Boulder medical marijuana dispensary owner wins injunction in fight with city

 Boulder officials are expressing concerns about a recent court ruling in favor of a medical marijuana business owner who is fighting the city for trying to shut his business down. Last month, Boulder County District Court Judge Andrew Macdonald granted a preliminary injunction against the city that allows Jack Pease, owner of Buffalo Enterprises, to continue operating his medical marijuana dispensary, The Station, and the accompanying grow operation, Bushes. The city had ordered the company to close its doors over compliance issues and for denying city inspectors access to his business. Pease appealed that order, saying the city didn’t treat him fairly. The City Council is scheduled to hear an update about the case from City Attorney Tom Carr on Tuesday night. Officials said the city is concerned about the effect that the case may have on other medical marijuana businesses in Boulder. “The city is concerned about its ability to enforce existing regulations,” said Sarah Huntley, a city spokeswoman. “The city attorney wants to brief council on what that decision means.” Pease has a medical marijuana business license from the city for his dispensary, located at 3005 28th St., but the city denied his application for a business license for his grow operation in the 5700 block of Arapahoe Road.

The denial was based on a number of alleged infractions, Huntley said. “The most concerning were that on a couple of different occasions, city inspectors were refused entry,” she said. And, she added, the dispensary was storing medical marijuana in locations not covered by the license. The city ordered Pease to shut down his operation, a decision that was upheld by an administrative hearing officer on Nov. 21. But Pease appealed that decision to the district court and was awarded the injunction on Dec. 9 while the appeal is decided. The judge ruled that Pease would “face irreparable injury” if the court didn’t grant the injunction during the appeal process because the city requires all dispensaries to grow at least 70 percent of the product that they sell. He also said that Pease and his employees could face criminal sanctions without the injunction because they would “no longer have a legal exemption for possessing marijuana.” So for now, the businesses will be allowed to continue operating. “We’re gonna’ stay (open) right now,” Pease said on Friday. “Until we get a court date, I can’t tell you much more than that.”

Pease said he opened the dispensary on Aug. 1 after seeing the benefits of medical marijuana to his cancer-stricken friend. “I decided, ‘Why not help other people?’ because it really worked for her,” Pease said. Pease, who said he’s since brought his companies into compliance with all of the city’s rules, believes the city didn’t treat him fairly by giving short notice that inspectors were on their way to the company. “Everybody else is getting a week to 10 days’ notice,” he said, adding that he got a phone call about 15 minutes before inspectors arrived. He said that business has been slow since the city took action. Huntley, the city spokeswoman, said the city has asked the judge to rule on the appeal as soon as possible, but she said it might be spring before a final decision is reached.

via : http://www.dailycamera.com

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