Posted by: Patricia Salkin | October 14, 2016

CA Appeals Court Finds Dispensary was a Prohibited “Medical Marijuana Business” Under City Ordinance

In this nuisance abatement action, the State filed an action against defendants and appellants FXS Management, Inc., doing business as “Weedland,” and its principal, Franky Silva. The People alleged that Weedland was an illegal medical marijuana business under the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code, and sought an injunction against the continuing operation of Weedland. Defendants argued that Weedland was a medical marijuana “collective,” and therefore did not fall under the limitations of the Municipal Code. The trial court found that Weedland did fall under the statute, and therefore that the People showed a likelihood of prevailing. The court issued a preliminary injunction, and defendants appealed.

Proposition D defines a “medical marijuana business” as “any location where marijuana is cultivated, processed, distributed, delivered, or given away to a qualified patient, a person with an identification card, or a primary caregiver.” Despite its arguments to the contrary, Defendants failed to cite any sources indicating that Proposition D’s definition of “medical marijuana business” did not include “collectives.” Instead, defendants’ own statements about Weedland demonstrated that it fell under the definition of a medical marijuana business in Proposition D, because it was a location where marijuana was distributed, delivered, or given away to qualified patients or persons with relevant identification cards. Additionally, Defendants failed to present any evidence indicating that medical marijuana patients who formerly received marijuana from Weedland were unable to receive marijuana from medical marijuana businesses within the City of Los Angeles that fell within the exceptions to Proposition D, or from medical marijuana businesses outside the City’s jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the injunction did not limit defendants’ speech or association, other than a requirement that Weedland remove signage from its property advertising its business. As the injunction did not limit defendants’ speech or ability to associate with whomever they choose, it did not infringe on any such rights that may exist under the state or federal constitutions. Moreover, since Proposition D itself applied only to a “location where marijuana is cultivated, processed, distributed, delivered, or given away,” it therefore did not inhibit communication of information about medical marijuana or the association of people interested in marijuana. Accordingly, the court held that Defendants failed to demonstrate that they would suffer grave or irreparable harm from the preliminary injunction, and therefore denied Defendants’ motion.

People v. FXS Mgt., Inc., 206 Cal. Rptr. 3d 819 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 2016)


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