and may even ban businesses that sell marijuana outright. Id. at 762.

  • Hearing

    Sep 21, 2017

MCC1700504

City of Berkeley (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 933, 944, n. 10 (judicial notice of municipal code) Under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a license will be required for a business to sell marijuana. See Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 26012(a)(1), 26032(a), 26038(a), 26070(a)-(b). However, because licenses will not be issued until January 1, 2018 [Bus. & Prof. Code, §26012(d)], Plaintiff clearly has no present right to distribute non-medical marijuana under the AUMA, and its claims fail as a matter of law.

  • Hearing

    Aug 14, 2017

GREENMILE HEALTH ALLIANCE INC VS COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Section 22.56.196(B) prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries which distribute, transmit, give, or otherwise provide marijuana to any person in all zones in the County. (Id.) Plaintiff’s Articles of Incorporation demonstrate that it is operating as a medical marijuana dispensary in contravention of County Code. Plaintiff, then, has not alleged a justiciable claim. The County’s demurrer to the first cause of action is sustained.

  • Hearing

    Aug 09, 2017

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH VS. BAULDWIN

TENTATIVE RULING: Plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction is granted as to Requests (A) and (B) [prohibiting defendants from using the property to distribute marijuana and from distributing, or allowing a property to be used to distribute, marijuana anywhere in Huntington Beach] and denied as to Request (C). Plaintiff is to submit a proposed order for the court’s signature. Plaintiff’s Request for Judicial Notice of various Municipal Code sections is granted.

  • Hearing

    May 01, 2017

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH VS. NGUYEN

Defendant Nguyen’s argument that he may legally distribute marijuana pursuant to Prop. 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”), and that the City can do nothing about it, is unavailing. Pursuant to Business & Professions Code §26012, the State, via the Bureau of Marijuana Control, will issue licenses to operators. §26012(c) provides that “[l]icensing authorities shall begin issuing licenses under this division by January 1, 2018.”

  • Hearing

    May 01, 2017

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH VS. MENDOZA

Request (A), prohibiting the leasing, renting, or granting authority to use the property at 16561 Bolsa Chica St. or any other property in Huntington Beach to dispense or distribute marijuana, and Request (B), prohibiting operating, conducting, investing, or possessing any financial interest in, working or volunteering for, or possessing any degree of control over, or otherwise granting authority to use the property or any other location in HB to dispense or distribute marijuana is granted as to defendant Mendoza

  • Hearing

    Apr 01, 2017

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