Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 10, 2015

CA Appeals Court Holds Local Governments can Exercise their Police Power to Regulate or Ban Facilities that Distribute Medical Marijuana by Means of Zoning Ordinances

Plaintiffs and appellants California Holistic Healing and Wellness, Trung Than Ngo and Joseph Edward Eagan appealed from an order denying their petition for writ of administrative mandate. Appellants brought the petition seeking to overturn an administrative ruling upholding multiple citations for operating a medical marijuana dispensary in violation of a zoning ordinance which prohibits operation of such dispensaries in all unincorporated portions of respondent County of San Bernardino. After the superior court denied appellants’ petition and entered judgment for the county, the California Supreme Court held that local governmental entities can exercise their police power to regulate or ban facilities that distribute medical marijuana by means of zoning ordinances. Appellants contend that the county cannot ban activities of a medical marijuana collective, such as educational activities and promoting the medical benefits of marijuana to members of the collective. They further contend that what they termed the injunction is overly broad and infringes on their right as a collective to free speech and association. While the court found this point was true, it had no bearing on this case because the Appellants were not cited for such promotional or educational activities, and the judgment denying their petition for a writ of mandate did not address any such activities. Appellants’ contention that “the injunction” was overly broad and infringed on their right to act as a collective was therefore equally unfounded. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed.

California Holistic Healing & Wellness v County of San Bernardino, 2014 WL 6973688 (CA App. unrep. 12/10/2014)

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