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Are Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Avoiding the Law?

Recently, the Supreme Court of California ruled that individual cities have the power to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries.

According to a recent press release,

California Supreme Court held that localities may entirely ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within their jurisdictions in a closely watched case, City of Riverside vs. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center. The result of the Court’s ruling is that tens of thousands of legitimate medical marijuana patients in California will be without safe and legal access to medical marijuana. To date more than 200 localities have banned dispensaries outright.

This is exactly what happened in Garden Grove. In fact, the city of Garden Grove sent out notices for closure to more than 60 cannabis businesses. If they failed to do so, they would face fines up to $1,000 each day they stayed open after closure. The dispensaries could also face criminal actions if they fail to comply with the city's orders.

One individual who frequented the marijuana dispensary stated that "It's just pushing it back onto the streets," referring of course to marijuana. This man says that he uses medical marijuana for back pain. Although California allows for medical cannabis use, individual cities now have the ability to close down dispensaries. Per the "Compassionate Use Act," people can actually grow their own marijuana up to a certain amount if they do not live in close proximity to a dispensary.

In response, some Garden Grove dispensaries are moving to new locations, some are leaving the storefront in exchange for delivery-only services and others are simply closing down. While the city of Garden Grove can close down actual storefronts, it cannot shut down a delivery service. This is just one way that the dispensaries could be "sidestepping" the recent Supreme Court ruling. Possessing marijuana is legal so long as a person has a legitimate medical prescription. The prescription must come from a person's primary caregiver and it must be for the treatment of a recognized medical condition for which marijuana is a known treatment.

At any given time, a person using medical marijuana can possess up to six mature or 12 immature plants. If a person is found in possession of marijuana without a prescription, they face an infraction if the possession was for personal use and not for sale. California has one of the lightest penalties for marijuana possession compared to other states. Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug.

If you have been arrested for a marijuana-related offense, get in touch with an Orange County criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Our firm is one of the premier defense firms in Orange County and can provide you with aggressive defense as well as personalized counsel. Our firm prides itself on one-on-one attention and our commitment to justice. To learn more, call today and secure a free case evaluation.