• Appeals Court backs Monterey in marijuana dispensary case

    The City of Monterey prevailed in an appeal filed by the owner of a former medical marijuana dispensary in Monterey. Jhonrico Carrnshimba, the owner of MyCaregiver Cooperative, Inc., filed the appeal in an attempt to keep open a medical marijuana dispensary at 554 Lighthouse Ave. in Monterey. The City alleged that the marijuana dispensary operated in violation of the City’s zoning regulations.

    On March 27, 2013, the Sixth District Court of Appeals in California ruled the appeal as “moot” as the causes for the appeal no longer existed: A permanent injunction against the dispensary’s owners had expired, and the owners had vacated the Monterey property that housed the dispensary.

    The Court also weighed in on the merits of the controversy, citing a continued public interest in medical marijuana laws. The Appeals Court found that the use of commercially zoned property for a medical marijuana dispensary was not permissible under the City’s zoning ordinance, and therefore constituted a public nuisance in Monterey. The Court said the City Code enumerates permitted uses for commercial property and a medical marijuana dispensary is not a listed use. The Court rejected appellant’s claim that the dispensary could be classified as a “retail sales” or “pharmacy” use.

    The Court noted that Monterey City Code provides that “any land, building or premise established, conducted, operated or maintained contrary to the provisions of this ordinance shall be, and the same is hereby declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance.”

    The Appeals Court found that Carrnshimba: a) did not disclose the medical marijuana dispensary use in his application for a license to do business in Monterey, b) continued operation of the dispensary after it was declared an illegal use and a public nuisance, c) violated the City Code prior to the City’s passage of an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries.

    The decision supports the City’s power under the California Constitution to make regulations to protect the health and safety of its residents.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 29, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News

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