Boyle Heights Marijuana Farmers Market Could Face Injuction

By City News Service

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Wednesday she was inclined to issue a preliminary injunction aimed at closing a medical marijuana “farmers market” that opened over the Fourth of July weekend.

The big-box pot shop in the California Heritage Market – 1500 Esperanza St. in Boyle Heights – was billed as a way to buy discount marijuana from a variety of growers and cut out the middle man in the burgeoning, quasi-legal marijuana business.

Judge Joanne O’Donnell said she wanted to look deeper into the case before firming up her tentative ruling. She did not give an indication of when that might be.

The farmers market run by the West Coast Collective, which attracted local news crews, ordered closed July 15 by O’Donnell.

Wednesday’s hearing concerned whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the collective or just the farmers market, pending a trial.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said the operation violated Proposition D, which limits the number of legal dispensaries allowed in the city, and is an unauthorized and un-permitted use of the property on Esperanza Street. He also claims the operation creates a public nuisance due to traffic and large crowds, creating safety hazards and blocking access to nearby properties.

Many pot sellers have rejected most local ordinances aimed at putting them out of business, saying municipal government officials cannot tailor state law to suit them.

Attorney David Welch, representing the West Coast Collective, suggested to O’Donnell that she should consider keeping the temporary restraining order in effect and give his client’s managers time to comply with the electronic fingerprinting requirements through a process known as Live Scan.

He said one manager waited months for the LAPD to handle a fingerprint application.

Welch said that, while O’Donnell’s final decision would set up a trial, a ruling on a preliminary injunction could be appealed. He said her tentative ruling included favorable findings regarding the collective’s farmer’s market.

Assistant City Attorney Asha Greenberg said the collective’s managers knew they had to comply with the fingerprinting law and should not be given any leeway now.

“They want to, at the 11th hour, ask for retroactive compliance,” Greenberg said.

She said the requirements for giving police fingerprints was neither “minor” nor “trivial,” but instead part of the entire series of steps the collective needed to take to operate under the law.

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August 28, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

One Response to “Boyle Heights Marijuana Farmers Market Could Face Injuction”

  1. uknowwho on August 28th, 2014 6:49 pm

    So City keeps handing out business licenses to sell pot and then wants to close them…they say its just an instrument to collect taxes….how can you pay taxes without selling pot? In my opinion, the Prop D shops should sue the City for $1 million each…

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